Originally Posted by StonesBally
Nibs soaking in water will not release as much flavor as those in alcohol. Alcohol has the ability to dissolve both water and fat based components. You will be missing out on a lot of flavors this way. This is why flavoring extracts are made with alcohol.
I've never used nibs, only unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolate oatmeal stout I make, and the results have been fabulous... But would soaking the powder in alcohol help bring out more flavor? Or is soaking basically a way of releasing the flavors from the cacao beans?
And FWIW, I use 10 oz of unsweetened cocoa powder in a five gallon batch, and I get a deep, strong, but not overpowering, chocolate flavor. I add it near the end of boil, then rack from primary to secondary after two weeks (or straight to keg, depending on what my pipeline situation is). Obviously this probably does not approximate the flavor profile from the same amount of nibs though...