When oatmeal comes to mind, I'm sure most of you think: "crappy breakfast" . Well, oats are a grain, and grain is what you use to make beer. Although beer is mostly made of malted wheat and barley, small amounts of oats can be added to a beer recipe to impart some excellent additions to a beer.
I am currently in the process of brewing an oatmeal stout, in fact, I just bottled it several days ago and it should be ready to drink very soon. An oatmeal stout is a very similar to other stouts (Guinness beer is a stout, for instance), except that adding oatmeal increases the body, viscosity and silkiness of the beer. There was an article posted in "Brew Your Own" magazine that describes it this way:
"Typically, oatmeal stouts do not specifically taste of oats. However, the oats impart the well-known smoothness because of their high content of proteins, lipids (includes fats and waxes), and gums. The gums increase the viscosity and body of the beer."To put it in slightly less technical terms: Oatmeal has tiny particles of awesome contained within the grain, these bits of awesome are transferred to the beer during the brewing process, oatmeal's awesome particles are infused with the already sizable awesome particles contained within the beer, adding to the overall awesomeness of the beer.
So when I decided to create an oatmeal stout, I figured I would do some research on the beer to hopefully pick up some tips to help me out a bit. Within minutes of researching, I found probably the best advice possible. It instructed:
"In a sublime stout, you need to create an effective interplay between the robust immediateness of the roasted, acrid malts and the floral-aromatic reverberations of the hops."Uh.. Right, got it. So this is going to be easier than I thought!! As instructed, this was the first step that I performed when I started making my beer... you're just going to have to trust me on this one. I guess we'll just have to wait and see if I was successful in creating the "effective interplay". I'm guessing this is going to take awhile for all the ingredients to get to know each other well enough to commence in interplay...
Hopefully this will give you guys something a little more enlightening to imagine when you hear the word "oatmeal".
Summary for the Skimmers: Oatmeal has the lipids. There's no known cure... but it certainly makes for good beer!