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SchillingBrewing 01-16-2013 11:29 PM

My 1st Experimental Brew
I wrote a post yesterday about an experimental brew that I want to try but so far it looks like it hasn't got much attention. I thought maybe if I put it here maybe more people will see it.

--->I just decided that I wanted to experiment a little after having done a few extract brews to the T by following the kit instructions each time. I still am using an extract kit but I would like to add some specialty grains and hops to change the flavor.

I've been dying to try some sort of a chocolate beer and I've heard of a few people trying chocolate wheat beers. I'm a little lost on how to go about setting up my recipe (like the quantities of the grains and hops and which grains and hops to use). I want a beer that has a definite wheat beer flavor but with some chocolate and caramel flavors to it and a good head with decent head retention.

I haven't bought anything yet but this is what I have found that kind of caught my attention with the flavor, aroma, and other characteristics described by the distributers.

-1 can Muntons Wheat Extract (40 pint kit) (I already own this)

-0.5 lb crushed Chocolate Malt (Briess)
-0.5 lb crushed Biscuit Malt (Castle)
-0.5 lb crushed Carapils (Briess)
-0.5 lb crushed Caramel 10L (Briess)

I chose the chocolate and caramel for obvious reasons. The biscuit was recommended to bring out more of the chocolate flavors and add some bread flavor as well. And the carapils I read helped head retention but didn't really affect the flavor, aroma, or color to much.

Any ideas, help or suggestions are appreciated. :mug:

techbrewie 01-16-2013 11:54 PM

looks good to me. Torrified wheat is another good choice for head retention and would add some nice body to the beer as well. some neutral hop bitterness might give you more of a dark chocolate effect while some lactose would add sweetness and body to give it more of a milk chocolate like flavor. definitely bump of your chocolate malt as well imho, that or do a secondary addition of chocolate powder or syrup.

SchillingBrewing 01-17-2013 03:45 AM

Thanks for the advice. I also am curious about what types of hops to use or if I should use any hops at all.
As for the lactose, is that just an additive you can buy from most homebrew suppliers?
And I've heard that using irish moss or whirlfloc tablets can help clear the beer of sediment and such.
Is it a good idea to use and does it change the flavor or aroma of the beer?
And how much should I use and when should I add it if I do decide to use either irish moss or whirlfloc?

gelatin 01-17-2013 04:15 AM

Unless you bring in adjuncts like cocoa nibs, you will only ever get hints of chocolate flavor. Chocolate malt is not chocolate flavored, only colored. It will give a roastiness that hints at chocolate if you're open minded.

10L is more sweet than caramel, try 60-80L for more of that, but again, it's very subtle. I've never heard of a beer that really tasted like caramel, but you might try making an actual caramel syrup and working that in.

You should definitely hop it, just keep the IBU/OG ratio in style and try noble hops like Hallertau or Fuggles for a clean bitterness and don't use many hops if any in the last 20 minutes of the boil.

Lactose is also known as milk sugar, a typically unfermentable sweetener that is available from most homebrew suppliers. It will add considerable body and a light sweetness. If you want to accentuate the sweetness without excessive body, try liquid sucralose in the form of EZ-Sweetz or similar.

Irish moss/whirlfloc in the last 10-15 minutes of the boil will help improve clarity at a slight cost of bitterness. Use 1/2 tablet whirlfloc for a 5 gallon batch. Clarity is a very involved process that depends on hot break, cold break, ingredients, temperature, and time. A cold crash with gelatin before bottling will drastically improve clarity.

SchillingBrewing 01-17-2013 06:32 AM

Thank you. I will definitely keep your advice in mind. How about the whole boiling process with the grains and such in the beginning. I've only ever brewed extract kits following the instructions. Not experienced in the boiling process for grains and hops. I am very excited to start but I just want to be sure I will be doing it right so I don't screw up my experiment.

SchillingBrewing 01-18-2013 08:49 AM

I ordered all my ingredients and I will be starting the new brew as soon as they arrive. I'm pretty excited for this one.

beeber 01-18-2013 10:03 AM

Pale chocolate malt would be a good addition, but what you have will work fine.

techbrewie 01-18-2013 11:15 PM

Yeah like said above for a strong chocolate presence your going to need a secondary addition of something like cacao powder or a chocolate syrup of some kind. Chocolate malt gives a good rich color and subtle notes of chocolate (some say coffee as well, but I'm not sold on that yet)

SchillingBrewing 01-19-2013 06:40 PM

I ended up increasing the chocolate malt to 1 lb, though I may cut that back slightly. Added some lactose and I bought 4 oz of cocoa nibs that I will be putting in the secondary. I also changed the half pound 10L caramel to a half pound 60L caramel. I'm very excited to brew this and will post as I make it and when it finishes.

SchillingBrewing 01-19-2013 06:42 PM


Originally Posted by beeber (Post 4798488)
Pale chocolate malt would be a good addition, but what you have will work fine.

Yeah I was thinking about trying the pale chocolate malt but in the end I think the flavour and aroma description of it lost to the chocolate malt. I definitely will try another chocolate brew soon and I just may try the pale chocolate malt. Thanks for the suggestion.

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