Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Meadowfoam Honey Oatmeal Stout Tasting

Thistle filled with oatmeal stout!After six months, I’m pretty happy with my stout faucet and beer gas setup on the new kegerator. The only two exceptions are that the first tank of beer gas kicked before I served an entire keg; most likely that was the result of a regulator leak. I gave each of the fittings a turn and so far so good with the second tank. My other complaint is the dripping from the faucet, the small reservoir above the restrictor plate holds about a teaspoon of beer that slowly drips out over half an hour following each pour. Otherwise it pours a beautiful beer!

This Meadowfoam Honey Oatmeal Stout (recipe) is the second beer through after my Vanilla-Coconut Milk Stout. I’m thinking of brewing a Chocolate Pumpkin Porter next for the fall…!

Meadowfoam Honey Oatmeal Stout

Appearance – Beautiful depleted-uranium dense mocha head. The black beer yields amber highlights around the edges. Clear when it is thin enough.

Smell – High-quality chocolate bar, fresh toasty graininess. A hint of Raisin Bran. Also a touch of vanilla/floral, which I’ll generously attribute to the honey. Not a loud aroma, mostly thanks to the nitro (low carbonation means fewer CO2 bubbles to carry volatiles up to your nose).

Taste – Smooth cocoa roast, toasty, malty. More semi-sweet than dark chocolate. I can talk myself into tasting a hint of vanilla, but the honey is mostly a letdown. A hint of charcoal in the finish. Low bitterness, with plenty of sweetness, but it isn’t nearly as sticky as the milk stout.

Mouthfeel – I really like the thistle glass for nitro (I bought this one from Cristal Blumenau during our Brazil trip). Rather than allow the foam to float up out of the way with each sip (like a pint glass) it funnels the foam towards your mouth. Getting a bit of the head with each sip really enhances the creamy impression. Faint residual carbonation, tastes like maybe 1.2-1.4 volumes.

Drinkability & Notes – A nice stout, despite the July heat. The honey doesn’t come through as distinctly as I would have liked, but it adds depth to the chocolate. The raw honey itself wasn’t as punchy as the Meadowfoam honey that Ken Schramm passed around at NHC 2014, which is likely part of the problem. Next time I’d up the amount to two pounds, and try a different supplier.



kuni said...

Hey there, I notice you installed some supports (the red things) under your drip trays. I tried searching for a post about them but I came up empty. Do you have any more info on how you did this?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

They are big welding magnets, these one in particular.

kuni said...

Awesome, thanks!

RunDadRun said...

I don't know why...but that video of the pour made my morning. Looking forward to fall/winter...the stout seasons!

You just confirmed that a stout faucet will be my Christmas gift to myself (I am not the only one that does this right?)

Unknown said...

How do you have your nitro tap setup? Do you carbonate at all with pure CO2 first or just with your nitro gas? And is your gas pure nitro or is it a beer gas mix?

I got a nitro tap & tank about a month ago and I'm still trying to dial in the pour with my oatmeal stout. I attempted to force carbonate to about 1.2 volumes with pure CO2 first, then I hooked up the beer gas (70% nitrogen, 30% CO2) at about 25 PSI. My foam doesn't compact down as much as I'd like and isn't very dense either.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

As I mention down in the recipe notes, I added some of the honey to the keg for natural carbonation before hooking it up to beer gas. If you used pure nitrogen the beer would slowly go flat if it wasn't served quickly. No matter how much nitrogen pressure is in the head space, CO2 will come out of solution to come into equilibrium.

Mine pours pretty well right away, but the foam gets denser and stickier as it sits. There is likely some nitrogen dissolving that helps that. Clearer beer helps too.

Try dialing back the pressure to 20 PSI, see if that helps? What temperature are you serving at?

Unknown said...

Ah, I missed the part about using honey for some natural carbonation. I'm serving at 45 degrees. I'll try adjusting the PSI and see what happens!