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Old 02-16-2009, 11:23 PM   #1
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Default Chocolate porter very bitter - why?

I just racked my chocolate porter to the secondary after about 5 weeks. I moved it to the secondary because there was a lot of trub in the bottom and a skim of chocolate fat/solids floating on top. I wanted to move to secondary to hopefully let it clear.

After racking most of it to the primary I tasted some of it and it had a very bitter taste. The only way I can describe it is think if you just took a spoon full of cocoa powder and put it in your mouth. Now Im hoping that im over reacting here and the beer will lose its bitterness over time.

Im planning on keeping this in the secondary for another week and then bottling. I think this one may stay in the bottles a little longer in order to help it mellow out. Im just not sure why it came out so bitter?

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Old 02-16-2009, 11:24 PM   #2
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If you post the recipe, we might be able to help more.

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Old 02-16-2009, 11:25 PM   #3
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Did you use cocoa? It is very bitter and will not mellow out very much. The chocolate brews I've made with cocoa, I've used lactose at bottling so sweeten and mellow the bitterness.

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Old 02-16-2009, 11:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by llazy_llama View Post
If you post the recipe, we might be able to help more.
This was a recipe of the month kit from my LHBS. Ingredients were as follows

6.6# amber extract
1# crystal malt
1/2# chocolate malt
1/4# black malt
6oz unsweetened baking chocolate
6oz cocoa powder
1 oz fuggles pellets
1oz tetnang pellets
1 tsp irish moss

The grains were steeped. The directions said to melt the baking chocolate in a double boiler and then add the cocoa powder to that once melted and stir. Once the two chocolates were combined then add to the boil.

I followed the directions and then let it primary for about 5 weeks. Today was my first taste since brewing it.
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nurmey View Post
Did you use cocoa? It is very bitter and will not mellow out very much. The chocolate brews I've made with cocoa, I've used lactose at bottling so sweeten and mellow the bitterness.
Can you tell me how you went about this and what amount?

Thanks
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Old 02-17-2009, 01:12 AM   #6
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You will definitely need to backsweeten this. Unsweetened chocolate is one of the bitterest substances on earth. It is actually inedible on its own.

Lactose or maltodextrine should help a lot.

To add it boil a pint or so of water with at least 8 oz lactose, let cool and add to wort. You can do this anytime before bottling but I would give it all a few days to settle out before bottling.

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Old 02-17-2009, 01:17 AM   #7
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Yep, what he ^ said. Lactose is a add anytime ingredient.

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Old 02-17-2009, 01:30 AM   #8
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Ok so I was planning on bottling this weekend but maybe ill push it off until next weekend. This way I can run to the LHBS and grab some lactose and give it about a week or so in the secondary.

Do you think a week is long enough?

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Old 02-17-2009, 01:39 AM   #9
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Yes a week is plenty enough.

(I just noticed that this was a kit? And it had no backsweetener included? Seems odd. )

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Old 02-17-2009, 11:13 AM   #10
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Yea this was a LHBS kit, luckily I was using the box that it came in to store some other brewing stuff. That ingredient list I posted was taken directly off of the sticker minus the yeast.

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