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Oatmeal Raisin Stout

So I am going to try and make an oatmeal raisin stout to give out as gifts for the holidays and wanted some feedback on the recipe I put together so far. Specifically the grain bill and raisin amount in secondary, but other suggestions/advice are welcome. I put special b in to help with the raisin flavor and biscuit to aid with the bready aspect.

Mash @ 152 F
8 lbs. Marris Otter
1.25 lbs flaked oats
.75 lbs Chocolate malt
.50 lbs Roasted Barley
.25 lbs Black Patent
.40 lbs Biscuit Malt
.25 lbs Special B

2 oz Fuggles @ 60min
.50 oz Fuggles @ 30min

WLP005 British Ale yeast

Maybe .50 - 1 lbs of raisins in the secondary?

I was thinking of adding a cinnamon stick or two at the end of the boil, but I want the spice to compliment everything going on and not overtake it.

I would probably add the raisins at the end of the boil and leave them in during fermentation. If you add in secondary they are going to start a little fermentation again. I’d mince them before adding too. I don’t think you need the biscuit malt, MO gives good flavor on its own and with all the other stuff going on it will probably not be noticed. I think you could also ditch the black patent, the chocolate and roast barley will give you plenty of black color and flavor.

Okay cool thank you for the advice. so does anyone have any recommendations for the amount of raisin to put in? I know a little goes a long way so I was even thinking as little as 1/4 pound.

Most fruit beer use anywhere from 1lb to 4lbs of fruit depending on how much flavor you want.

I have no idea how much flavor raisins will impart - but being a stout, you’re already looking at lots of strong flavors from the grains.

I would go with at least a pound, mashed up nicely into a raisin mush.

Alternatively, you secondary in two vessels and experiment with the amount of raisins in each.

You can always add more…but you can’t take it back. There’s no harm in pulling a sample after a few days to see what it tastes like. Add more raisin if you feel necessary.

I was thinking there was a recipe in BCS that had raisins, but I can’t find it. Might be mixing it up with something else I saw. Anyway, I would probably go with a 12oz box of raisins, minced first so they don’t just swell up and take forever to ferment out.

Tom Sawyer’s comments are spot on.

I made a similar batch last Spring (without the biscuit or special B).
The “got ya” was the raisins.
I add 12 oz. of whole raisins to the secondary after a 3 week primary.

Fermentation started all over with a small krausen that was still strong after 2 weeks.
The raisins turned white and floated to the top of the fermenter.

The beer came out very, very dry; the raisin flavor really overpowered the malts.
Some commented that it was more of a sour style.

Doing it again I will add them to the primary but maybe only 4 to 6 ounces.
Mashing them up is a good idea.

[quote=“GreatDay”]The beer came out very, very dry; the raisin flavor really overpowered the malts.
Some commented that it was more of a sour style.

Doing it again I will add them to the primary but maybe only 4 to 6 ounces.
Mashing them up is a good idea.[/quote]

That’s good to know. Ignore my comment about starting with full pound! I guess raisins are more active than I would perceive by looking at them.

You might search “raisin” and read a little about people’s experiences. Some had an infection happen when using them in the secondary. Not that I think this would always happen, but its something to consider.

Can’t you get pretty significant raisin-like flavors from a Special B, or some other specialty malts? Maybe look into the grain bill of an award-winning dubbel and use some of those grains to get your raisin flavor/residual sweetness.

Adding actual fruit just complicates things :mrgreen:

Update for anyone interested. I decided to cut the black pat. but I did add victory instead of biscuit. I brewed yesterday and everything went great. I hit just slightly above my target OG at 1.057 (beersmith calculated it at 1.055)

I put about 5.5oz of organic raisins into the boil at 5 min. I soaked them in a little hot water first and then chopped them up in a food processor. I added a little cinnamon stick with the raisins as well. The only thing is I couldn’t get the raisins in the primary because my local beer supply store only had fuggles hops in whole leaf so trying to separate the raisins from that would have been impossible.

I was thinking of maybe adding an oz or two of raisins to the primary. Any thoughts on that?

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