This week Johns quest for brewing a good stout takes us to the Northern Brewer Oatmeal Stout Kit. Brewing kits is becoming an easier way to explore styles with a proven recipe and John knocks it out of the park with this one. Smooth rich dark chocolatey goodness sums up this kit.
This kit starts with Maris Otter base malt and uses equal parts dark crystal, English chocolate malt and English roasted barley, each at half a pound each. To get that smooth oatmeal mouth feel the kit uses a pound of standard flaked oats. When we shot the video I was taken back by the intensity of the chocolate flavor. The kit doesn’t indicate which brand of malt is being used so we could comment on camera about it.
Well I did reach out to Northern Brewer and they were very helpful as always. They told me that the roasted barley was from Crisp malting while both the crystal and chocolate are from Simpsons. Looking at the website the chocolate is indeed 450L and the crystal is likely 75-85L. I think these two thing together really make that chocolate flavor and aroma shine through.
John used my tips for toasting the oats and slowly raising the fermentation temperature. He commented on how quickly the fermentation went. Which is. It a surprise as English ale yeasts tend to work very quickly. That’s why I like to raise the temp towards the end to increase their activity level before all the sugars are gone the they flocc out of solution. The toasted oats really drive home the nutty quality and make the oats taste a little more like something good vs just bland oats.
Do you have experience with NB Oatmeal Stout? Let us hear about it. How about other kits?