Cream ale with flaked oats...dumb idea?

Thinking about doing a cream ale but with flaked oats. My initial thought was adding oats along with the standard corn, but the more I think about it I wonder how the two would play together.

On the other hand, if I did flaked oats and not corn, is it even a cream ale anymore?

Any thoughts or experiences are welcome!

1/2 lb of flaked oats would help a little with head retention and add a little creaminess to the mouth feel. Otherwise would not change the character of a cream ale. Assuming you are doing at least a partial mash(both oats and corn need to be mashed) I say go for it.

Yeah, it would be all grain. Maybe 85% pale malt, 15% flaked, and maybe even some sugar to bump up the ABV and keep it dry. Probably 1.052 and maybe 15 IBUs, all at 60 minutes.

I haven’t experimented too much with oats outside of stouts, so I’m still not sure how much they would affect the perception of dryness I envision.

Thanks!

Quaker (or store brand) quick oats are the same as flaked AFAIK and cheaper. That’s all I ever use in oatmeal stout.

Never found any Cream ales to be “creamy” so I would love to hear how this turns out.

I have an “allleged” clone of New Glarus Spotted Cow (cream ale) in bottle conditioning phase that has both flaked corn & flaked barley ( 2 row, Munich 10, caramel 10’ & carapils ). Tried one at 2 weeks yesterday…very promising…noticeable improved mouth feel, but that can be from combination of flaked corn,carapils, & flaked barley.

Thanks–I haven’t used grocery store quick oats before, but I plan to do so this time. Not only due to price, but also because what I want won’t be a full pound increment and I hate wasting anything.

Your comment about a creamy cream ale was kinda my inspiration. I’m not an expert on the style, but I can’t really imagine a creamy one either. Guess we’ll see how it goes :smile:

Wow, don’t think I’ve ever tried Spotted Cow. The style guidelines actually list it as a commercial example, but if that grainbill is close, I may have to rethink my understanding of the style. Looks good, though!

New Glarus limits (and advertises heavily the fact) to “only in Wisconsin”.

From John Palmer’s How to Brew: “Rolled and flaked oats have had their starches gelatinized (made soluble) by heat and pressure, and are most readily available as “Instant Oatmeal” in the grocery store. Whole oats and “Old Fashioned Rolled Oats” have not had the degree of gelatinization that Instant have had and must be cooked before adding to the mash. “Quick” oatmeal has had a degree of gelatinization but does benefit from being cooked before adding to the mash.” So sounds like Quick oats are not quite the same as flaked oats. I think the Instant Oatmeal would be the microwaveable stuff found in single serve packets. NB sells a pound of flaked oats for $1.99. Might be cheaper than those little packets.

[quote=“brewdvm, post:9, topic:7171, full:true”]
From John Palmer’s How to Brew: “Rolled and flaked oats have had their starches gelatinized (made soluble) by heat and pressure, and are most readily available as “Instant Oatmeal” in the grocery store. Whole oats and “Old Fashioned Rolled Oats” have not had the degree of gelatinization that Instant have had and must be cooked before adding to the mash. “Quick” oatmeal has had a degree of gelatinization but does benefit from being cooked before adding to the mash.” So sounds like Quick oats are not quite the same as flaked oats. I think the Instant Oatmeal would be the microwaveable stuff found in single serve packets. NB sells a pound of flaked oats for $1.99. Might be cheaper than those little packets.
[/quote]Can’t argue with John. I have been using quick oats for years though. Quaker says bring water (or milk) to a boil, which you don’t do in the mash of course, then cook with medium heat for one minute, which we overdo for an hour or so in the mash. So I wonder if that would equal whatever cooking steps you would take for oats. Seems like it always came out for me.

Any ideas?

I’ve been using ‘instant’ oats for years now (and at least some oats find their way into just about everything I brew). With the instant variety you can bypass any pre-cooking. And at most of the "dollar stores’ in my area (particularly Dollar Tree) you can get a 1 pound container of instant oats for just a buck.

Never thought to use instant or quick oats in a brew instead of the “flaked oats” in the brew store. I might have to try this…

Any idea how to enter the use of instant oats in a recipe to properly calculate for it? Sounds like it would be a bigger boost to the gravity of a beer than flaked oats…

I’m no expert, but I’d start with the assumption that it’s the same.

The thing with all of the conventional wisdom and even Palmer’s and other experts comments is that they all seem pretty handwavey to me. Like sure, different varieties are somewhat different, but nothing quantitative. I guess that’s the main reason to stick with the HBS flaked, since it’s a known commodity.

With that said, my LHBS charges $2.75 per #, so I’ll probably try the instant at some point.

I’m not an expert either, but I have experimented some with oats. My conclusion was that oats don’t give the creaminess or boost in mouthfeel that the conventional wisdom says they give. They also don’t seem to give any flavor that is easy to pick out. In fact, I’d go so far as saying that the top use for them might be to lighten a beer without drying it out like using sugar would.

It might be a good addition for a cream ale, but used in addition to (not instead of) the corn. Corn does add flavor, and is part of the character of that style.

Thanks! I have to admit that I’ve never been able to perceive much of a flavor or mouthfeel contribution from oats either.

After all that, I decided in the end not to bother and do a rye cream ale instead. Pale malt, flaked corn, and about 13% rye.

Again heres where an experiment will help to unravel yer answer… Why not take known quantity, say 1/2 pound of oats, then one gallon of water, do a hour long mash. Check gravity to see what if any you git, then after it cools taste it…. Sometimes when theres a question about yer grains what it does or tastes like, you need to find out! Sneezles61

That test is one I have essentially done already. Last year I brewed a couple test batches of all oat malt beer. It ended up extremely light in color, body and flavor. It was very much like a light lager, with really low efficiecy and a hazy look. It wasn’t bad, just very plain.

1 Like