After a long time off from brewing a dark, malt driven beer I found myself really craving a refreshing, chewy, hearty stout. I also have been eating a lot of oatmeal recently and really wanted the creamy smoothness and slightly nutty flavor of oats to come through in the finished product.
I based this beer off of the two successful porter/stout beers I have made in the past with some influence from my English pale ale. The beer is intended to take the middle road between sweet and bitter, but the malt character should definitely be the driving factor. One other important aspect of this beer is the yeast, Wyeast West Yorkshire Ale. I have wanted to try the strain for a long time and see this beer as an opportune way to build up a culture of it that I can use in anything that could use a bright, peachy yeast presence, from balanced bitters to extremely hoppy double IPAs.
A- Pours with a beautiful big cascading beige head. Opaque, very dark brown body with some noticeable yeast and hop residue at the bottom.
S- The stonefruit notes of the yeast lead with pear and peach. There are also some mild roast notes of toast, nuts, and just a touch of dark chocolate. Pretty much exactly what I want a stout to smell like.
T- Starts with light sweetness, toast and nuttiness, followed by some dark chocolate roast and a moderately bitter finish. The fruit of the nose is much more subdued, just barely coming through.
M- Slick and creamy, while a little low on the carbonation (the gas disconnect was not properly attached initially so this may have been slightly rushed). I can still get behind a lightly carbonated stout.
O- Very happy with this one. While I would have liked more coffee character it is still an oatmeal stout where the oatmeal and roast both come through without being overly strong to make this anything more than an easy, cold weather drinker. I'm also very happy with the yeast character as it stands out, without dominating or calling too much attention to itself.
Brewed on stove top. OG of 1.052, a little odd tasting at this point, though maybe I just don't remember what a stout wort should taste like.
Fermentation has slowed dramatically. Gravity down to 1.022; hopefully it will keep dropping over the next few days. Taste is good: a bit biscuity, grainy, and nutty with a definite oat slickness and a touch higher bitterness than expected.
Gravity still reading at 1.022. 8 ounces of maple syrup added, hopefully this will ferment and rouse the yeast. The beer might not attenuate any further due to the high mash temp and large amount of oatmeal.
My inaugural kegging. Set force carbonation to 30 psi to quickly carb for dispensing in a couple days.
Poured a tiny sample, gas disconnect seems to have not been fully attached. Will re-attach and begin force carbonation over.