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Flaked Oats

I brew extract; all kits right now. When would I want to add flaked oats to supplement the ingredients included in kits? I see in the forums that some add oats to stouts and porters.

Do you just treat the oats like other specialty grains - steep for 30 mins?

Thinking about getting some big beer into primary for winter drinking.

Thank you in advance for the responses.

Yes, steep with the rest of your specialty grains.

Do you just treat the oats like other specialty grains - steep for 30 mins?[/quote]

No, Most all specialty MALT has had the starch converted to sugar during the malting and their sugar/flavor/aroma is extracted to the brewing water during a steep in extract brewing or during the mash and/or sparge(If mash is capped) of an all grain session. So bottom line there is no conversion or mashing required with color malts.

Flaked cereal such as oats must be mashed with a portion of base grain in order to convert the starch to sugar as the oats do not contain the enzymes to self convert. When the cereal such as oats is flaked the only thing happening is the starch is being gelatinized prior to mashing. If the cereal is not flaked before mashing then it requires a cereal “mash” first before being added to the main mash for conversion. If you add any unmashed cereal to the wort in this fashion you will extract only unconverted starch and fatty acids that are detrimental to beer foam and create spoilage and/or shelf life concerns and then the starch adds to haze and astringency issues. You stand to only lose if not mashing(or partial mashing as the case would be if using extracts as the main portion of sugars) to extract sugar/flavor/aroma of the cereal correctly.

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