Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blueberry Oatmeal Stout

Sandy Jaywalker to Blueberry Stout, these guys are on roll! I'm happy to have them back to brew another batch. This time, they're putting an interesting twist on a sweet style oatmeal stout...hand picked Michigan blueberries. This time, their Dad was here to give brewing a try, and I really like how he enjoyed observing how the scents and tastes change from grains, to mashing in, for sparging, and then boiling and hops. It really is remarkable how all the flavors come together, and then they continue to mature in the bottle.

I've been teaching the art and science of brewing to a handful of friends. I've brewed my fair share, so it feels extra good to have others experience the satisfaction of brewing their own beer form scratch...the all-grain way. It's truly rewarding for everyone.

At first, I didn't think a blueberry stout was such a good idea. Then, I thought of a beer brewed by Wisconsin's Society of Oshkosh Brewers (SOB), a blackberry stout. I'm not sure if it was blackberry flavoring, or the real fruit, but it was fantastic! Also, I remember seeing Dark Horse Tres on the web. Apparently it gets rave reviews on both rate-beer & beer-advocate. So then, my brain's recipe generator wheels started spinning.

Some of you may know by now how much I love blueberry ales...especially with fully fermented crushed berries. This is a very gentle/subtle flavor and aroma. In the Belgian Blue, I'm trying a new technique of adding the fruit to the primary fermenter, after high kreausen, in hopes to retain as much flavor and aroma as possible. Since this stout will have much of the classic roast and chocolate intensity, I hope this technique will work out here.

As we sat around after brewing the stout, we enjoyed a bottled of my year old Blueberry 2. After analyzing it, to see how we might approach adding blueberries to the stout base beer, Matt rose a question about how the blueberry skins may add a bit of acidity. I think he may be right. I haven't really focused on that being too evident, but that may be the attributing factor of my Blueberry 2 as being half wine-like. So for their Blueberry Stout, we will crush the blueberries, filter out the skins, and add the fresh juice in two stages to the primary fermenter.

Blueberry Oatmeal Stout

7.25 lbs. Organic 2-Row
1.50 lbs. Flaked Oats
0.75 lbs. Canadian Honey Malt
0.75 lbs. Crystal 80L
0.75 lbs. Chocolate Malt
0.75 lbs. UK Roasted Barley

5 lbs. Fresh Blueberries, crushed, post kraeusen
6 lbs. Fresh Blueberries, crushed, added 8/18

1 oz. Glacier, 7.4%, pellet, 105min
1 oz. Cascade, 6.3%, pellet, 10min

Wyeast 1056: American Ale 12oz. starter

Brew Day Stats

Brewed: 8/12/08
Racked: just primary
Bottled: 9/9/08

Water Adjustment:
Strike: 1 tsp Gypsum, 1 tsp chalk
2nd Sparge: 1 tsp Gypsum
Boil: .5 tsp Kosher Salt

H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.15 qt/lb
Mash Ph: 5.3-.4
Sacch. Rest Temp/Time: 153°F/60min
Mash Out Temp/Time: 165°F/15min
1st Batch SG: 1.064

2nd Batch Sparge Vol/H2OTemp/MashTemp: 3gal/184°F/170°F
2nd Sparge SG: 1.028

Pre-Boil Vol: 6.35
Pre-Boil SG: 1.050
Boil Time: 120min low evaporation rate
Post-Boil Vol: 4.9
Mash Efficiency: 85%

OG malts: 1.060 (1 point shy)
OG w/blueberries: approx. 1.070?
IBU: approx. 37
Color/SRM: black
Ferment Temp: 72°F

FG: 1.019javascript:void(0)
ABW: 5.35%
ABV: 6.7%


Kevin LaVoy said...

That's great that they got their dad in on it. I think I told you I got my dad a kit for Christmas last year, and it is a lot of fun talking with him about his latest "witches brew" as he likes to call it. My mom likes it because he cleans the kitchen before and after. That must have been a thrill for all three of them.

That is an interesting take on the idea that the blueberry skins would contribute acidity. In a regular ale, it might almost give it a bite that one would associate with Brett, but without the long term aging. Hmmm.

Ted Danyluk said...


It was a Fathers Day/Birthday experiential gift to their Dad. He did enjoy it a good deal. I think they all got more excited with each step, about how the wort was evolving. Then we hit our target OG and volume, we all got even more excited. It really does smell and taste very rich, and we think the sweetness in the honey malt has come through nicely in each step.

Can't wait to taste this brew, and feel it texture. The blueberry skins produce a very mild acidity...nothing that would cause you to say that it was noticeable or imposing on the overall flavor of the beer (Blueberry 2). I think you'd have to add a small amount of unpasteurized/uncleaned whole fruits in addition (grapes, plums, corn, etc.) to get the skins, and wild yeasts to contribute more a noticeable funky/acidic flavor.

Brian said...

Howdy Ted,

This sounds delicious! I'm really curious to hear about how this turns out..talk about a deserty soundng beer!

Anyhow please do post follow ups on this bad boy, oh and I also noticed that my link (under your blog role) is broken. if you would kinldly update it to www.dailyikura.com I would be grateful. Oh and it's also a 50/50 mix of beer and cooking now so if you dont feel it applies thats cool too.