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How to Toast Flaked Oats - a Video Tutorial

Posted by homebrewdad on 3/20/2015 at 12:49:17 AM

This coming weekend, I am taking another stab at brewing an oatmeal toffee stout. Of course, like any oatmeal stout, it will contain flaked oats.

Flaked oats, like other flaked grains (flaked barley and flaked wheat) add body, head formation, and head retention to a beer. However, flaked oats are special - they add a fantastic, silky creaminess to a beer that is tough to duplicate with any other method or ingredient. I personally get my flaked oats from the LHBS as they are inexpensive and I can do some "one stop shopping". Others prefer to pick up instant oatmeal from the grocery store, due to the fact that it's the same thing. I haven't priced the two side by side, and am not sure that it's worth an extra trip to the grocery store to potentially save a few cents on oats... but YMMV.

They don't add a ton of flavor by themselves, but if you toast your flaked oats, you can absolutely add another layer of flavor to your beer. I've heard the flavor referred to as biscuity, toasty, or nutty; for my money, it's a slighlty nutty, somewhat "oatmeal cookie" flavor that plays really well in a stout - though I could see it going well in a brown ale, as well.

The process is honestly quite simple; the video below will walk you through the entire proceedure. Recently, my pal Derek of Five Blades Brewing did an excellent post on toasting oats - it's worth the click, and has some nice pictures, too. His temperature and times vary slightly from mine, but the process is otherwise almost identical.

All you really need to toast oats are the flaked oats themselves, a cookie sheet, a spoon, and an oven. I use aluminum foil to help prevent spillage (you can imagine how I learned about this). Bake the oats at 350 degrees F for 15 minute or so intervals, stirring the oats each interval (I usually toast mine for around a half hour total). When you are happy with the toast level, pull them out and let them cool; that's all there is to it.

Do note that most experienced brewers will recommend that you toast your oats at least a few days before you plan to brew with them; there are more than a few reports of harsh, astringent flavors that come from freshly toasted oats, though these dissipate with a little time. Simply toast your oats, dump them into a paper bag (or place them in an uncovered bowl), leave them a few days, then brew.

Naturally, some brewers seem to have no issues at all, and will toast their oats on brewday. This may be a flavor sensitivity issue, it may be a process issue; for my money, it's better to be safe than sorry, so give yourself some time.

Enough of my rambling... it's time for the video!

Tags for this post: toasting, toast, flaked, oats, brewing

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Everytime I see a picture of video of you, there's soemthing Disney related going on. Nice video Olan!

posted by Matt on 3/20/2015 at 08:13:55 AM

OMG I miss the 'real' southern drawl. Lived in Meridian Miss and Decatur Ala growing up - so sick of the over the top syrupy drawl you hear on TV. The ball cap shadows your face too much.

Great video! Fruit Looks and Mickey photobombs! :)

posted by mchrispen on 3/20/2015 at 08:56:25 AM

Yeah Matt, I'm a huge Disney nut. If I have my way, I'll be a vacation club owner sooner rather than later.

Hah, thanks, mchrispen. The TV versions make me cringe, I can barely watch those types of characters.

You're probably right on the cap.

posted by homebrewdad on 3/20/2015 at 09:01:24 AM

Just to further cement my nerd status - the tie dyed Mickey shirt I am wearing is one that my entire family has a matching version of. On our last trip to WDW, we all wore them on the same day.

posted by homebrewdad on 3/20/2015 at 10:42:49 AM