Coffee Oatmeal Stout (with secondary)

Today I brewed an oatmeal stout with coffee added. Well, the coffee hasn’t been added yet, but the beer is in the bucket, and it’s fermenting!

I’m going to do a split secondary fermentation, 3 gallons straight up in my new 3 gallon better bottle, and the rest in my Mr Beer keg using vanilla beans.  There should be a small amount of extra beer at this time which I will bottle without secondary, and without coffee*.  I plan to secondary for about 7-10 days.

I’ll add the coffee into the secondary.  I’m going to try the cold brew method with a total of 6 oz coffee added to a sanitized container of boiled spring water, steeped about two days in the fridge.  I will probably use a grain bag to keep the grinds out of my beer.

The actual amount of vanilla beans I’m going to use is small, probably less than one bean (the stuff is pretty strong, or so I’ve read).  I will decide exactly how much to use in the next couple weeks.  I’m afraid to make the whole batch with vanilla, which is why I’m only putting two gallons of beer on vanilla.

On both secondary fermentations I’ll also add just a little bit of boiled DME/water mix so that it creates an additional fermentation (thus leaving a layer of CO2 on top, preventing oxidation).  We’ll see how it comes out!

Here’s the ingredient list and procedure:

  • Briess Golden Light Liquid Extract  3 lbs, 3 oz
  • Briess Golden Light Dry Extract      1 lbs, 0 oz
  • Crisp Maris Otter  2 lbs, 8 oz
  • Briess Flaked Oats  1 lbs, 0 oz
  • Crisp Crystal Malt 120L  8 oz
  • Crisp Black Malt  8 oz
  • Briess flaked wheat 4 oz
  • Crisp Roasted Barley  8 oz
  • Fuggles Pellets, UK  2 oz @ 60 mins
  • Tettnang, German Pellets  .5 oz @ 60 mins
  • White Labs Burton Ale

Note that I’m using 5 lbs of malt here, thus making this quite a large amount of grains.  Thus, I’ll be using a somewhat improvised procedure for this one.

  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. bring 2 gallons spring water to 160 F
  4. add grains (it took four mesh bags)
  5. steep for 50 minutes at 155F
  6. In separate pot, pre-boil 1 gallon spring water
  7. when grains are finished steeping, remove grain bags, add 1 gallon boiling water and bring entire pot to a boil for one hour
  8. add bittering hops, 0.e oz Tettnang, 2 oz Fuggles at 60 minute mark.  I used a hops bag this time, thus eliminating the need to strain after the boil is complete.  I did use a strainer to get the crud from the boil out of the pot before chilling though.
  9. During boil, added wort chiller, dried malt extract, liquid malt extract
  10. 20 minutes begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, etc
  11. 20 minutes add 1/4 tsp Irish moss powder
  12. stir occasionally with sanitized stainless spoon during cooling
  13. while wort is cooling, add 2 gallons chilled spring water to sanitized primary fermenting bucket, allowing it to fall into bucket to increase aeration
  14. when wort gets to about 75F, add to fermentation bucket 
  15. top to 5.5 gallons with chilled spring water
  16. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon
  17. ensure wort is 70F or a little less before pitching yeast
  18. pitch yeast
  19. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  20. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  21. ferment in closet for 7-10 days at 69F ambient air temp.
  22. two days before transferring to secondary, put 6-7 oz coffee into sanitized grain bag and steep two days in 1 quart boiled spring water in the refrigerator
  23. transfer coffee to wort just before transferring to secondary, along with a small amount of boiled DME to create carbonation in secondary and minimize oxidation
  24. transfer to secondary – 3 gallons in better bottle, 2 gallons in Mr Beer keg
  25. add vanilla beans to Mr Beer keg**
  26. take FG sample and bottle (after a minimum of 7-10 days in secondary)
  27. use 4 oz corn sugar at bottling


OG 1.055
FG 1.015
IBU 29.3
SRM 38.86
ABV 5.24

I didn’t get my new gravity meter in the mail yet, so no OG reading.  Not worried!

*I just did this with my Bleach Blonde Ale.  I had to transfer from the glass carboy to the 3 gallon better bottle in order to make room for new brews (I need the glass carboy for bottling, and put my oatmeal stout in my new 8-gallon bucket).  It was a bit early for the blonde ale but I would have dumped out about 20oz of beer, so might as well toss it in a bottle and see what happens!

**exact procedure for preparing vanilla beans TBD

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  • alcaponejunior  On May 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    This baby is still bubbling away!! I’m not that sure yet of my yeast procedures, but obviously they’re working well enough for rigorous fermentation to occur! My buddy gets back next week, him and I are going to choose the coffee and get ready to transfer to secondary fermentation. Also, we’ll be bottling the blonde ale and ESB. Next weekend should be a busy one!

  • alcaponejunior  On May 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Added the coffee today. I cold steeped about six ounces of freshly ground whole bean coffee in a sanitized flask with about a quart of boiled spring water. I added it using a sanitized funnel directly to the primary (which is on about day 9). I strained it using a sanitized muslin grain bag, folded several times. I went a little light and didn’t use every last bit of coffee. The estimates were 7-8 oz, I only used 6 and didn’t even use all the liquid from the flask. Hopefully it comes out tasting great!

    I’m going to transfer to a bottling carboy in a few days, then put about two gallons into secondary for addition of vodka infused with vanilla beans. The vodka is already soaking in two beans. I’ll add that to taste using my Mr Beer keg, which is easy to sample from. I decided to skip the original plan for secondary on the main batch and just secondary the vanilla portion. Reason for this is twofold: one, I have a trade upcoming and need to bottle soon, and two, I don’t really think the secondary is necessary.

    We’ll see what happens!

  • alcaponejunior  On May 27, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Transferred to secondary a few days ago (both halves, after all). Will probably bottle today or tomorrow. I needed to free up the primary bucket, and to split the batch to add some vanilla, so I just went for it. I really don’t see a large need to secondary for a long time, the beer is already tasting good and is pretty clear. The coffee was quite strong at first but has mellowed over the last week. I think it’s going to come out quite well!

  • alcaponejunior  On May 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Bottled the vanilla part yesterday. Wound up adding two more shots of vanilla vodka. It should be pretty mild tasting, judging from the samples I took. I think I’ll leave the other three gallons in secondary till this weekend, then bottle them straight up.

  • alcaponejunior  On June 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Bottled the rest of the secondary today.

  • alcaponejunior  On June 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Tried a vanilla bottle today, it’s coming along nicely. The head was almost two fingers and left some good lacing. I think it needs a little bit more time in the bottles still, but it’s tasting and smelling good, with just about the right amount of coffee flavor and plenty of coffee aroma. It’s not quite the Schlafly coffee clone I was hoping for, but then this is my first attempt at a coffee stout so I’m not too worried about it. It’s drinkable and it’s going to be a successful batch!

  • alcaponejunior  On June 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Both the regular and the vanilla 22oz bombers are ready, and drinking good. I got about the right amounts of coffee and vanilla flavors, but I’m a little disappointed with the mouthfeel. Need to change the recipe a little next time around.,

  • alcaponejunior  On June 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Oh and it seems that the beers I’ve done in secondary have taken a little longer to carbonate, but that if given time, they seem to still have plenty of viable yeast left to do the work, but may need an extra week or two bottle conditioning.

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