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Old 12-10-2012, 12:19 AM   #1
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Default ChocoNana Hef - Will this work?

Alright... my homebrew club (San Joaquin Worthogs) is having a "Specialty" competition being judged in April. I just had a fantastic 1.5 year old spiced Porter made by another member, which he plans to submit in this very comp. Since I don't have the time to age anything, I figured I'd submit something really weird, though hopefully surprisingly tasty. I came up with the idea of making a Hefeweizen using WLP300, fermented around 65F to produce more banana character, then adding cacao nibs and a vanilla bean for the last week of fermentation. My thought is to shoot for a flavor similar to the old chocolate-banana rocket pops (from the ice cream truck) of my youth. The recipe I've come up with so far is below, suggestions for change are very much appreciated!

GRAINS
6.00 lbs White Wheat Malt
4.25 lbs NW Pale Malt
0.25 lbs C10

HOPS
10 grams Hallertau Mittelfrueh @ 60 mins (9.1 IBU)
10 grams Hallertau Mittelfrueh @ 10 mins (1.8 IBU)

YEAST
WLP300 - Hefeweizen Ale Yeast

NIBS & VANILLA
4 oz Cacao Nibs & 1 Vanilla Bean (split and chopped) added 3 days into fermentation, sit for additional 7 days

Mash Temp: 152F
Fermentation: Pitch at 64F, let rise to 66F over 3 days, add nibs/vanilla bean, beer let free-rise up to 70F over next 7 days, cold crash to 34F for 2 days, keg and carbonate for 7 days

I've never used nibs and I'm wondering a couple things- first, will 4 oz impart enough flavor, and second, what impact will it have on the color of the beer?

Cheers!

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Old 12-10-2012, 12:29 AM   #2
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This sounds like a pretty good recipe. I tried something similar in a stout, but I had a few issues. I had the same thought to ferment a little warm to bring out the banana, but I fermented way too warm. Taking into account the increased temp due to fermentation activity, I'd put it at 75 -80F as my ferment temp. 65 F sounds like a much better fermentation temp. 4 oz of nibs will be plenty. That's how much I used and I got plenty of chocolate flavor/bitterness. Sorry I can't help you out on the color since I used mine in a stout, so the affect on color would be unnoticeable.

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Old 12-10-2012, 12:41 AM   #3
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This sounds like a pretty good recipe. I tried something similar in a stout, but I had a few issues. I had the same thought to ferment a little warm to bring out the banana, but I fermented way too warm. Taking into account the increased temp due to fermentation activity, I'd put it at 75 -80F as my ferment temp. 65 F sounds like a much better fermentation temp. 4 oz of nibs will be plenty. That's how much I used and I got plenty of chocolate flavor/bitterness. Sorry I can't help you out on the color since I used mine in a stout, so the affect on color would be unnoticeable.
Thanks, man. My guess is most people use nibs in darker beers and hence won't be able to provide much info on the impact they'll have in a pale beer. I was chatting with a pal of mine and he said he got more banana, and nearly no clove, out of WLP300 when fermented cooler. Clove is an off-flavor phenolic, in my opinion, so I want to keep that at an absolute minimum. I've got really good temp control, so I'm not too concerned about that.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:01 AM   #4
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Thanks, man. My guess is most people use nibs in darker beers and hence won't be able to provide much info on the impact they'll have in a pale beer. I was chatting with a pal of mine and he said he got more banana, and nearly no clove, out of WLP300 when fermented cooler. Clove is an off-flavor phenolic, in my opinion, so I want to keep that at an absolute minimum. I've got really good temp control, so I'm not too concerned about that.
Well, there's only one way to find out how it's going to affect the color. I personally think you might get a little of the chocolate color, but not a whole lot. I didn't have any temp control when I did mine, but now I've acquired some things to control temp. If I decide to try this again I'll make sure the temp is controlled much better.

I am interested to see how this comes out for you. Keep us posted.

Cheers
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:25 AM   #5
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Its a bit complicated, but a general rule of thumb for hefe's is: warmer = more banana and less clove. However, 300 is known for its banana character, so it might not matter too much anyway. Personally, I'd use the 300 and ferment around 66F-68F to get banana over clove, but I'm not positive on that, and I love the clove flavor over the banana anyway. Perhaps do some more research before you settle on a fermentation temp.

Underpitching might increase the banana flavor as well, look into that.

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Old 12-10-2012, 04:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ghpeel
Its a bit complicated, but a general rule of thumb for hefe's is: warmer = more banana and less clove. However, 300 is known for its banana character, so it might not matter too much anyway. Personally, I'd use the 300 and ferment around 66F-68F to get banana over clove, but I'm not positive on that, and I love the clove flavor over the banana anyway. Perhaps do some more research before you settle on a fermentation temp.

Underpitching might increase the banana flavor as well, look into that.
Great advice, particularly regarding underpitching. I appreciate it.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:12 PM   #7
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Underpitching might increase the banana flavor as well, look into that.
I forgot to mention it, but this was my experience with the banana split stout. Tons of banana by pitching a single vial into 5 gallons of 1.070 wort.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:24 PM   #8
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I forgot to mention it, but this was my experience with the banana split stout. Tons of banana by pitching a single vial into 5 gallons of 1.070 wort.
I'd be hard-pressed not to make a starter, it just wouldn't feel right. Perhaps what I'll do is cut the starter size in half, basically just wake the yeast up. I also like to harvest yeast from my starters, so that's another reason. My OG is going to be closer to 1.050.

I've been looking for cocoa nibs on the internet and I'm wondering where the best place is to buy them?
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:27 PM   #9
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If your normal starters are 1qt @ 1.040, then maybe do 1.5qts. Once its crashed, only pitch 1/3rd of the slurry, and save the other 2/3rds for your next normal beer. That would give you a half-pitch for this beer, and a normal pitch for the next.

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Old 12-10-2012, 02:34 PM   #10
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If your normal starters are 1qt @ 1.040, then maybe do 1.5qts. Once its crashed, only pitch 1/3rd of the slurry, and save the other 2/3rds for your next normal beer. That would give you a half-pitch for this beer, and a normal pitch for the next.
Good call. It's so weird considering purposely under-pitching... but I'll do it for the sake of the
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