Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oatmeal Stout Porter Deliciousness, plus a Caribbean Recipe

I cracked open the first Oatmeal Stout Porter last night. I shared some with my wife who made a quick version of a traditional Caribbean "Eggnog" with it, both recipes I have included below.

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!

Caribbean Eggnog

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.

Angie's QuickNog

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.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Update on Experiments and Progress

Work's been a real bear, and has kept me from real beer.

That said, I just cracked open a Mayan Apocalypse Death Brew, and I think I've found out what the top end of hoppiness tastes like. It's actually more enjoyable than I expected. The Barley Wine strength helps, and I'm going to put away all the bottles that remain until next Christmas, because I suspect the complexity and enjoyment will come next year.

I've also got two new brews sitting in the primaries. They're both ready to move to a Secondary, and I just haven't had a free moment to make that happen!

My first Oatmeal Stout Porter is done and ready to bottle, by now, most likely! Beside it a light and fluffy American Wheat Beer brewed with Willamette Hops and canned purple plums is sitting there, waiting for the transfer to secondary, soaking up plum wine-iness, I assume. (The latter is a small, experimental batch because I'm thinking of planting a plum tree, and I'm curious to know if I could use them successfully for beer. The former is the THING I AM MOST EXCITED ABOUT IN THE WORLD OUTSIDE OF WORK right now. I love stouts and porters, and oatmeal stouts and oatmeal porters.

I have pictures and a recipe or two kicking around here, but I don't know where they are, right now. The only one I remember off-hand was the wheat beer with Plums. I took two cans of Oregan plums in the primary, drained of their juices but unrinsed, and a 60/40 Red Wheat/Two Row ratio, with Willamette hops equally at 60, 30, and 10 to reach from 14 to 16 IBU. Lallemand Safale US-05 is my go to yeast for most purposes, and I know I used it for both brews, though I couldn't tell you what was in the Oatmeal Stout Porter besides the yeast without my notes and pictures.