Use of chocolate for flavouring

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by MZbrewer, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. MZbrewer

    MZbrewer New Member

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    I'm planning on making a stout with chocolate flavouring for the first time. I'm wondering what techniques have been used - should I add at the end of the boil before cooling and primary fermentation, or a later stage such as before conditioning? If a later stage, how have people got the chocolate to dissolve?
    I typically do two weeks in the fermenter, then add priming sugar and condition in the bottles.
    Advice/experience appreciated!
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If you're using chocolate, boil it. Its flavors aren't volatile and boiling will tie up the oils that might destroy the beer's head later. For chocolate flavor, cocoa, about an ounce of nibs for five gallons, and a touch of vanilla will produce that without the oil problems. Again, boil the nibs for about 10 minutes and add the vanilla later - at secondary or bottling.

    You can use cocoa in the mash as well. Just chuck it in, powdered or nibs, and mash as usual.
     
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  3. The Green Man

    The Green Man Well-Known Member

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    I made an oatmeal stout with cocoa powder for my Xmas brew. It turned out great. Definite chocolatey edge. For that I put cocoa powder (the type used in baking) into the boil.
    You can get chocolate notes using only chocolate malt, but for a chocolate stout I'm pretty sure you need to add some kind of chocolate ingredient.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Chocolate malt comes out, to me, tasting like coffee. Of course, real coffee in the brew comes out tasting like green pepper to me. When I want chocolate in the beer, I use the cocoa/vanilla combination. It comes out tasting of dark chocolate, depending on the amount of vanilla I use. For milk chocolate, lactose should do the trick.
     
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  5. MZbrewer

    MZbrewer New Member

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    I had some advice from my local brew shop owner. I am using lactose, 1 lb for a 5 gallon batch late in the boil. The suggestion was cocoa bits and a vanilla bean (as suggested here), but to essentially create an extract of both using a small amount of vodka, let it sit, and then add sometime after the primary fermentation.
    I'm going to give it a try, and will update here.
     
  6. dankbrewing@gmail.com

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    I have always used raw cacao nibs and roasted them at home. Then add the cooled nibs directly to the primary after all activity has ceased and it is almost ready for the transfer to keg. I have not bothered with the vodka and I recommend doing the transfer at about 24 hours after adding the nibs. Also, lower amounts seem to be better. I added 100g to a 5 gal imperial stout last time, and that was plenty. Also, don't be surprised if your beer tastes bitter and not so good in the first week or two after carbonating. The bitter fades and the chocolate flavor improves with time.
     
  7. MZbrewer

    MZbrewer New Member

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    A late update on the chocolate stout: I used 100g raw cocoa nibs and roasted them at home. Also used a whole vanilla bean sliced in half lengthwise, then put it all in just a couple ounces of vodka (enough to wet it) for a day. Then added that to the fermenter a couple of days before bottling (doing bottling conditioning). As mentioned, the vodka extraction was probably unnecessary, but didn't harm it.
    It worked out beautifully! With that and the lactose in the brew, it was chocolately, creamy, without being overpowering.
    Recipe is public: Dark Side of the Stout
     

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