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Old 01-26-2012, 06:07 PM   #1
TacomaHomeBrew
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Default Chocolate mead anyone?

Want to try a 1 gallon batch of Chocolate mead, any easy recipes out there that yall had success with?

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Old 01-27-2012, 02:48 AM   #2
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I make a Chocolate Cherry mead that I get raves on, but my recipe is for a 5 gallon batch. There are quite a few people who make chocolate meads around here, so I'll let someone else post a tried and true one gallon recipe.

I just wanted to warn you that chocolate meads take a long time to age. One year before you even want to think about bottling and another 6 months (closer to two years) before it hits its stride. The oils take a long time to break down and it is gawd awful bitter in the meantime. When I made my first batch it took the whole first year for me to convince my DB that it was going to be great. Fact is, I even started to doubt it. Now it is one of our favorites and I try to make at lease one batch every year so we stop running out.

Good Luck.

Rebecca

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Old 01-27-2012, 05:14 PM   #3
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I'm also interested in some good proven recipes. In the next few weeks I plan on making a 6 gallon batch of choco mead. Three gallons will be choco with a few vanilla beans (and maybe some dark toasted oak), and three gallons will be soaking in cherries (also with some oak and vanilla beans).

From the recipes around the interwebs, lots of folks use either dutch cocoa or Hersheys cocoa. Not sure how much to add per gallon, though. And the initial ferment is messy and explosive!

Once I found a recipe where a person just brewed plain ol' mead and then put in some Hershey's syrup. Made it clear ultra fast, too. I can't find the recipe anymore, so not sure if this is a better method than with the powder style choco.

Gamr, would you mind giving us a few details on your 5 gallon recipe? We can always scale it down or up to fit our needs.

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Old 01-27-2012, 06:45 PM   #4
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Default Here is one I have brewing now

It is about 6 months in the carboy,

http://www.washingtonwinemaker.com/b...e-mead-recipe/

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Old 01-27-2012, 07:18 PM   #5
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Someone had a thread on here trying 5 different types of chocolate as the base. I tried the cocoa powder and nesquick. I'm about 2 months in so no tasting yet.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/our-...eriment-94358/

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Old 01-28-2012, 04:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kc_in_wv View Post
I've made this recipe, and it is excellent, but as gamrchick said, chocolate mead takes a minimum of 2 years before it's really ready, and (I think) benefits from some residual sweetness, so consider backsweetening a little if necessary
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biochemedic View Post
I've made this recipe, and it is excellent, but as gamrchick said, chocolate mead takes a minimum of 2 years before it's really ready, and (I think) benefits from some residual sweetness, so consider backsweetening a little if necessary
I have to agree on the sweetness. I prefer dry meads, in fact none of my meads have a FG over 1.008 except this one. I let this ferment until done (FG 1.000) then backsweeten to 1.012 - 1.014. Less is more when backsweetening. Add a little honey water at a time, take your gravity reading and taste. Granted, I am paranoid about oversweetening...

As far as what chocolate to use, that is a preference thing. I use Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder (1 pound in 5 gallons) but there are some guys here that swear by cacao nibs. I steer clear of actual chocolate bars because there are other ingredients so I don't know what I'm putting in my mead, but others may have had success with them.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biochemedic View Post
I've made this recipe, and it is excellent, but as gamrchick said, chocolate mead takes a minimum of 2 years before it's really ready, and (I think) benefits from some residual sweetness, so consider backsweetening a little if necessary
I am planning on a year in the carboy and at least another in the bottle. I had thought of backsweeting some of it with lactose. I initally used Lin/Basswood honey which has a minty taste. For my cocoa I found an organic cocoa at a health food store.

I tasted it after about a month and liked the way it was going. I am not planning on other sampling's until I bottle it. I probably need to shake it up a little again.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:15 PM   #9
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The Lord Rhys recipe mentions that the oils in the cocoa powder slightly inhibit the yeasties from doing their thing. I'm wondering if it might be a better idea to just make a traditional mead and throw in the cocoa powder in the secondary (or tertiary). Since cocoa powder is essentially non-fermentable, the alcohol the yeast have already produced in secondary should make it easier to draw out the oils and flavors from the cocoa.

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Old 03-30-2012, 06:35 AM   #10
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I also read that the yeast might have a hard time, so when I tried this recipe I added some extra yeast nutrients.

Well, in my case that was totally unnecessary. I set the batch in the evening and I happened to wake during the night. I thought I'd check to see if the fermentation had kicked in. Lo and behold, I had a chocolate fountain!!
The rather firm foam that was created from the cocoa powder had pushed through the water lock and poured down the sides. Really messy, but it smelled nice!

Once I had the mess cleaned up and managed to have most of the solid foam dissolve by stirring, it was bubbling away like mad. I've never had a batch that fermented as violently.

I read in another forum that others had had the same experience, so maybe it depends on the kind of cocoa powder used. I don't know.

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