Date Style IBU Boil Target OG Actual OG FG ABV %
11/10/2012 Oatmeal Stout 21.8 60 min. 1.059 1.050 1.016 4.5%

The idea to brew Dwarven Ale was inspired by the impending premier of The Hobbit in theaters. My friends and I were planning to hit the midnight screening, and I wanted to provide a good thick beer to celebrate. The idea was to make a good heavy dark beer. Sweet but not sugary, fresh but not overly hopped, and wicked strong. Something that would put a Middle Earth dwarf under the table. I didn’t quite meet that final criteria, but did hit the rest of my goals straight-on. I almost nicknamed this one Fiasco Stout, based on a tremendous mishap that occurred during the brew, but it actually came out okay in the end.

Ingredients

Grain Qty %
2-Row US Pale Malt 7.5 lbs. 66.67%
Flaked Oats 1 lb. 8.9%
Chocolate Malt .75 lb. 6.7%
Black Patent Malt .5 lb. 4.4%
Cara-Pils .5 lb. 4.4%
Lactose 1 lb. 8.9%
Hops/Additions Qty Time IBU
Hops – UK Fuggles 1 oz 60 min. 14.6
Hops – UK Fuggles 1 oz 15 min. 7.2
Irish Moss .25 tsp.
Yeast Qty
Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale 1 package

Brewing Notes

Nov. 10: Started by heating 3.5 gallons of strike water to 170°, then mashed in my grains. Had some difficulty holding the temperature at 156°, the electric burners are hard to control. Steeped roughly at 162°, a little higher than the recipe calls for. Heated a second kettle of sparge water (2 gallons) while the mash was resting.

While moving the grain bag from the mash tun to the sparging vessel, I managed to drop the bag back into the MT, splashing hot wort all over the kitchen. Seriously, it was on the walls, on the cabinets, and also all over me. In frustration, I mmoved the grain bag straight to the sink and started cleaning myself and the kitchen up. I lost about 1/4 to 1/2 gallon of runnings, and didn’t manage to sparge the grains since they were in the sink and were now contaminated from cleaning up the kitchen. Went ahead and dumped my sparge water into the first runnings and saved what I could. Boiled for a good 60 minutes, hop additions went just fine, and according to plan.

Pitched the yeast into the carboy at around 78° (a little high, but within tolerance), and added another gallon to the 4 that remained after the boil. That might have been a mistake, we’ll see.

Nov. 13: Fermentation was pretty active a couple days ago, though without the kreusen build-up I was expecting. Probably from pitching the yeast in so hot, or from the lack of being able to sparge properly. Today, though, fermentation has stalled. The airlock as gone still. How should I restart this? Gravity currently at 1.020.

Nov. 14: Added 1/2 tsp. of Amylase enzyme, per suggestion on HomeBrewTalk. Will check back in a couple days.

Nov. 18: Gravity is at 1.016. Based on calculations, 1/2 tsp Amylase effected a .004 gravity decrease. Adding another 2 tsp. to bring it down to 1.000. The taste so far is sweet and full bodied, not hoppy at all. It’s really a great stout already, though not as strong as I’d like. Need to work on the all-grain process and perfect it.

Nov. 19: No change in gravity, might be as low as it’ll get.

Dec. 1: Went ahead and bottled and labeled the stout. Estimating the final ABV at 4.5%. Filled six 22-oz grolsch bottles and twenty-four 12-oz brown bottles. It’s tasty, but a bit thin, as I expected. Next try should be better. Added 4 carb tabs in each of the 12-oz bottles, and 8 in each Grolsch.

Update: Really not happy with the carb-tabs I used in this and in the Supercollider Cider. They dissolved, kinda, but left small white grains in each bottle, without adding much in the way of carbonation. I’ll definitely need to get over my fear of bottle-conditioning and start using priming sugar when bottling to get a better texture.