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Old 03-28-2012, 07:04 AM   #1
Sirthomas42
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Default Choco-chili mead...

I've been researching recipes, and I can't find any that quite fit what I need. What I'm trying to get, is when you taste it, it's mostly chocolate, but enough heat to it, that it tastes like one of those hot pepper chocolate squares.

I've found there's also a ton of ways to add chocolate flavor to a mead. My last mead, I added a ton of cocoa powder. The downside to that, is it's been done for almost a year, and it probably needs another year to be drinkable. I'm hoping we can find a way to add a good chocolate flavor (the predominant flavor) without having to wait so long aging. I'm wondering if anyone has some advice for what form the chocolate would take, and how much. Syrup? Melted down dark chocolate bars? Extract?

I've been in this hobby barely a year, so any advice the masters can provide would be greatly appreciated! I have 15 pounds of wildflower honey bored, just waiting around for a recipe it can join! Thanks!

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Old 03-28-2012, 12:33 PM   #2
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Yes, I've looked up some of those chocolate recipes as well.

It does seem that a lot of them use "cocoa nibs" whatever they might be. Whereas the chilli part would be straight forward.

Now whether its "drinkability" is to do with the chocolate, or just the honey and alcohol mellowing, I don't know, but would have thought its worth reading through the recipes you can find and see if there's anything that will give you a clue.....

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Old 03-28-2012, 01:45 PM   #3
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Cocoa powder does indeed take a wicked long time to clear and age out. I've never used the cocoa nibs (which are just roasted, shelled and cracked cocoa beans), but have heard people say good things about them. I'm not sure whether mead using cocoa nibs will mature faster (certainly it would take less time to clear), but I think part of the issue is just with cocoa itself taking a long time to really integrate it's flavors into the mead. I can say that cocoa mead using powder is damn well worth the wait! (Although I have to also admit, I eventually got tired of waiting for it to clear and after almost 2 years from date of brewing, I fined it to get it to clear -- I had to add finings twice!)

I do think that chilli/spice would go *very* well in a cocoa mead, as would cinnamon. I'm thinking that when I eventually get around to doing a capsumel, it will be a chocolate cinnamon chipotle mead -- I use that blend of spices in a stout, and it comes out awesome.

You might want to read through and keep an eye on the Leap Year Mead 2012 thread; I think a couple of people are using cocoa nibs in their leap year mead.

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Old 03-28-2012, 03:21 PM   #4
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I have coaoa nibs in my leap year mead. I have some in the primary and have just added more for the long secondary. I don't think clearing will be an issue with them but racking off them is a complete pain. Even with the racking cane only half way down it was sucking them up, and it only takes one or two to stop the siphon.

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Old 03-29-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biochemedic View Post
Cocoa powder does indeed take a wicked long time to clear and age out.
Does that apply if fining agents are used, or just time?
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:02 PM   #6
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The aging is needed for the oils in the cocoa to break down (they are very bitter so you won't want to drink it till it's ready). No amount of fining will speed up that part of the process.

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Old 03-29-2012, 07:49 PM   #7
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it seems using cocoa powder, while working well way down the line, seems a pain in the a$$, I'd be interested in finding someone that has used powder and cacao nibs, see what the comparison is like, I'm currently using the nibs in my leap year bochet

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Old 03-30-2012, 12:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huesmann View Post
Does that apply if fining agents are used, or just time?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Insomniac View Post
The aging is needed for the oils in the cocoa to break down (they are very bitter so you won't want to drink it till it's ready). No amount of fining will speed up that part of the process.
Like Insomniac said, it's a combination of mechanical clearing (which can eventually be helped along with finings as I did) and just the actual aging/maturation process...my mead was already approaching 2 years before I decided to use finings so I could go ahead and bottle it.

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it seems using cocoa powder, while working well way down the line, seems a pain in the a$$, I'd be interested in finding someone that has used powder and cacao nibs, see what the comparison is like, I'm currently using the nibs in my leap year bochet
Agree...we should hopefully have this comparison in the next year or two as a few of you complete your leap year meads with the nibs...
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:39 PM   #9
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As a heat enthusiast, i can tell you that habaneros can warm things up quite a bit. Maybe racking onto 3 or 4 of them (for a 5 gal batch) would do the trick. I grow ghost chilis (bhut jolokia) and if you get your hands on one of these, i'd recommend using less than one per 5 gallon batch. the nice thing about both of these peppers are that when used in this way, the heat builds up over some time so you'll get the initial sweetness for the first few seconds and gradually you'll get the bite of the peppers. this actually sounds great and i think i may have to try this out!

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