SWAMBO Chocolate Ale

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Nosybear, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Gents, my lovely wife has finally decided to get into the game, having designed her first recipe:

    http://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/r ... colate-ale

    She-who-always-must-be-obeyed ("Always" added to make the acronym pronounceable) wants a chocolatey ale using the sweetness of a locally-produced base malt. Anyway, I think this will be drinkable. Other opinions?

    THX and I'll let you know how chocolate syrup in secondary turns out.
     
  2. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    SWAMBO - I like it!

    Some variations:
    SWOMBO - she who obviously must be obeyed
    SWIMBO - she who immediately must be obeyed (sounds too much like bimbo)


    About the recipe:
    If it works it will taste like a chocolate milkshake, sounds delicious. I worry the residual yeast will ferment it, making it harsh and thin though, and possibly over carbed.
     
  3. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    What if you went with Hershey's cocoa powder mixed in water? That way you'd get the flavor without the added sugars. Of course, you'd want to avoid thinning the wort with too much water, so you could basically treat it like a simple sugar by boiling the water in order to hold more powder in suspension. Could you also add the cocoa powder to the boil, or at least some of it? That would eliminate the need to create a solution to add at secondary, or would reduce the amount required later anyway. Because it's not got the sugar though, maybe you could add lactose too.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm figuring the yeast will ferment the sugars from the syrup, leaving more of the cocoa than the chocolate. The advantage of the syrup is it's fat-free - no impact to the head or body later. I'm thinking of it as an experiment and will keep you advised. If it works nicely, it's an easy way to get chocolate flavor into the brew.

    The idea of lactose occurred to me - I'll see what it tastes like in secondary before making that call.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Evan, if I were going to go the cocoa route I'd go over to a spice shop in Lakewood and pick up some cocoa nibs. They have several kinds ranging from bitter to mild. I'd throw them in the last minute of boil. The syrup is an experiment - we'll see how it comes out.
     
  6. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    I'll be interested to hear about it, for sure. The experimentation is the best thing about brewing.
     
  7. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I used Cocoa Nibs once in the primary and when I didn't taste enough in the beer I decided to rack to a secondary on top of the nibs and that worked nicely. I'm curious to see how the syrup works though as that would be a lot cheaper then organic cocoa nibs - lol.

    I used Magnum in a DoppleBock I did once and really liked the outcome.

    Good luck with this! Sounds good.
     
  8. BrewHop

    BrewHop New Member

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    I would also worry a bit about that yeast making the brew too dry. You could try mashing high too like 154 to 156ish to compensate. Any beer yeast will really ferment the sugars in the syrup out in secondary. I am curious, though, why just not add it in at 10min into the boil? I dunno if that much chocolate aroma and such would be lost during fermentation but I could be wrong...
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Could do higher temp mashing.... The syrup is an experiment. It's sterile, no need to boil, no fat, a few noxious chemicals but that's inevitable in a packaged product from Big Food. We want as dry and neutral as possible (hence the yeast and hop selection) to let the chocolate come out.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It's in the fermenter. It's now Lola's Chocolate Ale - Whatever Lola wants.... Name change is due to her desire to split the batch into 2.5 gal American Brown (or thereabouts) and 2.3 gal Chocolate Ale. Grumble, grumble, yes, dear.
     
  11. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

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    Well I'm not dumb but I can't understand
    Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Earlier: "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets...."
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Four days to ferment in primary down to 1.014! Racked tonight and tasted the sample - this beer will likely stand on its own without the chocolate. Split the batch per Lola's instructions - a can of Hershey's syrup in one carboy and the beer by itself in the other. It's light with a hint of chocolate flavor even without the chocolate - Lola wants it called "Lola's Dirty Blonde" now.
     
  14. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    Cool, we get to hear the results of using Hersey's in beer with a split batch, can't wait! Love the name.
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Turns out the recipe, quite by accident, resembles something called a Texas Brown Ale. About the only difference I can see between Lola's Blonde and the Texas Brown is we used some Victory malt. The yeast attacked the sugars in the syrup as expected - second fermentation is winding down now. So.... Maybe I'll pull a gravity sample today and see what the green product tastes like. Stay tuned....
     
  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Initial verdict: Chocolate syrup works well to get chocolate flavors into beer. I used 16 oz (one can) in 2.5 gal of beer and got a nice, noticeable but not overwhelming chocolate flavor. And I mean chocolate, not cocoa. First impressions of Lola's Chocolate Ale: :D
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    The "Dirty Blonde" version is in the fridge to cold crash, although it's bright enough to bottle as it is. The only thing I'll do differently next time is back off the bitterness to about 25 IBU - there's just a trace of back-of-the-throat bitterness in it I don't like. The combination of the San Diego yeast and the Magnum hops with the Crystal as a finish gives a real lager-like effect, somewhat like an improved version of a Shiner Bock. The chocolate version hasn't brightened yet, I'll give it another few days then crash it. Verdict: Hershey's Syrup in secondary works like a charm. The flavor is true chocolate (cocoa and vanilla), a 16 oz can is about right for 2.5 gallons giving a background chocolate flavor but leaving a beer. I'm sure whenever Lola wants either, she'll get them, without much argument from me!
     
  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Bottling the Chocolate version tonight. 16 Oz Chocolate Syrup in 2.5 gal. gives a nice, subtle chocolate flavor. The base beer is very dry, malty. The cocoa and vanilla add a nice complexity and the sugar all fermented away. It looks nasty in the fermenter, imagine brown krauesen. While the base beer dropped very bright, this one is still somewhat cloudy - hoping it will clear in the bottle in time for the Colorado State Fair!
     
  19. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    Cool, looking forward to some pics.
     
  20. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Lola's Chocolate is carbed up and ready to drink.... And the chocolate syrup experiment was a great success! I'd suggest 2 16 oz cans for five gallons to get a subdued chocolate flavor, up it as desired to increase the flavor (next time I do 5 gal of Lola's, I'm putting three cans in). The yeast fermenting the chocolate syrup looks weird - the krauesen is black! But it works and it's an easy way to get chocolate flavors into beers. Which is what makes this lazy brewer very happy.
     

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