Mairzy Doats


With this Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale the switch back to BIAB is complete. The reasoning for switching to BIAB was gone over in detail in the Oat Man and The Sea post, so I won't regale you with it again here. The short version is that I was looking for an inexpensive recipe that would pair nicely with the holidays. And baby, this be it. I was out the door at Brew Camp with ingredients to make a three gallon batch for under $30. The full rundown of what you need can be found on the Recipes page, or by clicking HERE.

"What exactly makes it an oatmeal cookie brown?" you may ask. The answer is essentially the same as the ingredients for the cookie itself: rolled oats and cinnamon. 5.5 pounds of Pale Ale Malt is the base for this bad boy, with Munich, Special Roast Malt, Brown Malt, and Chocolate Malt all making guest appearances. Throw in a pound of Flaked Oats and you have your cookie. The rest was throwing in some cinnamon sticks. The original recipe I found called for one cinnamon stick to be added at flameout, but I was afraid that wouldn't quite come through in the finished product enough. So after cooling the wort, I added another stick for good measure before adding the yeast.

I was happy to nail the Original Gravity and Final Gravity resulting in a respectable 6.0% ABV. One of my concerns switching from extract was not having the consistency it offers, but I've been quite pleased with BIAB's ability to be on point so far. Not everything went so swimmingly though. I bottled late at night after work and thought I had corn sugar to spare. I did not. I've used cane sugar in the past and it's been fine (hell, I know some folks who swear by it), but it wasn't the best this go round. The final result is slightly over carbonated and I'm afraid it affected the flavor more than I'd like.

Even with the cane sugar in there, it's a damn tasty brown. The cinnamon comes through subtly, which may be what some would like, but I'd prefer a little bolder flavor. The next time I brew this, I'll add yet another cinnamon stick to the primary fermenter. Or possibly rack to a secondary and add a fresh stick then.

Though the cinnamon is subtle, the overall flavor is not. Tis a bit rough. One of my favorite things about a brown is how pleasantly it rests on the tongue after swallowing. If a dog burrowing into a nice warm rug for a nap could be described as a flavor, I'd like to imagine it as a brown ale. My fair Mairzy Doats goes for more of a soft tapping as opposed to a burrowing. Like a pup that isn't quite sure if it wants to lay down or circle one more time.

All in all, I'd highly recommend giving this one a go. There are some tweaks I'd like to make to get it where I'd really like it to be, but that's the beauty of only having three gallons to go through as opposed to five. Experiment, drink, rinse, repeat. If you have any notes on how to tone down the aftertaste of a brown, or other priming sugar examples, please feel free to leave a comment below.

As for the name, if the words sound funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey, sing "Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy." A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?


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Brew Day is a brewers collective with a different obsession every month. Each month the homebrewers involved will tackle a different style of beer by brewing a batch and getting their malt-stained hands on as many pints of the same style as possible. Each brewer will bring their own warped concept to their batch helping to create as many variations as there are brewers involved.

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