Black Rock Oatmeal Stout

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Bort

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Today I have brewed my third ever home brew... a single can of the two-can Black Rock Oatmeal Stout (my own fault - should have bought two cans but didn’t realise).

To compensate for the second can I have used 1kg liquid light malt extract and 1kg brewing sugar (beer enhancer) on the advice of the supplier, Love Brewing (www.lovebrewing.co.uk). I have also brewed short to 22 litres and pitched the single sachet of yeast at 24degC.

The OG was 1.055 and target gravity is 1.014 which should give a hefty 5.6% ABV.

I plan to leave in the FV for two weeks then two weeks in a pressure keg before bottling in 2-litre or 1-litre PET bottles to condition in the cool and dark until the autumn/winter.

Given my inexperience in this field, how does this approach sound to you guys and do you have any tips?

My last two brews were a Bulldog IPA which was kegged way too early and with way too much priming sugar which resulted in a very sweet and fizzy beer that was probably very weak; I didn’t take an OG reading - schoolboy error.

We are now enjoying a very nice pils-style lager from Gozdawa Legacy Brewery which did five days in the FV from 1.040 to 1.012 which gives 3.8% ABV and it has been in the pressure keg for two weeks although I am wondering if I can bottle some of this lager at this stage from the secondary fermentation vessel (keg). Any thoughts or should we just drink it all from the keg?
 

Linalmeemow

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The stout will be fine, I never tried that kit but with the malt and sugar addition it's not going to be far off what you'd have got from 2 cans anyway in terms of body and strength. When you say the sugar was "beer enhancer", was it labelled as such? Usually beer enhancer is a mix of sugar and dry malt extract, so it may be even maltier than you'd planned.
 

Bort

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The stout will be fine, I never tried that kit but with the malt and sugar addition it's not going to be far off what you'd have got from 2 cans anyway in terms of body and strength. When you say the sugar was "beer enhancer", was it labelled as such? Usually beer enhancer is a mix of sugar and dry malt extract, so it may be even maltier than you'd planned.
Hiya, sounds like it’ll work out then - thanks. The sugar was actually 1kg of “Brewing Sugar (Glucose/Dextrose)” so hopefully it won’t be extremely malty!

Any tips on the secondary fermentation and my plans to bottle the stout?
 

Linalmeemow

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Never bothered with secondary fermentation personally, I just let it sit in primary until it reaches FG. As for bottling, use a priming sugar calculator to work out how much sugar you need if you're batch priming, or if you're sugaring each bottle I'd use about half a teaspoon per 500ml bottle for a stout. More than that and you could end up a bit fizzy.
 

Bort

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Never bothered with secondary fermentation personally, I just let it sit in primary until it reaches FG. As for bottling, use a priming sugar calculator to work out how much sugar you need if you're batch priming, or if you're sugaring each bottle I'd use about half a teaspoon per 500ml bottle for a stout. More than that and you could end up a bit fizzy.
Marvellous, much appreciated.
 

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36 hours in an no signs of bubbling from the airlock... should I be concerned?
It'll be fine. Depending on the yeast there could be a long lag time before active fermentation begins, or your FV may not be completely air tight so the airlock doesn't bubble.
 

Bort

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Three days later and the fermentation is still very much active with some pretty vigorous and regular bubbling of the air lock... got a good feeling about this one!
 

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Fermentation has definitely concluded and we’re at the target gravity of 1.014 on the hydrometer so tomorrow I shall bottle this stout in a combination of 2 litre and 500ml bottles to mature until the autumn... wish me luck!
 

Bort

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So today I have bottled the Black Rock Oatmeal Stout in 500ml brown PET bottles and placed the 40+ bottles in the garage (cool and dark). Each bottle had half a teaspoon of granulated sugar to help with carbonation.

How long should I leave these before chilling them and drinking? I was hoping to leave them maturing until the autumn.
 

Linalmeemow

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So today I have bottled the Black Rock Oatmeal Stout in 500ml brown PET bottles and placed the 40+ bottles in the garage (cool and dark). Each bottle had half a teaspoon of granulated sugar to help with carbonation.

How long should I leave these before chilling them and drinking? I was hoping to leave them maturing until the autumn.
You should leave them somewhere warmish, not cool, if you want them to carbonate at a reasonable speed. Remember, all you're doing by adding the sugar is giving the yeast another feed so you want the temperature to be roughly the same that you fermented at.
 

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20 ish °C warm for two weeks, then 2 weeks in the cold (can a garage really be cold just now?) before you tuck in. I try and fail to not at least sample on the latter 2 weeks 😁
 

Bort

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So I popped open my first bottle of this stout and it’s not too bad... just a little too malty as someone suggested it may be earlier in this thread. Got a good few dozen bottles to go so will try another one in a few weeks to see if the flavour has deepens a bit more.
 

Bort

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I opened another bottle of this stout earlier this week and the malty flavours have toned down a little and it's quite a nice tipple although it feel much more like a very dark European lager with a bit of fizz rather than a smooth stout. Head retention is minimal.

Not sure where I've gone wrong here but this isn't what I was hoping for in terms of a stout but none-the-less, the result is very drinkable!

I shaln't be brewing this kit again, however.
 

Linalmeemow

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I opened another bottle of this stout earlier this week and the malty flavours have toned down a little and it's quite a nice tipple although it feel much more like a very dark European lager with a bit of fizz rather than a smooth stout. Head retention is minimal.

Not sure where I've gone wrong here but this isn't what I was hoping for in terms of a stout but none-the-less, the result is very drinkable!

I shaln't be brewing this kit again, however.
If you're expecting anything like a nitro-poured stout in a pub, or even a hand-pulled stout from a bottle you're going to be sorely disappointed. It's pretty much impossible to get that smoothness from bottle conditioned beer, at least in my experience.
 

Bort

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I’m new to all this and as I love a stout/porter thought the home brew kits of this style would give more of a likeness to such beers than I have achieved here.

Is this about the best I can do or are there any tips people have or recommended kits/recipes for making a good quality home brew stout or porter?
 

Linalmeemow

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You're very limited with the kits that are available. Try Coopers Stout though, it's bombproof, probably the most reliably good stout kit on the market. You can monkey about with it to make a good imperial stout too.
 
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