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Old 10-02-2012, 02:10 AM   #1
brentt03
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Default Nibs?!

So we've made a Christmas stout and plan to add some cocao nibs to give a bit of chocolatey aroma. Our plan as of now is to add 8oz. for a 15gal batch, but from what I'm reading this doesn't seem like a whole lot?!

Fermentation should be complete by the wknd, so I plan on crushing the nibs, soaking them in vodka and adding in a bag to the fermenter. Plan is to let them sit for a week. Are they really worth it??



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Old 10-02-2012, 02:20 AM   #2
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I made a chocolate oatmeal stout last winter with cocoa nibs and thought it was pretty good. They add chocolate aroma and a cocoa bitterness but not much actual chocolate flavor. I soaked mine in vodka for about a week, let them sit in the fermenter for two weeks and then kegged. In general I say go for it. Unless you're really feeling scientific, then I'd suggest splitting up the batch. You've got 15 gallons. Do 5 without, 5 with some and 5 with some more so you can really tell the difference. Either way, post your results!



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Old 10-02-2012, 06:55 AM   #3
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Cocoa nibs are one of my favorite ingredients whether in brewing or in baking.

For me personally, 8oz in a 15 gallon batch is really not that much at all. It really depends on how much time you have to extract the cocoa goodness from the nibs.

I personally will use around 4-6ozs per 5 gallon batch. I let it sit until I get the cocoa flavor that I want, yup this means testing every few days.

It's similar to other adjuncts that you would add to secondary fermentation...
More nibs = less time to wait to extract, less nibs = more time to extract. I think however that they catch some people off guard because they give off a cocoa characteristic rather than a chocolate characteristic. Most people think of sweet, creamy, and fat when they think of chocolate. Wheras cocoa nibs have more coffee bean-like characteristics and in some cases a dry astringency.

I noticed that on a batch I left in secondary to extract for over 3 weeks that the nibs gave off a more earthy and soil-like complexity similar to tree-bark and red clay.

Also, I find that it's unnecessary to soak them in vodka or alcohol...usually by the time I add them to secondary my brew has already fermented out and the alcohol will be high enough to tolerate them.

What style of beer did you brew for them? What kinda gravity are we talkin about here?

cheers!

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Old 10-03-2012, 12:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22415 Brewery View Post
Cocoa nibs are one of my favorite ingredients whether in brewing or in baking.

For me personally, 8oz in a 15 gallon batch is really not that much at all. It really depends on how much time you have to extract the cocoa goodness from the nibs.

I personally will use around 4-6ozs per 5 gallon batch. I let it sit until I get the cocoa flavor that I want, yup this means testing every few days.

It's similar to other adjuncts that you would add to secondary fermentation...
More nibs = less time to wait to extract, less nibs = more time to extract. I think however that they catch some people off guard because they give off a cocoa characteristic rather than a chocolate characteristic. Most people think of sweet, creamy, and fat when they think of chocolate. Wheras cocoa nibs have more coffee bean-like characteristics and in some cases a dry astringency.

I noticed that on a batch I left in secondary to extract for over 3 weeks that the nibs gave off a more earthy and soil-like complexity similar to tree-bark and red clay.

Also, I find that it's unnecessary to soak them in vodka or alcohol...usually by the time I add them to secondary my brew has already fermented out and the alcohol will be high enough to tolerate them.

What style of beer did you brew for them? What kinda gravity are we talkin about here?

cheers!
These will be going in a Christmas Stout. The stout already has cocoa powder and lactose in it.

My thought was to split our 15gal into 3 corny's, in one keg put cocoa nibs in raw (4oz)....in the second, put cocoa nibs in roasted (4oz)....and in the third, don't add any and see which one we prefer.

I'm predicting that the roasted is the one we prefer.

FG is 1.010 w/ an ABV of 6.0%

Should I add more than 4oz?? And i figured it would be best to take a rolling pin to them and let them soak in vodka for a few days then add to the keg?? What you think?
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:31 AM   #5
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When I use nibs I put them in a hop bag with a shot glass, tie a bit of dental floss to the bag and then put them in the keg with the dental floss hanging out of the keg (the dental string doesn't affect the seal). After 3 or 4 days I start tasting the beer and when I feel it's ready I take the nibs out and reseal the keg.

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Old 10-05-2012, 02:12 AM   #6
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can I soak the nibs in some tequila? I don't have any vodka on hand

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Old 10-05-2012, 02:37 AM   #7
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can I soak the nibs in some tequila? I don't have any vodka on hand
Ummm, you could.... but Vodka is pretty flavor neutral whereas I think tequila is pretty flavor intensive... in a bad sort of way. But then again it's only an ounce or so, but I'd still prefer something else. Any bourbon, whiskey or scotch laying around? This would be a good excuse to pick up a bottle of your favorite of either or those.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:00 AM   #8
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can I soak the nibs in some tequila? I don't have any vodka on hand
You can soak the nibs in whatever you like! Personally, tequila always reminds me of early mornings waking up on the wrong side of the toilet.

I've gotta re-state that I've never had to "sanitize" cocoa nibs before adding to any of my beers. I personally don't find it necessary to soak them in vodka or alcohol of any kind. There should be enough alcohol in your fermented beer to take care of that anyway. Unless you have had an open bag of cocoa nibs next to a big fat pile of rotten cheese then there really isn't any reason to worry about it.

I mean yeah sure, I use to worry about it. Until I just decided to screw it all and live dangerously and use "unsanitized" ingredients in my secondary fermentations.

Also, when it comes down to it. Most of the time I just toss in whatever I got and RDWHAHB. A few days later I taste it...and if I don't like it, I wait a few more days and taste again. I think there are way too many variables that are constantly changing that make it difficult to determine a pre-set schedule for "when am I going to add something" or "how long should I let it rest", or "should I agitate it every day"... etc. etc.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:12 AM   #9
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Welp the results are in....we kegged our Christmas Stout on Saturday. In 5gal we put 4oz of Roasted Nibs and in another 5gal we put 4oz of Raw Nibs, and I will say the Roasted Nibs have given an AWESOME flavor and aroma. This is by far the route we will take.

We have 2.25oz. of Chinook hops added at the beginning of the boil. With the Roasted Nibs it really meshed well with the hop addition, but with the raw nibs, the stout tasted way to hoppy.

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Old 10-12-2012, 03:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by inhousebrew View Post
Ummm, you could.... but Vodka is pretty flavor neutral whereas I think tequila is pretty flavor intensive... in a bad sort of way. But then again it's only an ounce or so, but I'd still prefer something else. Any bourbon, whiskey or scotch laying around? This would be a good excuse to pick up a bottle of your favorite of either or those.
Patron Coffee-Chocolate [Cacao] liquor is awesome. I'd say tequila would go well.


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