BIAB oatmeal stout- conditioning times?

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Hengoedbrewer

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Hi all

I tried a bottle (well 2, I snuck another in) of my first AG stout last night which has been in the bottle since 4th November. Conditioned in warm for 2 and half weeks then in garage. The sample I took was promising but the bottled product were both very underwhelming- not foul, but just not very much to it at all. No head when poured, not the thick mouthfeel I expected, and really not much taste at all. My questions are 1) why is this as it seemed a solid recipe and nothing went wrong on brewday; and 2) is this likely to improve or not- I know stouts sometime take a while to come together- it isn't harsh and roasty though, the dark grains were cold steeped, it's just really insipid and tastes like a homebrew- it's not as good as the few Cooper's kits I did a few yrs ago at the moment. Does it need longer do we suspect or is this as good as it gets?!? It carbed fine and everything, it's just so "meh!"

Fortunately I only made 16 bottles so if it never improves; no massive loss; but I am I confess disappointed as I was expecting something decent at least! asad1 Recipe and method I used is here:
https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/844423/biab-stout
The only amendment to note to the above is that I used 40g of sugar to prime; not 45; in 300ml of water.

Cheers
Craig
 

pilgrimhudd

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I'm not an expert by any means but Stouts generally do need a bit longer than other beers. But then usually thats because they are harsh and roasty as you say..... The recipe looks decent enough, was the grain ok? What yeast did you use the US 05? Fermentation and Mash temp ok?
 

matt76

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Give it at least a month to carbonate and condition.

The porter I made earlier this year was lacklustre after 2 weeks but had improved markedly after 4 weeks.

Having learned this lesson I generally leave my beers at least a month before I bother trying them - there're a couple of exceptions to this rule but certainly for porters and stouts you need to give them time.

Good luck athumb..
 

Hengoedbrewer

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I'm not an expert by any means but Stouts generally do need a bit longer than other beers. But then usually thats because they are harsh and roasty as you say..... The recipe looks decent enough, was the grain ok? What yeast did you use the US 05? Fermentation and Mash temp ok?
Hi mate, thanks for response. Lookng through my notes no glaring issues with mash temp. Start of mash was 66 which was 64.5 by time it finished 60 mins later. No fermentation temp control this time but fermented in a cupboard under stairs at 18.5 to 20c. I used US05 yes. Grain was all from Crossmyloof and didn't appear to have anything wrong with it. The sample was definitely stout like in taste and appearance. There doesn't seem to be any sort of infection so far, and it doesn't taste foul as I say, just doesn't taste of hardly anything. It's quite sweet but can't really describe any other flavours than that. I would imagine sweet usually means a fermentation issue but gravity was consistent over 3 days before I bottled...
 

Hengoedbrewer

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Give it at least a month to carbonate and condition.

The porter I made earlier this year was lacklustre after 2 weeks but had improved markedly after 4 weeks.

Having learned this lesson I generally leave my beers at least a month before I bother trying them - there're a couple of exceptions to this rule but certainly for porters and stouts you need to give them time.

Good luck athumb..
Thanks Matt. Been bottled for 6 weeks so far. I don't drink stouts and porters much anymore but would like to get it right to say I have done the style and as my brother likes them. I'm giving your podium ipa a go next time in my brand new fermentation fridge, arriving Sunday.
 

dwhite60

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What was your.......

Batch size
Grain bill
Starting gravity
Final gravity.

Could be you had a less than good crush and didn't get the extraction you should have.

All the Best,
D. White
 

Hengoedbrewer

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What was your.......

Batch size
Grain bill
Starting gravity
Final gravity.

Could be you had a less than good crush and didn't get the extraction you should have.

All the Best,
D. White
Hi mate

Batch size: I reckon about 10.5 Litres made it's way to fermenter. I mashed with 7L, sparged with 3, then added liquor from cold steeped grains (2L) which were also sparged (1L).

Grain Bill:

2000 g United Kingdom - Maris Otter Pale 38 3.75 77.2%
80 g United Kingdom - Roasted Barley 29 550 3.1%
125 g United Kingdom - Extra Dark Crystal 160L 33 160 4.8%
125 g United Kingdom - Chocolate 34 425 4.8%
260 g Flaked Oats 33 2.2 10%


Starting gravity: Here it got tricky. I was way off Brewers Friend's estimate of pre boil, it came in at 1.068 at 40c which is 1.073 at 20c. Was much higher than estimated OG. FG was slightly high at 1.018 but I read this was not inconsistent with the style.

Any ideas?
 

Brianbrewed

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When you measured with a hydrometer you got an OG of 1073?
Am I correct.
That would be an ABV of 7.2%
 

Hengoedbrewer

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I did- but I think this was because I had not stirred the mash sufficiently. Post boil the hydrometer reading was 1.056 which is exactly what I should have got according to BF.
 

Brianbrewed

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A FG of 1018 seems a bit high to me.
Might account for the sweetness.

Did you re-hydrate the yeast?
Was the yeast old/out of date?
 

Hengoedbrewer

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A FG of 1018 seems a bit high to me.
Might account for the sweetness.

Did you re-hydrate the yeast?
Was the yeast old/out of date?
I thought that 1.018 was high myself but as I say apparently it is not unusual for that style due to the addition of the porridge oats and oatmeal stouts are sweeter than dry. I've never had a beer finish that high before but was careful to check hydro readings were consistent for a few days before bottling.

Didn't re-hydrate; I must admit I didn't check the yeast for BBE but it was a brand new packet, of which I pitched 7g.
 

Brianbrewed

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Maybe you just don't like the style.

Get a neutral party to taste the beer & get honest feedback?
 

MyQul

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I usually find a stout takes 4 weeks conditioning to really shine. Also how much did you carb it? It wont have head unless you carb it sufficiently, (it 's got enough oats in in to retain enough protein to give it a good head)
 

Hengoedbrewer

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Maybe you just don't like the style.

Get a neutral party to taste the beer & get honest feedback?
It's a possibility...I like commercial oatmeal stouts though. I drank darks and porters for years pretty much exclusively, where possible. This one reminds me of a coopers Dark Ale kit I brewed a long time ago which was too sweet and a bit lifeless. I'll leave it another couple of weeks as I always treat myself to shop bought craft stuff at Xmas; and then if it still isn't good; get a nice hoppy IPA on the go and write this one off as an early AG brew which didn't go well, it can happen I suppose!

Thanks for the input as ever.
 

pilgrimhudd

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Yeah get someone else to try it, I brewed an Neipa in the summer, I can have a bottle but that's enough for me where as my mate will sink as many as he can.
 

Hengoedbrewer

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Yeah get someone else to try it, I brewed an Neipa in the summer, I can have a bottle but that's enough for me where as my mate will sink as many as he can.
I'll try one on my brother. He has never homebrewed but likes his stouts and porters. I might give it another couple of weeks first though.
 

dwhite60

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Final gravity being high may be due to mash temp being too high. Would give you lots of unfermentable long chain sugars which give you the sweetness.

More time in the bottle, especially at that gravity, will probably help.

All the Best,
D. White
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