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Old 03-22-2010, 02:08 AM   #31
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I've had good results with cocoa powder. I bought the good stuff from my local Whole Foods. You need to compensate for the bitterness of the powder and plan your IBUs accordingly.

I tossed in 1 lb of powder during the last 5 minutes of the boil. I had issues with the powder clumping as well as scorching the bottom of the brewpot, but all was well in the end.

I added it to a sweet stout. I'm drinking the final product now and the lactose really balanced out the bitterness of the cocoa well. Together with the roasted barley and black patent, I get a kind of mocha latte feel. I used peppermint, too. The IBUs are somewhere in the mid 20s.

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Old 03-22-2010, 02:29 AM   #32
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I use both nibs and powder in my chocolate beers, and this is how I use it:

I mix the powder with boiled water into a paste and add it to the primary/secondary along with the nibs.

From my experiments and experiences, the nibs add more of a cocoa aroma to the beer, and the powder adds the actual flavor. I always use the 100% Dutch process chocolate powder, and whatever nibs the lhbs has.

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Old 07-19-2010, 12:36 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
Now if you really want to get technical, you need to look into what variety your cocoa is. In terms of coffee, forestaro=robusto, criollo=arabica. Unlike coffee though, criollo beans are VERY expensive and hard to grow. The are known for their earthy/fruity taste. Forestaro grows easily and is resistant to disease. It makes an inferior chocolate though. Most of the chocolate in production is of the Forestaro variety.
Very good summary Ecculus. I'd like to say though that the Foraster=robusta is not quite accurate, although an easy analogy for growth and disease resistance it breaks down at flavor - the important part. I wouldn't touch any robusta coffee. It's just to nasty and has too many aftertastes, but the reverse just isn't the case with Forastero. It can make an inferior chocolate but is by no mean has to. It general has big bold flavors. Criollo on the other hand is often light and delicate and again, can make a superior chocolate some of the worst and uninspired chocolate I've had has been Criollo. And finally, there is a huge variety of cocoa out there - the Trinatario. It's the hybrid blend of Forastero and Criollo - something coffee does not do. It's turning into the big boy as far as the new Artisan chocolate industry is concerned and all three varieties are being used well and prices have come way down.

Given how hard it is to get aggressive chocolate flavors into beers from nibs, using the strongest flavored nib I can find has served me well

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Old 07-19-2010, 12:51 PM   #34
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I have nothing really scientific to add, but I had a friend make a chocolate stout using nibs. I am not sure if he used them in the boil or not, but I do know that he left them in the keg. The chocolate flavor was subtle at first, but by the time the beer had sat in the keg on the nibs for 6 months the beer no longer tasted like beer. It tasted like chocolate milk. It was not bad but was very weird because it was a creamy smooth chocolate milk taste in what was supposed to be a beer.

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Old 07-19-2010, 01:03 PM   #35
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That's a bit of empirical information that I've noticed to. It has something to do with the fact that a majority of the flavor and aroma compounds in chocolate are fat soluble (not unlike hops) and so it takes much longer for them to make their way into a wort or ale. My favorite addition is to fine grind the nibs (just shy of where the cocoa butter flows), add it to the mash, and then 'dry nib' for at least a month. I've never tried it as long as 6 months.

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Old 07-20-2010, 01:33 AM   #36
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Oh now I know why brewing from chocolate is much more wonderful than others All is due to this interesting recipe !

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Old 10-11-2010, 08:29 PM   #37
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I attempted a Dogfish Theobroma-ish recipe, and bought some cacao beans from my LHBS. Didn't roast them, but cracked them with a rolling pin and dumped them in the boil at 10 minutes. Haven't tried the beer yet - it's still conditioning - but can't wait to give the finished product a taste.
Howd that Theobroma-ish clone work out? That is one of my favorite beers to drink, but seems a little challenging to brew...a lot going on there!
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:30 PM   #38
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Howd that Theobroma-ish clone work out? That is one of my favorite beers to drink, but seems a little challenging to brew...a lot going on there!
Mehhhh not so great. It has barely any chocolate flavor, a hint of sweetness from the honey, and kind of a strange taste that I'm attributing to the peppers. The Theobroma is very tasty, but this one didn't work as expected. I guess that means more research is needed....
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:17 PM   #39
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Mehhhh not so great. It has barely any chocolate flavor, a hint of sweetness from the honey, and kind of a strange taste that I'm attributing to the peppers. The Theobroma is very tasty, but this one didn't work as expected. I guess that means more research is needed....
I would surmise it was to a large part because you did not roast the nibs. The majority of the chocolate flavor is not even produced until roasting. Raw nibs generally have a bit of a 'green' flavor I have found. Try a light toasting next time and you might have better luck.

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Old 05-20-2011, 04:14 PM   #40
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is there a chemist in the house? maybe he or she can explain the best way to deal with this fatty substance in beer

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