hist-brewing: Oat malts and Domesday Ale update

Jeff Renner nerenner at umich.edu
Fri Nov 6 06:03:06 PST 1998

Badger asks
>Other than malting it yourself, does anyone have a source for malted oats?
and George replies:
>North Country Malt Supply imports and distributes oat malt.

By coincidence I had just learned of Fawcett and North Country's oat malt
earlier this week, probably as George did, through a chance comment on HBD.
Hist-brewing readers may recall my quest for these last winter in my desire
to recreate "Domesday Ale:"

"The monks of St Paul's Cathedral brewed 67,814 gallons of ale using 175
quarters of barley, 175 quarters of wheat and 708 quarters of oats."  The
Domesday of St. Paul's of the Year M.CC.XX.II by William Hale Hale [sic].

For a variety of reasons I ended up using 50% home malted oats, 25% malted
wheat and 25% malted barley and a little chocolate, specifically, for 3+
gallons of first run wort (just under 3 gallons in secondary) SG 1.096, 11
lbs. oats, 5.5 lbs. wheat, 5.5 lbs. barley, 7 oz. chocolate malt.

The mash and runoff went well.  Mashed at 112F beta glucanase rest for for
60 minutes, ramped up to 154F over 20 minutes, held for 50 minutes, mashed
off.  I could have made a second and third beer from either partigyle or
sparging (a braggot from 2nd runnings would be nice), but chose not to for

Fermentation went rapidly with 2-1/2 oz. repitched Strathcona yeast and
completed in three days.  There was very little kraeusen and the yeast,
which normally forms a thick yeast pancake, never formed a head.  The new
ale was murky.  I left behind a fair amount of ale due to thick sludge in
primary - with no hops to filter the wort, a lot of trub was carried over
from the boiler to the primary.  It has since settled out more but is still
murky.  FG 1.032.

At racking, it was incredibly thick, almost oily in mouthfeel (~10w40),
very sweet and alcoholic.  Shows a lot of promise.  So far I have refrained
from inocculating it with either Lactobacillus or Brettanomyces.  I have
found that lacto, at least, develops in old keggged ales in my cellar
anyway.  I will bottle it in 7 oz. nips with no priming sugar.  Even though
it shows no fermentation activity, I suspect that it will develop some
carbonation over time.

>From my experience so far, and with commercial malted oats available, I'd
certainly recommend others try this brew.


Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan c/o nerenner at umich.edu
"One never knows, do one?"  Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. 

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