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Author Topic: Aging an oatmeal stout...  (Read 15269 times)

Offline dano14041

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Aging an oatmeal stout...
« on: September 28, 2010, 09:22:36 pm »
I brewed an oatmeal stout last Sat. Should I move it to a secondary or leave it in the primary until fermentation is done? Also, how long should I bottle condition it? 4 weeks or can I start drinking it before then?

Tulsa, OK

Offline The Professor

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Re: Aging an oatmeal stout...
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2010, 10:16:08 pm »
Strictly a matter of opinion and personal preference.
My brews spend a week or 10 days in primary (stronger brews somewhat longer) then go into secondary for a few weeks or months (depending on the beer).  As many will be quick to tell you, the secondary is an unnecessary  step, but I feel I get a better finished beer doing it that way (and not insignificantly, a stubborn 30+ year habit is hard to break).

Seems to me that you can start drinking it after 2 weeks of bottle conditioning under the right circumstances...but I'd be willing to bet that it'll taste better after 4 to 6 weeks.
New Brunswick, NJ
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Homebrewer since July 1971

Offline chezteth

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Re: Aging an oatmeal stout...
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2010, 05:32:48 am »
I would definitely agree that 4 to 6 weeks of bottle aging would be better.  I've always found that the extra time in the bottle helps improve the flavor.

Happy Brewing,

Offline chezteth

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Re: Aging an oatmeal stout...
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2010, 05:36:35 am »
Also, with regards to transferring it to a secondary...  The only time I use a secondary is for fruit and big beers that need more time.  I currently have an amber ale that I will bottle after 2 weeks without transferring it to a secondary.  Hope this helps.


Offline tumarkin

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Re: Aging an oatmeal stout...
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2010, 07:15:01 am »
Most styles, especially bigger beers, will benefit from additional conditioning/aging. There are some styles (hefes for example) that are best drunk young & fresh, but they are the exception. Smaller beers generally will improve for 4-6 weeks (or more), plateau for a while, and then slowly degrade. Hop aroma and flavor is one thing that can drop off over longer periods. Oxidation can be an increasing problem if your handling/bottling is not done well. Infections that are minimal or undetectable at the start can become increasingly noticeable with time, etc.

On the other hand, if you brew a bigger, higher-gravity beer; try setting aside some bottles and taste them periodically over months or years. If you have the patience, you'll be rewarded. Aging beers can bring out some incredible flavor changes. If you go to a good beer bar, ask if they have any vintage beers. Sometimes they're more expensive, but other times not so much & then it's a great value & tasting adventure.
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline Beertracker

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Re: Aging an oatmeal stout...
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2010, 12:11:35 am »
I'd just leave it in the primary until the fermentation slows then either transfer it to the secondary or bottle depending upon the gravity. People often make the mistake of bottling the beer when it's too "green" so let the gravity decide. Once it's bottled then you can expect between 2-4 weeks for it to be drinkable. Enjoy your efforts!  ;)   
"A homebrewed beer is truly a superior beer." ~ "Buffalo" Bill Owens - American Brewer

Jeffrey Swearengin
Fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers (FOAM)
Tulsa, OK USA

Offline drunkenpuff

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Re: Aging an oatmeal stout...
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2010, 07:55:35 am »
I recently finished off a case of Oaked Oatmeal stout myself..the primary was about 2 weeks.. the secondary was a full year!! Man was that stuff awesome! I ALWAYS use a secondary for at least a week though. Happy Brewing!

Offline ipaguy

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Re: Aging an oatmeal stout...
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2010, 07:13:09 am »
I have a big(1.071OG) stout that was about 2 wk. in the primary (no secondary).  Sampling at 2 to 3 weeks after bottling, I thought I had totally screwed up by using too much roasted barley.  At 4 to 5 weeks after bottling stored at around 62F the roasted grain bitterness is really mellowing out.  If things keep trending as they have so far, that stout should be very tasty at 2 or 3 month old.
Primary: gotlandsdricke/alt/dunkel hybrid
Secondary: pale barleywine,
Bottled:  Gotlandsdricke
               Oatmeal/blackberry stout
               Honey Kolsch