Sunday, March 18, 2012

Homebrew #2 - Oatmeal Stout

After a very vigorous pour, a one-finger head foams and resembles the carbonation of quickly poured Coke. I really wanted this stout to contain red highlights enhancing the appearance, but sadly, no red highlights are present in the head. The head retention of my stout is weak because foamy head vanished within 1-2 minutes after being poured. It was pitch black with no light penetrating the body. My first attempt at making a stout, looks like a stout. Hooray!
The aroma contains three distinctive smells. First, the oats are present, but are not prominent in the aroma. They add a nice malt character, but I wish there was more malt sweetness, so if I brew this stout again, I am thinking about adding more oatmeal into increase the sweetness through fermentable sugars. Second, bitter chocolate wafts and is quite pleasant. This is the most dominating smell within the aromatic profile. Third, Fuggle Hops are present, but they are faint. The earthy spiciness the Fuggle hops provided works quite well with the other smells. I really like this part of the aroma, so I am contemplating dry-hopping this stout with Fuggles or another hop varietal to increase the hop presence; only one way to find out! Overall, I am happy with the aroma of this stout, so with more brewing hours, I am hopeful to obtain a more prominent hop profile adding a subtle complexity to my oatmeal stout. 
The taste profile I was hoping for was something that would measure up to Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. The initial burst of flavor contained a nice dark chocolate character. After this burst of chocolate had subsided, bitter coffee and roasted malts entered into the taste. The hop content within the taste was nearly non-existent, but the Fuggle hops crept furtively to the complete taste profile. The difference between the tastes of my oatmeal stout and Sam Smith was a mineralistic quality in my stout. This apparent mineral quality is most likely to the elemental composition of our water in Watertown, MA (just guessing...).
The mouthfeel of my stout was quite light. I normally want a thicker, fuller stout, but I feel that having a lighter mouthfeel allowed the chocolate and malt character to easily come through in the taste. The carbonation level of my stout was very low making the mouthfeel very aqueous in texture. I hope to alter this component of my stout when I brew this style again through the addition of oats, using dextrin malts or a lower attenuating yeast strain.
Overall, I am quite pleased with this stout. It is very quaffable leading my wife to say on multiple occasions, "Oatmeal Stout? Because its delicious." I have to mention the helpfulness of RandumInk during our night of brewing and the gift of a homebrewer's necessity, flip-top bottles. With Spring right around the corner, I am excited to transition seasons and brew an aromatic pale ale or a german weissbier. Hopefully they will turn out even better than this stout!


1 comment:

  1. Good on ya, gettin' brew #2 under the belt.
    More of a mineral quality than SS? Maybe just different? It's been a few months since I exhausted my SS supply, but the consistent star in all of them, for me, is their water (especially in the lighter beers). The mineral flavour / qualities of it are fantastic.