Wake Up San Francisco Coffee Oatmeal Stout

The best part of waking up? Beer.

And Wake Up San Francisco Coffee Oatmeal Stout is quite a beer. Darker than a pre-dawn sky, Wake Up was bottled with 2oz of coffee grounds cold-steeped in a French press for a complex flavor and stimulating buzz.

In fact, it may be a little too stimulating, as the beer has a nasty habit of gushing up out of the bottle when you pop the top off. If you're quick enough with the glass, you can salvage most of the dark brown suds, but there will be some inevitable stickiness. Everything tastes fine, so I doubt a bottle infection is the problem. My guess would be either too much priming sugar, excessive coffee grounds in the bottles (creating nucleation sites for the CO2), or both. I thought things may settle down if I let the bottles age for a while (you'll notice the February brew date on the label), but this seems to be a wound time won't heal.

6.0 lb Maris Otter
1 lb Oat Flakes
0.5 lb Roast Barley
0.5 lb Chocolate Malt
0.5 lb Wheat Malt
0.1 lb American Black Patent

0.5 oz Columbus (15.0%) - added during boil, boiled 60 m

1.0 ea White Labs WLP002 English Ale

2 oz. coffee grounds (Pete’s Major Dickason) cold-steeped in 3 cups water

Wake Up pours an opaque black with red edges in the light. Its dark brown head takes up 3/4 of the glass at first, but settles into a one-finger cap after a few minutes.  Later, when the head has thinned, a rainbow of coffee and oat oils swirl on the surface. The aroma is a deep and roasty, with an espresso-like character. The taste starts out with chocolate notes accented with pleasantly burnt flavors, followed by a gentle toffee-like sweetness, and ending with a twang of black coffee bitterness. The oat flakes and wheat malt lend a fuller body and creamy mouthfeel.

Given how much I like this beer, it’s a shame that so much of it goes to waste as soon as you open the bottle. At least I know it’s a solid recipe from which to craft upcoming stouts.

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