had to give it a go... Xocolatl -Mayan Imperial Stout
So, I have had a great brew week. 10 gallons of biter on Tuesday, and then the third in my Scottish succession Bompa Bristles' 80/- Yesterday. I have had this fun brew in mind for a while and decided to go for it yesterday after the 80/-.
Whipped the recipe up this week though I have been thinking about it for some time. It is nothing new I realize and in fact other dicussions on here intrigued me to come up with this beer.
I based it on the Mayan (and later Aztec) drink called xocolatl which supposedly consisted of cacao (chocolate) chiles, ,vanilla, maize and sometimes other ingredients. That and an extremely limited knowledge of that civilization I set about coming up with a recipe.
I decided since I was really jumping int this and not trying to over think it and just have fun I would do a small batch. I ended up with 3 gallons in the ferementer but I suspect I will have only 2.5 finished do to heavy and messy trub sediment.
Anyway on to the particulars.
I tried to first make a basic Imperial stout recipe. I made it a full 5 gallons when writing it then scaled it down just because I am accustomed to working with five gallon quantities. So I will present it with the 5 gallon amounts. So basic "normal" IS ingredients are with an 80% efficiency...
13.5 lb. Marris Otter
12 oz. Roasted Barley
12 oz. chocolate
1 lb. CaraAroma (dark crystal about 120L)
I was actually short on the CaraAroma by a few ounces but decided to just go with it. I guess it would be about 12 oz.
Then some special adjuncts to give it that "Mayan" flair
1.5 Lb. Flaked maize
1 Lb. Quinoa of which I blended about half and half red and white
quinoa has a nice nutty taste to it. Not sure it will come through with all the other strong roasty flavors. though.
Rinsed the quinoa well to remove the saponin then, I cooked the quinoa for about 25 minutes then mashed it all. I was a little afraid of sparging problems but determined to do this. This was my first ever cereal mash too. No problems at all thankfully.
I wanted to not hop this too high because I wanted the bitterness to be more from the chocolate. I also realized that the hops would fade with aging. So I used 1 oz. of Millennium at 15% AA For the chocolate bitterness I used 8 oz. of cocoa powder added in the last 10 minutes.
I had thought about using creme de cacoa in the fermenter at some point but decided against it after trying Youngs' Double Chocolate Stout yesterday. That definitely tastes of creme de cacao. I don't really want this to taste chocolatey in the way you would think of a chocolate bar anyway. I want it to be roasty and bitter chocolate like chewing on cacao beans. Like I imagine the drink would taste.
So It is strangely ferementing away with 2 packs of safAle US-05 now. I say strange because it is murky and sludgy looking. Like bubbling hot tar or something. Krauesen is really just big oily bubbles.
Once it goes for a month I will either rack it off all the sludge into a new 5 gallon carboy (remember it is 3 gallons) or I will rack it into 1 gallon carboys. Hopefully some of the cocoa flavor will be imparted to the liquid as it seems the powder really just wants to settle out. Then at some point when I can get some I will add some ancho chili peppers and either some good vanilla extract or some vanilla beans. Seeing if my sister in San Antonio can get me some peppers. Pretty exotic fair for Northeastern VT!
All in all it was a fun brew. Can't wait to see how it turns out sometime next year!
Kraesun is lokking a bit more "normal" now. Took a while to choke up all that cocoa I guess. As you can see it is pretty messy, coating the carboy.
Kind of tough to get a good picture with all the residue.
Smells pretty good in the airlock. I am pretty excited about this. It has been a lot of fun so far.
while I wait for it to ferment I figured I would play with flavors some to decide the next steps.
Whipped up a batch of "actual" xocolatl today based on the information I found online so I could see what it may have tasted like. Using what ingredients I had at hand.
I took 2 cups of water and simmered about half a dry ancho pepper in it for about 15 minutes along with a couple of spoonfuls of cornmeal. Added a 1/2" piece of vanilla bean and about a 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. I used one of those wand mixer/pureerer things to blend it all smooth, pepper and all. Then I cooled it down as I have read it was a cool to cold drink. Also no sugar though I have read that sometimes honey was used. I just wanted to get a feel for the chile and cocoa flavors.
Interesting. Could only take a few sips. As thick and viscous as it is in body (like a paste) it is a bit thin in flavor somehow. Not as bitter as expected. I suppose there is quite a difference using processed cocoa powder vs. actual cacao nibs.
The conclusion. Ancho peppers taste great but are WAY too mild. There really is not any heat at all. Maybe they would be hotter from infusion in the beer (alcohol) but I am skeptical. I do not want this to be a fiery undrinkable thing but I would like some warmth heat to be perceived in there. A bit of kick to let you know it is there but not make it undrinkable. I really enjoy the flavor of the ancho though. I taste it more than the cocoa I believe. I just wonder if it will be too subtle amongst all the roasty character and high alchohol. Perhaps a combination of peppers. Maybe one dry habenero with several ancho peppers.
In another flavor project I put a few tablespoons of cocoa powder in some vodka to infuse. If I need to add some more cocoa bitterness I think this will work. After the initial burn of the cheap voda I can taste some cocoa. I put it in a small mason jar and just like I suspect will happen with the beer the cocoa has settled out of solution. The liquid on top is dark though and again I believe it has the cocoa essence.
Fascinating concept, keep us updated.
What was the OG of that bad boy and do you think the gravity is distorted by all of the extra "stuff" in there?
I like the idea of one habanero tossed in. Maybe strip the seeds and white pith to simmer it down a bit.
Very cool, I'll be checking back to see the results.
I had no idea what extract potential to plug in for the quinoa so I had to guess. I just plugged in 72%. Guess it was lower. I should try and figure out what it actually is. Too bad I suck with numbers. :o
What ended up happening with this beer? I'm working on an end of the world beer i kinda like to know if i should bark up this tree or just brew another stout.
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