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Old 11-10-2008, 03:45 AM   #1
Pelikan
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Default Adding Cocoa to an Oatmeal Stout?

I have an oatmeal stout that's on the verge of being bottled. I've just ordered ingredients for another stout, and I'll have some leftover goodies that I don't want to waste.

There's 4 oz of malto dextrine and 4oz of lactose. Adding them with the priming sugar shouldn't present a problem. But I also have an extra ounce of cocoa that I'm thinking about adding.

A chocolate oatmeal stout? The recipe has 1/2 pound each of black patent, British chocolate, and roasted barley, plus a pound of flaked oats, to give you an idea of the proportions already present.

Any thoughts?



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Old 11-10-2008, 11:22 PM   #2
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I'm still on the fence with this one. I could add the cocoa, but I might just make hot chocolate with it...



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Old 11-10-2008, 11:39 PM   #3
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At this point I think you might be best served saving it for the next stout and adding it in the boil.

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Old 11-11-2008, 03:04 AM   #4
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If I was adding it to the boil, I'd need to add a ton of it so that it would stay in suspension. Even then, I don't know that much would carry though. It's added with the priming sugar because the alcohol keeps it in suspension.

Either way, I'm not going to add it to the oatmeal stout. That one's already going to have a lot going on with the fairly heavy grain bill, plus the dash of malto and lactose.

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Old 11-11-2008, 03:13 AM   #5
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Cocoa doesn't stay in suspension not matter what you do. If you add it to your bottles, you will have a thick layer of it mixed with your yeast.

I add mine at flame out and then get ready for the thickest layer of trub in the world.

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Old 11-11-2008, 03:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Nurmey View Post
I add mine at flame out and then get ready for the thickest layer of trub in the world.
I made a chocolate Oatmeal stout and it literally took me 30 min to get the trub out of my carboy. I had to stick a finger in the neck and continuously pull out the thickest crap you can imagine.

I would also add it at the end of the boil.
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurmey View Post
Cocoa doesn't stay in suspension not matter what you do. If you add it to your bottles, you will have a thick layer of it mixed with your yeast.

I add mine at flame out and then get ready for the thickest layer of trub in the world.
The alcohol keeps the cocoa in solution. A lot of recipes go waaaay overboard with cocoa, because you need to dump tons of it in if you add it pre-ferment, and hope that at least some of it remains in suspension after the ferment is complete, where it is then dissolved by the alcohol -- and subsequently put into solution.

I should note that solution and suspension are two very different things. Suspension, like the word suggests, is one substance suspended in another. Eventually, gravity overcomes the suspension, and the substance precipitates out (aka: the cocoa comes out of suspension and ends up in your trub). Solution, by contrast, is where the substance literally becomes a part of the liquid -- it is dissolved and incorporated.

This is why you can buy chocolate extract, for example, that doesn't have a layer of gunk at the bottom: it's 35% alcohol, and has a lot of cocoa dissolved into solution. This is also why Austin Homebrew recommends adding only one ounce of cocoa powder per five gallons, and only at bottling or kegging (see here).

I was talking to a brewer at Young's last week back and fourth, to get a fix on the DC stout recipe (and am actually surprised the guy gave me so much info). He said, in a nutshell, that they add only the tiniest amount of bar chocolate to the boil, just so they can say they did. The chocolate flavor comes from them adding a small amount of cocoa post-ferment, where it is then dissolved by the alcohol and placed in permanent solution.
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelikan View Post
The alcohol keeps the cocoa in solution. A lot of recipes go waaaay overboard with cocoa, because you need to dump tons of it in if you add it pre-ferment, and hope that at least some of it remains in suspension after the ferment is complete, where it is then dissolved by the alcohol -- and subsequently put into solution.

I should note that solution and suspension are two very different things. Suspension, like the word suggests, is one substance suspended in another. Eventually, gravity overcomes the suspension, and the substance precipitates out (aka: the cocoa comes out of suspension and ends up in your trub). Solution, by contrast, is where the substance literally becomes a part of the liquid -- it is dissolved and incorporated.

This is why you can buy chocolate extract, for example, that doesn't have a layer of gunk at the bottom: it's 35% alcohol, and has a lot of cocoa dissolved into solution. This is also why Austin Homebrew recommends adding only one ounce of cocoa powder per five gallons, and only at bottling or kegging (see here).

I was talking to a brewer at Young's last week back and fourth, to get a fix on the DC stout recipe (and am actually surprised the guy gave me so much info). He said, in a nutshell, that they add only the tiniest amount of bar chocolate to the boil, just so they can say they did. The chocolate flavor comes from them adding a small amount of cocoa post-ferment, where it is then dissolved by the alcohol and placed in permanent solution.
Interesting...not that I really plan on doing this, but would it be feasible to dissolve some cocoa in whiskey or rum and add it to the boil? I would imagine that would have the same effect as using a chocolate extract.
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by zaprozdower View Post
Interesting...not that I really plan on doing this, but would it be feasible to dissolve some cocoa in whiskey or rum and add it to the boil? I would imagine that would have the same effect as using a chocolate extract.
The problem with this, I believe, is that the shot of liquor/cocoa will be so diluted by the wort that it may go back into suspension, then precipitate. Also, the hot, boiling water will encourage the alcohol to evaporate almost immediately (alcohol boils at about 173*F), leaving behind the raw cocoa, which will inevitably precipitate. Of course, not 100% positive on that, but I'm fairly certain this is why all extracts (fruit, herb, etc...particularly alcohol-based) are added at bottling/kegging.

It's more or less as easy to add the cocoa at bottling as it is in the boil, at any rate. Just throw your oz into the boiling primer water. It will sterilize the cocoa, and put it into suspension. After mixing it with the fermented beer, it will dissolve into solution and you end up with a chocolate beer that has all the flavor, but far less of the astringent, nasty bitterness of recipes calling for 10, 20, even 30 oz of cocoa in the boil.
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Old 07-13-2009, 02:34 AM   #10
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So what is the best way to get that real chocolate flavor? Like in Youngs or Brooklyn's Double chocolate? I just brewed a chocolate oatmeal stout that is fermenting right now. I added 4 oz of bakers chocolate at the very end of the boil...but now I sense that it may not come out with the chocolate taste I so desire. Should I add the chocolate to the priming sugar as aforementioned?



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