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Old 01-14-2009, 03:33 PM   #1
kevmoron
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Default cacao nibs in a chocolate stout

I'm interested in hearing from those who have used these before. A friend of mine who makes gourmet chocolate for a living gave me a bunch of really great cacao nibs to use in a beer, so this weekend I'll be brewing a stout that I can use them with.

I know that Sam Adams adds these to the secondary fermenter for their Chocolate Bock, and I've heard that other people on here do the same. So I'm thinking of adding 8 oz to the secondary and letting it sit there for two weeks.

My only reservation is sanitation. I know that with dry hopping, sanitation is not such a worry because the hops are antimicrobial, but this is not the case with nibs. Does anyone that has used these in the secondary have a secret as to how to do this safely, or should I just take the risk and hope for the best?

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Old 01-14-2009, 04:26 PM   #2
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I ground them up slightly with a coffee grinder to expose the insides then roasted them in an oven @350 for 30 minutes with no issues. You could also soak them in a neutral spirit like vodka for a day or so and then add them.

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Old 01-14-2009, 04:39 PM   #3
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I threw 7oz in a hop bag and let them sit in secondary for a week. I've been told that longer than a week starts imposing "smokey" flavors. I pulled it out of secondary and bottled it on Sunday and the aroma was awesome. Very distinct bitter chocolate. Definately cacao.

I didn't really do much, sanitation wise. The beer in secondary already has some hops and alcohol to help it defend itself, but giving the nibs a dunk in star-san probably wouldnt hurt them or the beer.

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Old 01-14-2009, 04:43 PM   #4
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I had mine in secondary for at least three weeks and did not experience any smokey flavors.

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Old 01-14-2009, 04:58 PM   #5
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I just threw them in and didn't have a problem. I let it sit for two weeks and got a pretty chocolatey flavor.

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Old 01-14-2009, 05:33 PM   #6
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From what I have read the best thing to do is add them to the secondary. The alcohol really helps bring out the cocoa. People at Pro brewer have no worrys about it.

2 weeks is the max you should have them in though otherwise things get rather acidic but . . . . as the above say - no probs.

Just toss them in like hops I was told.

I have 8 oz waiting for a batch. they taste YUCKY!!

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