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Old 12-13-2007, 12:30 AM   #1
miatawnt2b
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Default chocolate espresso stout has a bitter bite. How to fix?

I brewed Tuck's Chocolate espresso stout, and I must say it is quite good. However, it has a bitter bite at the very end from all of the cocoa and espresso that I would like to get rid of. I have a few questions.

It's in the keg and carbed. I was thinking of adding some lactose to taste. Is this the right thing to be adding at this point?

I have just under 5 gal now (since I just poured a pair of pints) and I am wondering how much lactose to start with? I DON'T want to end up with a milk stout... i just want to compensate for the bitter bite.

Help please!

Thanks,
-J

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Old 12-13-2007, 12:45 AM   #2
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Don't know about the lactose. You could disconnect it and let it age for a little longer

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Old 12-13-2007, 02:43 AM   #3
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I'll second the aging suggestion.
As for the Lactose, I think it is a good suggestion. Your best bet to figure out how much to add is to pour yourself a measured amount and add lactose until it tastes sweet enough for you. Then scale up your addition to the whole keg. Probably start around 4oz for the keg which should take a little edge off the bite. 1 to 1.5# would make it a sweet stout.

Craig

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Old 12-13-2007, 02:24 PM   #4
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I'd agree, a little sweetness will contract the other flavors and 4 oz. of lactose is a good place to start. Dissolve the lactose in hot water before adding or you'll get a foamout.

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Old 12-13-2007, 02:46 PM   #5
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How’s your carbonation level?

If it’s at a “normal” level of about 2.5 volumes…that’s too high.

Are you serving off of a stout faucet or a normal tap?

A roasty stout and high carb levels will give a bite to the beer.

Before you go changing the ingredients, try giving the beer and aggressive pour and let it sit to settle for 5 minutes. Then taste.

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Old 12-13-2007, 03:11 PM   #6
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I thought about doing lactose in 2 oz increments, figuring i'd probably stop around 4oz from what other recipes seem to have. The bite is definitely from the cocoa and the espresso, and probably as well as the combined 3lb of roasted barley and chocolate malt.

Thanks for the help everyone!
-J

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Old 12-13-2007, 03:15 PM   #7
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I'll second the aging suggestion for the current batch.

That said, if you brew this again try using cold brewed coffee instead of espresso. It results in a much smoother, less bitter coffee. I add ~30 oz of cold brew coffee to my Mocha stout and it's not bitter at all.

Austin

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