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Old 08-12-2009, 05:36 PM   #1
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Default Creme de Cacao and it's sticky influence?

Okay, here's the dilemma. We're brewing up a chocolate imperial stout (partial extract) which has an OG of 1.076 and a predicted FG of around 1.020. So based on that, I'm looking at an ABV of around 7.5%. Bubbling away nicely in primary since Sunday.

To get the chocolate flavour, the recipe called for using cocoa powder in the last few minutes of the boil. My buddy and brew partner was tasked with scooping up the ingredients, but the folks at the HBS referred to our recipe as crap, that it would taste like burned charcoal, and that we didn't know what we were doing. (This is true, we are complete noobs to brewing, and we readily admit that we know nothing, but were following what appeared to be a trusted recipe we snagged: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/impe...-stout-116844/) They chopped the grain bill down, and told him that cocoa would make the brew extremely bitter, given the length of time in fermentation and bottling (7 days primary, 28 secondary, minimum of 4-5 months in the bottle) so told him to add a half to three quarters of a bottle of creme de cacao in the secondary when racking.

I'm assuming that the alcohol in the liqueur will raise the overall ABV - not by much, since if we assume that 20oz of booze with a 20% ABV is being added to over 5 gallons of stout, it's going to be diluted heavily - but will the syrupy nature of the cdc cause additional fermentation and the flavour to go awry? Or should we ignore this and just go with nibs in the secondary? (Something I'm more concerned with adding bitterness?)

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Old 08-12-2009, 05:45 PM   #2
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Here's what you do. Go back to the LHBS, wack the folks there in the nads and tell them to just fill the order. I don't see anything wrong with your recipe. I brewed my double chocolate oatmeal stout with 9oz of cocoa at the end of the boil and it came out WONDERFUL.

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Old 08-12-2009, 05:49 PM   #3
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I say stop going to that LHBS and order from Brewmaster's Warehouse. But that's just me.

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Old 08-12-2009, 05:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
Here's what you do. Go back to the LHBS, wack the folks there in the nads and tell them to just fill the order. I don't see anything wrong with your recipe. I brewed my double chocolate oatmeal stout with 9oz of cocoa at the end of the boil and it came out WONDERFUL.
The shop in question is SF Brewcraft. They've got a phenomenal selection of stuff in there, but "the Griz" has an equally phenomenal reputation for doucheness, it seems: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/wary...ewcraft-53868/

Found other similar reports of condescension and abuse on other sites like Yelp and Beeradvocate, too. Hmm.

That aside though, the cocoa didn't get used, so now it's time to figure out how to get the chocolatey goodness in there. Anyone had experience with creme de cacao? Last thing I want to do is spend all this time (7-8 months with bottle conditioning), money (ingredients for this were NOT cheap!!), and effort only to balls it up with what (should be) the easiest step!
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:05 PM   #5
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If it's in primary now, I'd either go with nibs in the secondary or just add chocolate extract at bottling time.

When I go to my LHBS, I don't even discuss my recipe with them. I bag up my grains, pick out my yeast and hops, ask them to pour my some extract if I need it and ring it up. Just don't give the guy a chance to try to poke holes in what you're doing to try to make you brew everything his way. This hobby is about creativity as much as it is about the end product. Make it yours and ignore the naysayers. If it comes out bad, then you have a good learning experience to work from.

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Old 08-12-2009, 06:07 PM   #6
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I've not used creme de cacao before, but I have boiled my cocoa powder and lactose in a little water and added that to secondary, that beer turned out wonderful (chocolate oatmeal stout)

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Old 08-12-2009, 06:11 PM   #7
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Oh yeah I remember "the Griz" threads.....

*shudders*

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Old 08-12-2009, 06:40 PM   #8
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I have no experience with Creme de cocao but I once added some Grand Marnier to a Saison. I use about 2 cups to soak some orange peal as I felt it need some more. dumped the whole thing in after primary was well over . Active fermentation again because the liquor is full of sugar.

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Old 08-12-2009, 06:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conpewter View Post
I've not used creme de cacao before, but I have boiled my cocoa powder and lactose in a little water and added that to secondary, that beer turned out wonderful (chocolate oatmeal stout)
Lactose was already added - at the beginning of the boil (at the Griz's command). Here's the bastardized recipe:

Recipe Type: Extract
Yeast: Safale S-04 (two packs)
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.076
Final Gravity: 1.020
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: Black
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 days
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 21-28 days
Tasting Notes:

9# LME
1# Crystal 120
0.5# English Chocolate
0.5# Black Patent
0.5# Roasted Barley
2# English 2-Row
0.5# Lactose
1.5oz EK Gold @ 60
1.5oz EK Gold @ 30
1 tab of clearing agent @ 30

Half to three quarters of a bottle of creme de cacao added when racking to secondary, bottle conditioned for 3-9 months before opening.
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:47 PM   #10
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Did they say to use dark or white creme de cocao ? Really no difference in taste just color, White is clear . Also it has 8 grams of sugars in a 1 once serving. So be prepared for some fermentation after you add it.

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