why use wheat? what about oats?

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why use wheat? what about oats?

Postby bredmakr » Tue Oct 29, 2002 6:03 am

I have a preconcieved notion that using wheat does not make good beer. Perhaps all the wheat beers that I have tasted have been poorly stored or are past their prime. Please help me past my wheat grain prejudice.

I have also been wondering about oats. My son and I love oatmeal. We have the basic oatmeal at home and I can't help but wonder if I can use it in my beer. Can I use basic quaker oats for brewing or do I have use specially processed flaked oats? what is the difference?
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I second that

Postby jayhawk » Tue Oct 29, 2002 7:23 am

You aren't the only one who feels that way about wheat. I have yet to find a wheat beer that tastes very good. I just brewed a batch with about 35% wheat and I am not too impressed with that either. As far as oats go, I love oatmeal stout, but I don't know what types of oats are used.
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Postby dartedplus » Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:46 pm

i have made several good beers using wheat. that aside, I have used oats in many recipes, but the problem with oats is that they tend to gum things up, so it would be very hard to use more than a pound or so in a mash. I am pretty sure that you can use the folled oats from a can of Quaker oats. There are rolled oats and flaked oats, and I dont think there is much difference, I have used both. As a matter of fact, the last time I bought some oats I got them at one of those bulk food type places, no doubt to be used at the breakfast table. Cheap!~!!! compared to what a brew store will charge for them. Dont be too hard on the wheat, although it is something that should be enjoyed fresh. Maybe you just havent had any that was very good. I made a wheat wine (a barley wine using 51% wheat), that, although it is too hoppy right now, tastes fine. I just need to wait a while for it to mellow .
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Postby Gravity Thrills » Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:54 pm

The great thing about beer is that some styles really float your boat while others don't quite do it. Weise, wit, Berliner - I love 'em all. The only wheat beers I tend not to like as a rule are the so-called "American wheats" - No character in most and designed to get the beer panzies to try a micro (Bert Grant's wheat is an exception, and a beer I like a lot).

As for oats versus wheat, they are both perfectly fine in beer but they do different things and have to be handled differently. If you are looking for head retention use 1/2 or so of malted wheat. If you have a wheat bias, use flaked barley for head retention, creaminess, body, and a nice grainy character in your beer. Needs mashing to keep chill hase problems down.

Oats will add full body and that "chewy" texture so evident in oatmeal stout. it is not used primarily for head retention. Good old fashioned Quaker rolled oats are perfect, but use the original variety and not the 1-minute "quick oats." Flaked oats are also fine and sttel cut oats can be used but these need to be pre-cooked before mashing. One of the big downsides to using oats is that they need a protein rest in pale beers or else you'll get a lot of chill haze. Obviously, this isn't an issue in a dark oatmeal stout.
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