Oats in an ordinary bitter

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Beer_Pirate, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Beer_Pirate

    Beer_Pirate Active Member

    Aug 14, 2017
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    Biomanufacturing Specialist
    I plan to brew an ordinary bitter, and while not a common ingredient, I was wondering if anyone has had success using oats in a bitter to give it a silky mouthfeel? Likely limited to 0.5 lb per 5 G since it’s already a low gravity beer.
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2016
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    Austin, Texas
    Might be interesting. You'd need good attenuation and a good hop presence to make sure it's not "bland" feeling, being low gravity.
    I'm not sure it'd turn out the way you hope, but you should try it and report back.
  3. ACBEV

    ACBEV Active Member

    Jul 25, 2016
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    Berkshire - UK
    I don't think its a common thing to do. But oats have ended up in commercial bitter and pale ale through parti-gyles in the past. Maybe it happened in also in 1943... Looks like you can sub potatoes for oats. o_O

    "Early in 1943, when the shipping position became difficult owing to the intensified U boat activity, barley was required for use in bread, and brewers were asked to replace flaked barley by flaked oats, but there were some misgivings about its use on account of its high fat content. A series of investigations was carried out to prove its suitability in order to satisfy brewers that they could be used with safety; 10 per cent, was considered a safe maximum. Owing to its huskiness flaked oats had the advantage of improving drainage in the mash tun, although, owing to its bulkiness, those brewers working with a full mash tun found it to be a disadvantage. A bad oat harvest in the following year, however, caused its use in brewing to be discontinued. The Ministry of Food then suggested that flaked oats might be replaced by dried potatoes, the drying plants in beet sugar factories used for drying the exhausted beet slices being utilized for this purpose. Investigations carried out with potatoes dried in this manner, however, proved them to be quite unsuitable for use in brewing owing to the unpleasant flavour imparted to the beer, and as the anticipated surplus of potatoes did not materialize, flaked barley was again used to replace flaked oats, and has continued up to the present time."
    Journal of the Institute of Brewing Volume 52, Issue 3, May-June, 1946, page 121.
    Give it a go, although I use wheat malt 3-5% in bitter for mouth feel, isn't it supposed to be quite thin.

    On a tangent... here is a mild recipe from 1943 with oats, which relates to the above, You could sub some ingredients to make it more like a bitter.

    mild malt 4.25 lb (sub with pale malt)
    amber malt 0.67 lb
    crystal malt 60 L 0.50 lb
    flaked oats 0.75 lb
    malted oats 0.25 lb
    No. 3 invert sugar 0.50 lb (sub with Golden Syrup or pale malt)
    caramel 0.06 lb (ignore)
    Fuggles 60 mins 0.75 oz
    Fuggles 30 mins 0.50 oz
    Goldings 15 mins 0.50 oz
    OG 1031.4
    FG 1008
    ABV 3.10
    IBU 24
    SRM 13 (colour will be paler if not using No.3 invert or caremel colouring)
    Mash at 150º F
    Beer_Pirate likes this.

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