Ok, so I'm a relatively new brewer. I've done probably 10 brews, however I've always done it out of a kit and have kegged it afterwards. Brewing from a kit is super easy, it's basically boil it, bucket it, put it in a keg. I have a few questions though, since I'm trying to brew without a kit this time. I went to the homebrew store, told them what I wanted to make, and they gave me the ingredients, but I don't have instructions. First off, here's what I have:

1 lb Plain Extra Dark DME,
A bag of grains,
5 oz lactose,
1 oz Czech Saaz hop pellets,
Irish moss

I'm looking to brew a 1 gallon vanilla coffee oatmeal milk stout. Can anyone help me out with what times and temperatures would be a good estimate to accomplish this? What I'm thinking based on how I remember brewing from kits, I should boil the grain bag for about 20 minutes, reduce to about 165 degrees and add the hop pellets, 1 oz of lactose, and the DME for about 45 minutes. The Irish moss I add 1/4 tsp in the last 15 minutes.

Does all this sound right? If not, which step should I change?

Also, when would I add the oats? Would that go in with my grains, then removed after the 20 minutes, or should I add that later and siphon out?

  • 1
    see howtobrew.com/section2/index.html
    – dax
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 14:11
  • 1
    Hi Rick, welcome to the site! With the StackExchange format it's best to ask each question separately rather than lumping all 3 questions together, that way you get better focused answers, and other people looking for the same answers will have an easier time finding them. But before posting the questions separately, please also search the site since there's a good chance similar questions have been asked before regarding handing extract with grain, oats and adding coffee.
    – mdma
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 17:44
  • I've removed the last question about coffee so you can post that as a separate question if you find it's not answered by another question on this site, e.g. Using Coffee in Beer
    – mdma
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 17:47

2 Answers 2


You don't want to boil the grains, that will make the beer very harsh and astringent (like tea that has stewed too long.) Looks like you got it backwards - start at 165°F to steep the grains, then remove the grains and then turn on the heat bring the liquid to a boil.

You need to steep both the grains and oats in hot water - so that the whole mixture ends up around 150-165°F. Leave this to stand for 30 mins and then separate the grains/oats from the water. (Storing the grains/oats in a grain bag can help, otherwise filter through a sieve, cheese cloth etc..)

You can bring the extract from the grains/oats up to the boil, add the hops and the liquid extract, and sufficient water to bring it up half a gallon or so. I'm puzzled with the hops, since they're not what I would consider to be a typical variety in a stout - so they could be either for bittering or for flavor or both, but typically not aroma in a Stout. Also 1oz for 1 gallon is quite a lot of bittering hops, so I would boil for flavor only 15-20 minutes, and you'll still get a good degree of hop bitterness because of the quantity of hops.

After boiling top up with cold water to 1 gallon and leave to cool/chill. When at 75°F/23°C pitch the yeast.

  • If you use a grain bag, don't do what I did and tie it off close to the grain. I had a packed mass of grain and the water didn't circulate through it well, and I missed my OG by almost ten points because of the resulting poor efficiency.
    – TMN
    Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 14:57
  • I don't know if this is proper for the site, as you previously told me I was incorrect in asking numerous questions in one post. However, I just wanted to thank you for the help. This turned out exactly how I wanted, like a smooth vanilla iced coffee.
    – Rick
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 21:23
  • Great to hear it turned out as you wanted! Comments on results are always welcome since they help support the answer.
    – mdma
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 21:59

Though I admire your efforts tremendously, wouldn't it be easier to go with a more straightforward recipe for your 1st non-kit brew? Just my opinion, but it might help you hone your skills. Vanilla, Coffee, Oatmeal, Milk? All in the same brew? Why not just start with an Oatmeal Stout first?

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