I’ve got two approaches to winemaking. One is precise….procedural. The other is “Let’s just throw some crap together and cross my fingers”. This was the latter. I’ve made banana wines in the past. Bananas are cheap - even the organic ones - and it’s fun to watch something that initially looks like mopwater from a Home Depot bathroom turn into good wine. It takes a while for the alcohol to cool down, but treating people to something exotic is a rewarding experience. I decided to make a gallon of banana wine with oats. Specifically, flaked oats. They were wicked cheap at Wal-Mart, and, having been told on several occasions that oats are probably not a good choice for winemaking because of a, b and c, I KNEW I’d end up trying it eventually. I began with the traditional chopped banana simmer in a huge pot. No peels for this run. Bring to boil, and then let it ride on medium for a spell. However, this time, I poured in a pound of oats with my bananas. Yes….a pound of flaked oats. There are probably a number of SMARTER ways to handle such a thing, but the moment took me. I can’t explain my thought process beyond…”yeah it’ll gelatinize, but if I overcompensate with water, I think I’ll be alright.” The sort of rough estimation that leads to building a lopsided tool-shed. I don’t know how the beer guys pull it off, and, for the moment, I didn’t feel like putting in the research time. I just wanted to have fun with it. I was able to separate the “water” with repeated strainings, but lemme tell ya….it was a hair less thick than Bisquik batter. Got a little more than a gallon, dumped 3/4’s of it, and mixed the remaining 1/4th with more water. Probably the only hope I have at being able to rack actual liquid out of there. I added lemon slices…a ton of pectic enzyme (would pectic enzyme clear up grain starch?) and two pounds of brown sugar. Then I tossed my yeast. I didn’t touch my hydrometer once. There was just something about the consistency of what came out of that frothy banana-oat cauldron that made me think, “Can I trust this thing with an accurate reading?”. Beer guys would probably have a better handle on something like that. Anybody done a wine with oats before?