Thursday, December 17, 2009

100% Oat Malt & Mt Rainier Hops - SMaSH Beer

After reading about oat malt awhile back I was really interested in brewing with it. Unfortunately my LHBS doesn't ever have any interesting malts like that lying around so I had to wait until I placed another order with Midwest. I don't purchase much brewing stuff online, so my orders are very few and far between. But while looking around the site, another malt really caught my eye as well, so I pulled the trigger and got the oat malt and another interesting one that I will use in an upcoming beer.

To be honest I wasn't really sure what to expect from the malt, only two other people Ive even heard about have used it before. One didn't really give any info other than... "yah I did a 100% oat malt beer, it tasted like oats" really helpful.... The other (Dan) had only used it in a brett oat wine, so picking out its contribution was a bit tricky for him. So I went into this kinda blind about what to expect, which is never really a good thing.

One of my biggest concerns was conversion. The first guy that did the all oat malt beer, said he didn't have any issues with conversion, and looking at Fawcetts site, it looked like it could convert. The degree of modification though is extremely low, as such a bit more rigorous mash schedule should be used. Well, after mashing for 1hr, and no starch conversion, then 2hrs without adequate results, finally after 3hrs I was somewhat happy with the iodine test. I was actually thinking about running to the LHBS to grab some amylase when I finally just said screw it and sparged. The resulting wort was very hazy and cloudy, it really reminded me of the runnings from my last lambic. I plan on adding some brett to have of the batch later on anyway so that might make things interesting.

Another issue with building the recipe was what to expect for a gravity contribution from the oat malt. Beersmith lists it as 1.033ppg/lb, which seems extremely high. By my calculations from the Fawcett specs its ~1.028ppg/lb and looking at my numbers after the beer I like to think I was right. For one I haven't had an efficiency less than 80% in a long time and I'm usually in the 85%+ range, and when using my calculations I got about 80% for this beer vs the 66%eff using Beersmith's numbers. Plus I trust Fawcetts specs a bit more than the generic Beersmith values, if you want to learn how to convert Euro malt specs to ppg/lb or just want a better understanding of malt spec sheets here's a good read.

Since I had no idea what to expect from the malt profile I thought what the hell, why not go with another shot in the dark and use exclusively Mt Rainier hops. When I opened up the hops I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed, I'm so used to hops overflowing with lupulin glads that coat my fingers with sticky deliciousness that the Mt Rainier were a bit disappointing. They did however smell pretty good, it was like a more citrusy fuggle or Willamette, although the aroma was a bit subdued overall. I threw them in for bittering, flavor and aroma, I really hope to get a good idea of all three aspects of this hop (I have a lb more of it).

For yeast, I kept things simple and reused a 1968 yeast cake from a stout I recently made. Fermentation started within 20min of pitching the yeast, if nothing else this beer with have a nice ester profile!

100% Oat Malt - Mt Rainier SMaSH

Malt Bill

Amt (lbs)


10Oat Malt (Fawcett)
Amt (oz)TypeTime
0.5Mt Rainier (6.8%)65min
1.0Mt Rainier (6.8%)20min
1.0Mt Rainier (6.8%)8min
Mash Schedule
168F2.1qt/lb15min - Vorlauf
YeastLondon ESB 1968 - Yeast Cake
80% effIBU35
7gal BoilFG?
Notes: Malt was milled at a finer setting that normal ~1/4 turn on my barley crusher, and it still had to be milled twice: Strange hop times are from me not paying attention: Recirculation was extremely smooth, the flow through the grain bed was ridiculously fast, all those oat hulls I guess: Whirlfloc was added with 10min to go.

Review - 7/3/2010


smokingbottle said...

nice. I am very interested in this. I bought some oat malt and have been trying to figure out some recipes. Some will be going into an oat stout with some flaked oats. Then I was thinking of an oat pale ale with 100% oat malt. I will definitely be looking forward to your results.

kenanddot said...

A friend and I recently brewed a 100% oat malt beer and the write up is here

I was quite negative about it in the review because the brewday was such a mission, but the beer itself looks like it will turn out quite nice. It is conditioning in bottles at the moment and I've only tasted the samples but I the grainy character you talk about it very evident.


Anonymous said...

Hey! How about mash temp?
Did you do a betaglukanase rest around 117F?

Ryan said...

Anon - Not specifically, though the 1st mash temp likely dipped into that range

Anonymous said...

I brewed this today, but used 1.4oz East Kent Goldings 6.4%@60min, 0.5oz EKG@ 20min and 1 min.
Mashed 20 min@113F and raised up to 154F in 35-40 min. mashed @154 for about 90min and raised up to 172F in about 10min and kept it there for about 15min. Landet at OG1040, really excited about this one. 2 packs of WY1968

Ryan said...

Anon - I'll be very interested to hear how it tastes for you, please keep me updated!

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