Making Stouts and Porters is one of the most rewarding parts of homebrewing, because they command a premium in stores but come cheap as sin as homebrew, and the darker roasted beers are the most-forgiving styles of beer to make at home. The simple, clean yeasts that are commonly used are forgiving of temperature shifts. The clean bittering with a simple, single addition is, again, forgiving. The roasted malts mask any minor misteps. And, my wife will also drink them in her own special, Caribbean way. Sharing is good!
This was a winner. Woot is it good. The head formation was impacted by the high percentage of oats, but this was a small price to pay for such a tasty, smooth brew. A complex bouqet of spicy and sweet flavors rolled over my tongue with the silken oats and enough Cascade hops carried through to the final product from the single addition to add lovely herbal and citrus notes under all that excellent malt.
Aiming for 3 gallons of brew-in-a-bag goodness, the grain bill was 5 pounds of 2-row, 1 pound of roughly-toasted quick oats (barely-stirred: let the sides singe!), 10 ounces of homemade brown malt, 10 ounces of crystal 40l, 8 ounces of special B, and 4 ounces black patent. 1 ounce of Cascade hops was added at 60 minutes for an hour boil, for about 34 IBU, and good ol' Safale US-05 was the yeast of choice.
The temperature was kept on the high end for the yeast, and given three weeks in the primary before bottling.
The only negative mark against this super-fantastico brew is the head retention, but with so much oat you expect to pay a price. It's worth it. Woot is it good. Woot woot.
I've got twelve big growlers of this carbed and waiting in a box. But wait, beer is more than just beer, for it can also be an ingredient for other mixed drinks!
My wife, who is not a beer drinker, actually liked this brew. She used it to make a quick and dirty variation on the traditional Caribbean beverage that her Grenadian grandma calls "eggnog" that I've seen many of her relatives make with a Guinness Stout.
1 part Stout or Porter
4-6 ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk (Whole Milk plus sugar) per 12 ounces of Stout
Lime Zest (one whole lime's worth per 12 ounces)
Raw Egg (optional)
Blend it in a blender to get it frothy and serve over ice with a lime wedge!
1 beer's worth will serve 2-4 people.
1 part Stout or Porter
4-6 ounces of Whole Milk
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
dash of vanilla extract
juice of half a lime
Stir vigorously over ice.