Portsmouth Brewing Company is best known for its Russian Imperial Stout, Kate the Great. Last summer, I was fortunate enough to be en route to a camp site in Maine when Kate was on tap and was able to stop in for a few pints. No doubt, Kate is amazing, but perhaps overlooked is Portsmouth’s Oatmeal Stout. During the visit to the brewery it was on cask. Outstanding. I couldn’t put my finger on just what made it so unique, but I later found a clone recipe in BYO that gave me some insight. The recipe calls for a high temperature mash, Irish ale yeast and steel-cut oats (also known as Irish oatmeal). The steel-cut oats are added during the boil. This is a bit unusual, but makes sense given the hardness of the raw oats. A unique twist I needed to try at home. I decided to do this one all organic to enter into the National Organic Brewing Challenge. I made one change to the original recipe. Although I do have organic Chinook hops (what the recipe calls for) growing in my garden, they were not ready on brewing day. In their place, I used last year’s Centennials from the garden. Also, I toasted the steel-cut oats in the oven for about 10 minutes to give them more flavor and aroma. Otherwise, the recipe was made as instructed.
11.00 lb Munton’s British Organic Pale Ale Barley Malt
1.00 lb Briess Organic Caramel 60 L Malt
1.00 lb Organic Flaked Oats
0.80 lb Briess Organic Roasted Barley
0.20 lb Briess Organic Chocolate Malt
0.20 lb Briess Organic Black Malt
.50 lb toasted Organic Steel-cut oats (45 mins left in boil)
Hops: 1.5 oz Centennial (~8.5% AA, 90 mins)
Yeast: Wyeast 1084 Irish ale yeast (1 quart starter made with Eden barley malt syrup)
Other: 1 teaspoon gypsum added to mash
OG: 1.054 FG: 1.015 IBU:44 SRM:33.2
[Note: I had pretty poor efficiency on this. Probably due to all of the dark malts and unmalted oats. Adjusting your water more than I have may help keep the ph where it needs to be and improve your efficiency.]
Mash the grains at 160 for 1 hour. Add hops and steel-cut oats (in a grain sack) to the boil at times indicated above. Cool to 65. Let it climb to 68 over the next day and keep at that temp until complete (about 2 weeks).
I think it came out very nice. Lots of roastyness, a pleasant fullness in the body from the oatmeal and a good amount of sweetness. More than one person who has tried it said it reminds them of a fuller-bodied Guinness. Makes sense – roasty Irish stout. Just hope it’s not going to take me out of the style. Judging was yesterday – I’ll report back soon.