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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Nelson Chocolate Stout with honey
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:52 AM   #1
Owly055
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Default Nelson Chocolate Stout with honey

I have a habit of winging it on recipes, in fact it's my SOP.

My Nelson Sauvin Chocolate Stout appears to have been a success in spite of mistakes I made. Mistake #1 was to add the cocoa powder to the grain before mashing. The result was a low mash yield, and I compensated by adding a pound of honey. That really was the only mistake, and all's well that ends well. I believe you need to "think on your feet". I was warned about the IBUs being too high with cocoa in the mix. This didn't turn out to be the case.

Cracked the first bottle today. One month and a few days from dough in. It was excellent. It seems difficult to go very far wrong with beer unless you go really hog wild. The Nelson Sauvin complemented the chocolate superbly. I'll do it again!!

The rest of the Nelson Chocolate Stout will age for another month or so, I just couldn't resist cracking a bottle to see where it's going. Good stout character, could have a bit more head, carbonation is just where you'd want it.

Here's what I did:

2.5 gallon brew

3 lbs 2 row
.5 lb Flaked Wheat
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa added to the grain prior to mash

Mashed at 152F for one hour

1 hour boil

.25 oz Nelson Sauvin (60 min)
.25 oz Nelson Sauvin (10 min)

1 lb honey added to the boil due to poor mash efficiency

USA 05 yeast

OG 1.058
approximate ABV 4.5%
target IBU 38 ............

While I'm NOT throwing this out as a "recipe", it is a lesson in how to "pull the fat out of the fire and make a good brew in spite of mistakes. It also demonstrated to my satisfaction that Nelson Sauvin is a great hop for a chocolate stout. Serendipity took a hand in this, and the low mash efficiency resulted in a product where the chocolate addition didn't drive the bitterness through the roof.

I won't be brewing this a second time using the same procedure, but NOT because the result was disappointing......... it wasn't. A great learning experience, and a good product from a series of "mistakes" ;-)


H.W.

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Old 07-09-2014, 03:58 AM   #2
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Could you describe the flavors with NS? Are you getting orange, or tangerines, or something else? The Combo of a citrus hop and a stout sounds interesting.

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Old 07-09-2014, 08:49 AM   #3
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Hey Owly005,
Thanks for sharing this recipe. I would like to try this on my mom and dad anniversary.

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Old 07-09-2014, 09:53 AM   #4
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Way to experiment like no other!

Do the things other homebrewers won't dare!

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Old 07-10-2014, 01:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayDubWill View Post
Could you describe the flavors with NS? Are you getting orange, or tangerines, or something else? The Combo of a citrus hop and a stout sounds interesting.
I'm getting the classic "wine" flavor that NS is named for. The result is the classic "chocolate & wine" combo that works very well together. Nelson is definitely NOT a citrus hop...... at least to my taste buds, it's not like Cascade or Citra, or Amarillo, and it definitely doesn't have that complex fruitiness I'm finding with the other two New Zealand varieties I've been playing with (Motueka and Calypso). I have quite a bit of Nelson, as it's one of my favorite hops.

I will definitely use Nelson in a stout again.......... My stout has been called a porter, but a stout is actually a "stout porter"

H.W.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis_Chia View Post
Hey Owly005,
Thanks for sharing this recipe. I would like to try this on my mom and dad anniversary.
Travis:

I didn't share this as a recipe to duplicate, but rather an illustration of how you can do everything wrong and still come out with an excellent product. My next chocolate stout will be made adding the chocolate to the boil, not the mash, and will NOT use honey, which was an "emergency measure". With a higher mash efficiency, it won't be necessary. Change one thing and the whole balance changes, so I don't know at the moment exactly where I'll go next with it.

What I shouldda done was lift someone's well proven chocolate stout recipe, and hopped it with Nelson Sauvin. There's no point in brewing with a really low mash efficiency. With BIAB, I've hit 83%. The cocoa obviously interfered with mashing. I would strongly suggest doing this rather than copying my mistakes. Honey is expensive and adds nothing to the flavor, and can create some additional issues due to the enzymes in it.

H.W.
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:51 AM   #7
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Wow cool idea using NZ in a stout. I'm not as much of a wine enthusiast as I used to be but I liked the wines that could be paired well with chocolate (like a nice robust port wine) so this combo sounds amazing. Might have to try this out in the future, thanks for the idea! Also glad to see it took just a little over a month to crack the first bottle. Are you gonna age any of the bottles longer?

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Old 07-10-2014, 02:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JakeSparrow View Post
Wow cool idea using NZ in a stout. I'm not as much of a wine enthusiast as I used to be but I liked the wines that could be paired well with chocolate (like a nice robust port wine) so this combo sounds amazing. Might have to try this out in the future, thanks for the idea! Also glad to see it took just a little over a month to crack the first bottle. Are you gonna age any of the bottles longer?
Jake:
I won't be cracking another for until early August.......... This was a test bottle, but it's definitely headed the right direction.


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Old 07-10-2014, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayDubWill View Post
Could you describe the flavors with NS? Are you getting orange, or tangerines, or something else? The Combo of a citrus hop and a stout sounds interesting.
You want to try citrus hops in a stout? Get some Great Divide Yeti. It's an amazing combination.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owly055 View Post
Jake:
I won't be cracking another for until early August.......... This was a test bottle, but it's definitely headed the right direction.


H.W.
Awesome, looking forward to hearing some tasting notes in August then.
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