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Old 07-20-2014, 09:38 PM   #1
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Default Advice needed: Chocolate Coffee Russian Imperial Stout

I did an experiment with my Russian Imperial Stout which resembles Old Rasputin. Reasonably malty, bitter and intense with coffee chocolate overtones at about 9% ABV. My last batch I split and added unsweetened powdered chocolate (made into a syrup and added pre fermentation) and brewed espresso. It has been in the carboy for almost two months. The parent RIS is very tasty and reasonably rich and malty. However, a gravity sample tasting tells me that the chocolate coffee version is very tasty with intense flavors but it seems the chocolate has had the effect of really drying out the malty flavors.

I would like more residual sugar but I am not sure how to achieve that. Presumably, I could keg it and add a little malt syrup or sugar and keep it cold. That's fine but I would like to bottle some and I don't want it to over carbonate or use up all the sugar. Any suggestions?

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Old 07-21-2014, 02:02 AM   #2
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No takers?

I would love to get this stuff out of the carboy

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Old 07-21-2014, 02:46 AM   #3
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Add some Lactose?

Cheers!
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by day_trippr View Post
Thanks for that! That is obviously the answer. I'm generally not a fan of a lot of residual sweetness in beer so I am usually fighting to push things the other way.

Lactose it is. Amount is controversial but i think I will start with 1.5 oz per gallon. I guess I'll make a syrup of lactose and dextrose for bottling.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:09 AM   #5
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A hardy thanks to Day Trippr! I got some lactose and added a tad to a 1/4 cup of the Stout. Wow! Not only does it immediately bring out the intense chocolate and eliminate the dryness, it also adds a beautiful creaminess to the brew. With that I added 1.5 oz per gallon to my two gallons of the beer along with sugar to carbonate and put it in bottles. Can't wait until this stuff has bubbles and is ready for consumption.

Thanks again!

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Old 07-24-2014, 01:37 PM   #6
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Excellent!

It's never too soon to start the next batch 'cuz you'll be sad when this one runs dry

Cheers!

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Old 07-25-2014, 04:21 AM   #7
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You're on the right track with lactose for this beer. I was in the same boat as you on the same beer (see My Recipes for my Mocha clone) and lactose solved it. But you MUST age a few months. I found the lactose added a bad "artificial sweetener" flavor that disappeared after a few months.

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Old 07-25-2014, 05:58 AM   #8
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Lactose is definitely the way to go. I made a Mexican hot chocolate imperial stout (my only recipe on here) for my first batch of beer. That used cocoa nibs, cinnamon, ancho peppers, and vanilla beans as well as a half pound of lactose. The thing to remember is that unsweetened cocoa provides a bit of bitterness and an almost chalky quality on its own. I treated it almost as additional roasted malt or hop bitterness in my recipe that needed balancing. The vanilla also serves nicely to help round that out, many commercial chocolates contain vanillin.

Edit: Decide for yourself on the aging. I expected my stout to need several months of aging but honestly it tasted great within a week of bottling and I've struggled to hold on to any for aging (I've only had a handful of bottles but it seems popular...). But I also added my lactose during the boil, so that may change things.

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