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Old 11-08-2011, 12:10 AM   #1
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Default Whoa. Will age help?

Wine thief'd my 2nd ever brew today, peppermint chocolate stout, and whoa is it bitter, chocolatey, and pepperminty. Haha. First off I love a good stout, this kit started off a Midwests Irish Stout and I added 8oz pure unsweetened nestle cocoa and 10 peppermint tea bags at 10min to flameout. Boy did it smell good. At 2 weeks in primary I took a sample, very bitter but hardly any peppermint, added 1 tbsp of pure peppermint extract, gently swirled Carboy and let sit another week. Today, 3 weeks in primary, I pulled a sample, (OG of 1.060) and final gravity was 1.010. It looks like pretty well settled in the Carboy so I took a sniff, holy crap peppermint. Took a sip, bitter chocolate and hella mint. Taste similar to a York pattie lol.

Let it chill in the fridge over nigh and it seemed a little better chilled, but will this meld over time? Maybe calm down a little? It drinkable but definitely a sipping* beer.

Edit: also, i will be the first to admit to being a newb, but don't feel like I should be burned for it, not that anyone has, but I know a thread has been started talking about adding things to kits, am I butthurt? Not at all, I'm willing to learn anything. I did however do my research, and actually followed a recipe here on the forum, on my phone or I would link it, that the op stated 8oz of cocoa and 2tbsp of pure peppermint extract. Instead unused 1tbsp and 10 pep tea bags. So, it's not like I blindly went throwing additives in my beer expecting it to come out tasting like candy, I wanted a winter beer with a little Christmas spirit.

Thanks for all replies.

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Old 11-08-2011, 12:14 AM   #2
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Your beer's not even carbed yet....you can't tell ANYTHING about a beer until it's been carbed and bottle conditioned. Your beer still has a long journey to go. Relax and see it through.

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Old 11-08-2011, 12:17 AM   #3
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8 oz of cocoa powder seems like a ton to me. And so does 10 peppermint tea bags.

I just did a double chocolate stout and used 2 oz of cocoa powder and it has a little bitterness to it. The bitterness might not be from the cocoa powder but with 8 oz my guess is that's what made it bitter.

It will definitely mellow out a little with bottle conditioning. It might take some time so be patient.

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Old 11-08-2011, 12:26 AM   #4
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Go for broke -- start another carboy WITHOUT the added flavors, then mix prior to secondary fermentation.

While I'm sure some of the flavors will mellow greatly with age, my guess is you're stuck with too much chocolate and peppermint.

And for future reference, when trying experiments, think smaller -- invest in some 1 gallon bottles, then resize the recipe after you've worked out all the kinks.

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Old 11-08-2011, 12:29 AM   #5
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I'm definitely learning the patience trait as I go. And yeah, I thought 8oz was quite a bit as well. I was following a recipe thread here on HBT, but I'm on phone or I would link it...

I'm definitely going to see it through, as I wanted something strong and stout for winter, I saw peppermint chocolate as the perfect fireside brew for me and my wife. We both agree it's drinkable as is, but would definitely change the recipe next time around.

Thanks for the advice, but what is your opinion on letting it age in secondary vs going ahead and bottling it, conditioning and letting it age there?

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Old 11-08-2011, 12:36 AM   #6
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I think you went a little overboard on the peppermint... the tea bags were fine but peppermint extract is crazy potent stuff, and I don't think that will tone down much.

Btw a session beer is something you would drink pint after pint of. This sounds more like something you'd have a little snifter of.

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Old 11-08-2011, 12:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
I think you went a little overboard on the peppermint... the tea bags were fine but peppermint extract is crazy potent stuff, and I don't think that will tone down much.

Btw a session beer is something you would drink pint after pint of. This sounds more like something you'd have a little snifter of.
Oh thanks, I was explained a session beer would be something you sipped over a period of time.

Thanks for clarifying that!
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:40 AM   #8
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If you're looking for a fireside beer, and not a "drink with meal or while watching football" beer, it may be fine as is. And the comments that it will mellow with age are mostly right -- age works wonders on a beer.

That said, in my experience, the more total volume, and the less restricted the gasses are, the more a beer will mellow. What I'd do is work the timeline backwards and leave it in the secondary as long as possible. Then bottle when you've decided is the "last possible moment" so you have something bottled by whenever you want to start drinking.

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Old 11-08-2011, 12:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
I think you went a little overboard on the peppermint... the tea bags were fine but peppermint extract is crazy potent stuff, and I don't think that will tone down much.

Btw a session beer is something you would drink pint after pint of. This sounds more like something you'd have a little snifter of.
If I were faced with too much Peppermint flavor, I'd try to get fermentation going again in the hopes some of it would be off-gassed. In his case, it's a winter season beer and we're not that far from winter.

But yeah, peppermint extract is VERY potent, as are most anything else in extract form.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallgirl View Post
If you're looking for a fireside beer, and not a "drink with meal or while watching football" beer, it may be fine as is. And the comments that it will mellow with age are mostly right -- age works wonders on a beer.

That said, in my experience, the more total volume, and the less restricted the gasses are, the more a beer will mellow. What I'd do is work the timeline backwards and leave it in the secondary as long as possible. Then bottle when you've decided is the "last possible moment" so you have something bottled by whenever you want to start drinking.
I appreciate this, I know I've gone overboard with this one, and it is for the most part a fireside sipper, but I'm still learning. I moat definitely plan on still drinking it, would never thinkbit dumping it. That just about answers all concerns I had, if you can even call it that. Batch aging it is, and here's to learning hands on! Cheers!
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