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Old 12-05-2012, 04:26 PM   #1
Zandrello
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Default Got my first Stout brewed! Advice?

Well, I got my Chocolate Milk Stout from Northern Brewer brewed on Sunday 12/2. Everything went flawless with the brew process, and yeast was pitched at perfect temperature.

My question now is concerning the Cacao nibs that will go into secondary fermentation.

I have seen some people on here mention that they soaked their nibs in VODKA for 3 days before adding them to secondary?

Is this advisable? What are the benefits and/or risks involved? Does it raise the ABV a little bit? Because I would like to do that if possible, because this is a relatively low point stout (ranked at around 5.4-5.6% ABV).

Also, when the nibs are done soaking, do you put JUST THE NIBS into secondary? Or do you poor all of it, both the nibs AND the vodka into secondary?

Thanks for any and all advice.

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Old 12-05-2012, 05:32 PM   #2
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I believe the point of soaking them in the vodka is to sanitize the nibs. As for the second question, I believe that's just personal preference. I don't think a small amount of vodka in the secondary will affect the ABV or anything else.

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Old 12-05-2012, 06:12 PM   #3
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Aah gotcha. Thanks for the reply. I think I will go ahead and do the Vodka soak (with high quality vodka of course). So, how long do the nibs need to soak for?

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Old 12-05-2012, 07:42 PM   #4
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I have no personal experience with this so I couldn't attest to that. If the posts you were referring to mentioning 3 days yielded good results, I'd say start there.

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Old 12-06-2012, 10:30 AM   #5
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we just brewed an " toasted caramel apple pie ale". it is a recipe from a LHBS. it came with some apple pie spices that need to steep in vodka for a few days. the instructions specifically state "do not hesitate to use lower grade vodka. as it offers no flavor or alcohol to the brew" so i asked the owner and he said he uses the cheapest stuff he can get because there is nothing a better vodka will do for you. hope this helps

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Old 12-07-2012, 09:52 PM   #6
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I am getting ready to brew a similar recipe, and I'm thinking "hmmm... I got vodka, and I got Kahlua... Should I whip up a black russian; soak nibs in that and dump it all in? " or am I going off the deep end again?

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Old 12-07-2012, 11:13 PM   #7
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Not too sure but I was told the vodka would add nothing at all

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Old 12-10-2012, 03:00 PM   #8
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I'm not to big of a fan of vodka in general. So when I buy some to soak the nibs, I'm not gonna get cheap crap vodka. Cuz if I'm gonna have it laying around, I at least want it to taste good and not like gasoline. In case i get a craving for a bloody Mary or a White Russian.

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Old 12-11-2012, 06:29 PM   #9
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It really depends on how much vodka you are using. Suppose you were soaking the nibs in a cup (8oz) of 40% ABV vodka. Adding that to 640oz (5 gallons), you will see very roughly a 0.5% increase in ABV.

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Old 12-15-2012, 05:17 AM   #10
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my advice would be:

Consume most of the vodka
see what happens

(you might come up with something really cool to do with the nibs, but you prolly wont remember the next time to be able to repeat it)

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