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Experimenting with a chocolate stout

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Jedipartsguy, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. Jedipartsguy

    Jedipartsguy Aspirant (45) Oct 4, 2012

    Experimenting with a chocolate stout, and going the route of adding chocolate during the secondary. Can anyone shed some light on the quantity of chocolate needed.
  2. For a 5 gallon batch? 4oz of cocoa nibs. It all depends on how much cholocate tast you want. Average would be 4oz. Also how high in alcohol is your stout? The higher your abv then the more chocolate you might want. But a normal stout around 5% you might want to try 4oz of nibs. Then the next one you brew, adjust it to your taste
  3. Jedipartsguy

    Jedipartsguy Aspirant (45) Oct 4, 2012

    Yes it is a five gallon batch. We are only in primary fermentation right now, the potential abv read 8%.
  4. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (425) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    Let's talk about soaking them in vodka again.
  5. Jedipartsguy

    Jedipartsguy Aspirant (45) Oct 4, 2012

    What are we soaking in vodka?
    Slatetank likes this.
  6. warchez

    warchez Savant (275) Massachusetts Oct 19, 2004

    I made a chocolate porter once. Used an entire can of Hershey's cocoa powder with 10 min left in the boil.
    Made a real mess of the kettle, and plenty of sludge in the primary.
    Aside, from all that the beer came out great and tasty with no gunk in the beer. There was just a bit of stuff in the bottom of the keg after it kicked but nothing to worry about. Maybe I should find that recipe and brew it again...

    EDIT: It was an 8 oz can I believe. What ever the most common size tin is at the mega mart.
    ditch likes this.
  7. Jedipartsguy

    Jedipartsguy Aspirant (45) Oct 4, 2012

    good info thanks.
  8. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (425) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    Your nibs are dirty. Dunk 'em in vodka :)
  9. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Savant (425) New York Dec 20, 2006

    How much chocolate you add to the beer is going to depend on chocolatey you want it to taste.
  10. jmich24

    jmich24 Savant (415) Michigan Jan 28, 2010

    Brewed a Chocolate Stout last night. Added 6 oz of unsweetened powder at 15 min. My wort literally looked like hot cocoa. Although the cocoa got everywhere, the boil kettle cleaned easily. Report back your findings.

    My question, has anyone "keg nibbed" a chocolate stout. I am assuming my 5 gallon batch is going to last through January. (I will probably drink 15 gallons of IPA in the mean time) I thought if added 4 oz of nibs to the keg I might get more of a prolonged chocolate flavor/aroma.

    My recipe

    14 pounds 2 row
    2 pounds toasted oats
    .5 pounds british chocolate malt
    .4 pounds US chocolat malt
    .5 pounds caramel 60
    .25 pounds debittered Belgian Black malt

    1 oz Centennial at 60 (31 IBUs)

    I am going to add 1 vanilla bean for 7 days at end of primary in hopes of bringing out more chocolate flavor.
    Contemplating adding 1oz course crushed coffee for 24 hours before racking to keg. (Old Sock recipe) Just to bring out a slight coffee flavor/aroma.

    Then add toasted coconut, pumpkin spice and corriander to secondary.... just kidding, I was just thinking to myself my recipe is getting quite busy.

    Good luck OP
  11. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (545) Georgia Feb 12, 2012 Staff Member

    I've dry nibbed a couple of times. Never in the keg however.

    I won't get into the whole soaking them or not. It's up to whoever is using them, and how they want to extract the flavor. I find I get more flavor from them when I soak them in bourbon or vodka for a week or two, and then toss it all in the secondary and rack on it. Ultimately you nibs should be fine- they use them in cooking/baking and are generally bought packed up air tight in a bag.

    I used nibs in the boil for that bittersweet chocolate flavor, and then dry nibbed them the secondary with some oak and coffee in a stout.
  12. ditch

    ditch Aficionado (240) Virginia Aug 3, 2009

    I can't help you on the nibs in secondary. But I will agree on adding the unsweetened cocoa to the boil. I use 5oz at 15 min for 5 gallons and 8oz for 10 gallons in my stouts. Always amazing chocolate flavor!
    jmich24 likes this.
  13. drewbage

    drewbage Advocate (675) California Mar 15, 2003

    My experience with soaking nibs has been that soaking for beyond 2 weeks begins to extract astringent characters from the nibs. I had a strong vanilla chocolate porter that I added dry nibbed in secondary for 4 weeks. The resulting flavor was astringent enough that I rescued the keg by adding a 750 of raspberry liqueur, which brought the sweetness up, adding a big fruit flavor and acidity that successfully hid the astringency.

    So, I would say leaving them in the keg until January will yield less than stellar results.
    Slatetank and jmich24 like this.
  14. Jedipartsguy

    Jedipartsguy Aspirant (45) Oct 4, 2012

    4 Weeks seems long in the secondary. We added 4 oz of semi sweet, to the secondary I'll be checking mid cycle to see how the flavor and aroma are coming along. Will potentially be adding more depending.
  15. I've added nibs post fermentation twice, both times after soaking in bourbon. The first time I added to the keg and got some extra bitterness and started to notice a vegetal flavor after a few weeks, so the next time I did it I lowered my bittering hops and removed the nibs from the keg after 5 days based on tasting the beer and was happier with the results.

    So I suggest continuing to taste the beer if you are going to dry nib and be ready to pull the nibs.
  16. ABisonEgo

    ABisonEgo Savant (290) Illinois Jan 31, 2012

    im wondering where nibs came from. the question asked how much chocolate to add. this really is a good question and got brought back to the obvious generic answer with nibs. i think this needs more diving into with the use of actual chocolate (it is possible)
  17. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (545) Georgia Feb 12, 2012 Staff Member


    I know you are being a smart ass- but most people soak them simply because it extracts the flavor better. No really because they are "dirty".. Same thing with vanilla beans.. the high alcohol extracts the flavor better.
    ABisonEgo likes this.
  18. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (545) Georgia Feb 12, 2012 Staff Member

    Nibs give a good chocolate flavor to the beer, post fermentation.

    If you want it in the boil, powder seems to be the most popular. I use roughly 4oz in a stout, and 1.5 in a porter that I do, for a subtle chocolate flavor.

    Using actual chocolate in the boil.. not so much. Very oily, fatty, and will cause issues down the road like head retention, and I've even heard people claim the fats in the chocolate going rancid over time.
  19. ABisonEgo

    ABisonEgo Savant (290) Illinois Jan 31, 2012

    i know beers like choklat actually brew with bittersweet belgian chocolate and that turns out fantastic. i know about the head retention issue, but someone had mentioned before about cold crashing and oils solidifying on the top and just leaving an inch or two remaining when transfering to another vessel and said it turned out fine?
  20. I had the same experience. Messy, lots of sludge, but my porter came out excellent - wonderful chocolate aroma and flavor....

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