Frostbitten Oatmeal Stout

This was probably the coldest brew day I’ve ever had; and I only ever brew indoors.  My garage is unheated and the never ending below zero temperatures here in Michigan for the last several weeks meant that by the start of this brew it was around 10 degrees in my garage.  Since there’s always a bit of spillage no matter how careful I am, by the end of the day I was standing on frozen wort as I waited for the last of the of the wort to run-off to the fermentor.

This was a joint brew day with my father in law so it was a full 10g batch that will end up being split.  The recipe was inspired by Rob Vrabel’s gold medal winning stout with some alternations to the grist for grains I didn’t have on hand.   I didn’t have pale chocolate malt, so we ended up making up for it with a portion of de-bittered black malt and special B.  I also tried an experimental hop screen around my dip tube that really slowed the run off and left me with more liquid in the kettle than normal.  I ended up saving that wort in a couple of mason jars in the freezer and this morning I pitched 1200ml of krausening wort into my keg of the stout.

Final gravity was a bit on the high end of the style but the mash in for this beer was a bit high at the start due forgetting to cut off the induction cooker as we mashed in.   In the end the FG is 1.020 which is just shy of 70% attenuation.  That is the low end of attenuation for the WLP007 Dry English Ale yeast we used.  The second half of the beer is awaiting a bottling day soon.  It might have been a bit too cool for it in my basement as well so I might try rousing the second half of the batch or pitching a krausening start using that second half of reserved wort depending on how the keg finishes.

I was pretty happy with the taste of the sample I pulled this morning prior to priming the keg though so maybe I need to just relax and have a homebrew.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
11 gal 90 min 28.9 IBUs 35.5 SRM 1.065 1.018 6.2 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %


Name Amount %
Pale Malt, Maris Otter 18 lbs 72
Oats, Flaked (1 Minute Oatmeal) 2 lbs 8
Victory Malt (biscuit) (Briess) 1.5 lbs 6
Black Malt - 2-Row (Briess) 1 lbs 4
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L 1 lbs 4
Chocolate (Dingemans) 12 oz 3
Special B (Dingemans) 8 oz 2
De-Bittered Black Malt (Dingemans) 4 oz 1


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
CTZ 1 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 14.5
Goldings, East Kent 1 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 7.2


Step Temperature Time
Saccharification 154.1°F 75 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min

Happy Brewing!

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