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Old 07-21-2006, 07:46 PM   #1
firstelder
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Default Would LOVE some help with my first "Original" batch...

Hello all,

I'd classify myself as a beginner/intermidiate brewer. I'm in the process of brewing my first "original" recipe (i.e., one that I formulated myself), and I've run into something I'm unfamiliar with. Here's the recipe:

1 lb. Crushed Roasted Barley
1 lb. Crushed U.K. Dark Crystal Malt
2 lb. Unhopped Niagara Tradition Special Dark Malt Extract
3.52 lb. John Bull Hopped Dark Malt Extract
3.3 lb. Munton’s Dark Malt Extract
1.4 lb. Alexander’s Pale Malt Extract
1 oz. Willamette Pellet Hops (Boiling)
1 oz. Fuggle Pellet Hops (Finishing)
6 oz. Scharffen-Berger Unsweetened 99% Cacao Dark Chocolate (Boiled with wort)
¾ lb. Ground Starbuck’s Espresso Roast (steeped in wort for 10-15 min after boiling)
Nottingham Ale Yeast

Original Gravity ≈ 1.0835
Final Gravity ≈ 1.0160
(Approximate Figures)

OK, after 7 days, my SG is at about 1.030. I figured in a brew this "big" I'd do a secondary fermentation. So I siphone the batch off and pitched some Champagne Yeast into the secondary fermenter.

Here's where it gets odd...

In the bottom of my primary fermenter was a sediment unlike I've ever seen. It had the look and feel of melted chocolate, and the smell of, well, alcohol.

Anyone brewed with chocolate and seen this before? Did the chocolate precipitate out or is this a common occurance?

Any help and/or insight would GREATLY be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-21-2006, 08:31 PM   #2
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My German Chocolate Stout did the same thing... except I had about a half pound of coffee grounds mixed in. The chocolate deposits definitly settles down to the bottom.

lol.. over 10# DME?? I thought I was crazy putting in 9# for a 5.5 gallon batch! Mine came out to 1.074... ended up at 7.5%abv. If yours actually started at 1.083 and ends at 1.016 you'll have 9.5% ABV. Thats where you get your alcohol smell from... at nearly 10% the beer is gonna smell like a shot of scotch!!

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~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
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Last edited by sirsloop; 07-21-2006 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsloop
If yours actually started at 1.083 and ends at 1.016 you'll have 9.5% ABV. Thats where you get your alcohol smell from... at nearly 10% the beer is gonna smell like a shot of scotch!!
Not necessarily. I brew some 8.5-9.0% beers fairly regularly. If you are careful about balancing malt and hop flavors, you can make a very good beer. The key to this, however, is a nice and cold primary and secondary fermentation. With such high gravities, you will be producing a lot of alcohol, and you will want to avoid making the "fusel" alcohols that have a harsh bite and cause bad headaches.

When doing a beer at this high alc %, make sure to pitch enough yeast, ferment on the colder side of your yeast's recommended temp range, and be sure that you have a hop profile to match your large amount of malt. Do these things, and you will be just fine.

I make an IPA that is just over 9% and an ESB that is about 8.5%. I always warn people about the high alcohol content before I offer them one, and they always comment on its "light" and not alcoholic tasting.

Just my $.02.
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsloop
lol.. over 10# DME?? I thought I was crazy putting in 9# for a 5.5 gallon batch! Mine came out to 1.074... ended up at 7.5%abv. If yours actually started at 1.083 and ends at 1.016 you'll have 9.5% ABV. Thats where you get your alcohol smell from... at nearly 10% the beer is gonna smell like a shot of scotch!!

I figured a stout of this weight could handle a prtty high ABV. I couldn't get the SG reading I took to match the "proposed" SG I was aiming for. I think it may have been that I didn't mix the wort and water well enough in the fermenter and got myself an anomalous sample. It ended up reading around 1.068 or 1.070. Hopefully, the secondary fermentation will help this.

I tasted the wort before fermentation and it seemed pretty good--kind of a bitter iced espresso flavor with a tiiiiiny hint of chocolate in the background.

Time will tell, of course.

Thanks for the observations!
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:36 PM   #5
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Important concept, chocolate is ground caco beans. It does not dissolve, ever, so it will percipitate out. I really wish this wasn't the case. You get some of the chocolate flavors, but most of it ends up in the trub. Your best bet is to put the cocoa/chocolate in the bottling bucket and add a little vanilla (not vanillin) extract.

I just eat the chocolate & drink the drink.

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Old 07-21-2006, 10:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
It does not dissolve, ever, so it will percipitate out.
Damn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Your best bet is to put the cocoa/chocolate in the bottling bucket and add a little vanilla (not vanillin) extract.
Hmm...add vanilla extract to the bottling bucket, eh? Interesting! How much to add to a 5 gallon batch and what will this do?

Damn this forum is helpful...wish I had thought to look for it before I wrote the recipe and brewed the beer!
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:47 PM   #7
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A lot of it is taste... I would start with .5oz of pure vanilla extract and see how you like it. Add more to get the desired aroma.

Id put it in the bottling bucket with your priming sugar, siphon in the beer, take a sample out of that to test your FG, smell and drink the FG test beer. It doesnt take a lot.

__________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~_/_______| |____NOW TRIPLE HOPPED______|~~~~~~~~~~
~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~|___|___|___/_| |___________________________|~~~~~~~~~~
~~|=(*)[________]==(*)(*)=| \________/=(*)(*)=|~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:49 PM   #8
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Aahhhh, a nice looking brew!

I've only used cocoa powder b/c I'd read that the oils in baking chocolate and chocolate chips will kill head retention. The cocoa powder definitely falls out of suspension and to the bottom of the fermenter.

I just botled this and, to get that extra chocolate 'oomph', I ordered some White Star Chocolate Extract online. It was damned expensive stuff, but one bottle will probably last me several years!

Let us know how this bad boy of yours turns out!!!

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Old 07-22-2006, 02:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhoobarb
I've only used cocoa powder b/c I'd read that the oils in baking chocolate and chocolate chips will kill head retention.
I've heard the same thing, but I did some reading and came across some info that said putting the chocolate in at the beginning of the boil and boiling for at least 60 minutes takes care of that. I'll know soon enough, though.

That's one HELLUVA recipe you posted there!
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