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Old 08-01-2013, 12:32 PM   #191
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I've re-worked this stout recipe and it came out much better in version 2.0. I have a few more tweaks due to an upgrade in equipment and will brew version 3.0 in 2014. The second version sat in the primary much longer than my usual beers (Four months) but still had cocoa powder issues. It still leaves cocoa streaks in the bottom of a serving glass and has virtually no head whatsoever. What this thread has taught me:

Mint flavor fades fast: Using the natural mint found in mint tea bags fades fast. In the first batch, I used extract at bottling and that did well, but it tasted a little bit more like a mint candy than a natural mint flavor. This second batch used natural mint from mint tea and tasted fine on brew day, but the flavor faded very quickly as was barely discernible at bottling. I had to bump it up again, with a very careful extract addition.

Fats are the enemy of head retention: Using cocoa powder introduces a lot more to the beer than just chocolate flavoring. There's a lot of oil and fat in it as well, and it just murders the head. Version 3.0 will use cacao nibs or more chocolate malt instead of cocoa powder.

Cocoa powder is impossible to rack off: No matter how long it sits in the primary, you can't get rid of all of the cocoa powder residue without filtering this beer. I let version 2.0 sit in the primary for FOUR MONTHS and still had plenty of suspended cocoa in the beer.

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Old 08-01-2013, 04:35 PM   #192
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Great observations thanks. One thing to keep in mind is that chocolate malt doesn't really give a chocolate flavor, more coffee than chocolate. I think they just call it chocolate malt because if the color. I would go with cocoa nibs for chocolate flavor.

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Old 08-01-2013, 09:43 PM   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aiptasia View Post
I've re-worked this stout recipe and it came out much better in version 2.0. I have a few more tweaks due to an upgrade in equipment and will brew version 3.0 in 2014. The second version sat in the primary much longer than my usual beers (Four months) but still had cocoa powder issues. It still leaves cocoa streaks in the bottom of a serving glass and has virtually no head whatsoever. What this thread has taught me:

Mint flavor fades fast: Using the natural mint found in mint tea bags fades fast. In the first batch, I used extract at bottling and that did well, but it tasted a little bit more like a mint candy than a natural mint flavor. This second batch used natural mint from mint tea and tasted fine on brew day, but the flavor faded very quickly as was barely discernible at bottling. I had to bump it up again, with a very careful extract addition.

Fats are the enemy of head retention: Using cocoa powder introduces a lot more to the beer than just chocolate flavoring. There's a lot of oil and fat in it as well, and it just murders the head. Version 3.0 will use cacao nibs or more chocolate malt instead of cocoa powder.

Cocoa powder is impossible to rack off: No matter how long it sits in the primary, you can't get rid of all of the cocoa powder residue without filtering this beer. I let version 2.0 sit in the primary for FOUR MONTHS and still had plenty of suspended cocoa in the beer.
A few things regarding your notes that I find curious - as for the mint flavor from tea, I can agree partially. However, I have not found the mint flavor to fade too much - a bit, yes, but not to the degree that you describe.

Head retention - my personal experience over multiple brews of this recipe disagrees with your experience - I have had zero problems with head retention in this brew.

Cocoa in suspension - I have seen a small amount of cocoa remain in suspension, but barely a noticeable amount, certainly not after a four month primary. Even with a month in primary, I barely had any cocoa left in suspension.

In short - I think your notes are valid, but I also don't think they speak to the recipe in general. My personal experience over many brews has not been the same as yours, so I don't think they are universal, although they are definitely things to keep in mind.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:33 PM   #194
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question - when using the mint tea bags in the boil, do you drop the tea bags in intact or cut them open and dump the contents into the boiling wort?

Also, I'm looking at the celestial seasonings mint tea, do you use peppermint or spearmint?

TIA

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Old 09-09-2013, 11:45 PM   #195
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question - when using the mint tea bags in the boil, do you drop the tea bags in intact or cut them open and dump the contents into the boiling wort?

Also, I'm looking at the celestial seasonings mint tea, do you use peppermint or spearmint?

TIA
I keep them whole, and I use peppermint.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:51 AM   #196
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Andy,
This thread is awesome your brew sounds and looks amazing. I've only brewed two beers so far an Irish red and a honey blonde both extracts. O am starting with extracts and one day move to all grain. I guess what I'm getting at is, is there a way to make this with extracts?
Thanks
Josh

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Old 09-18-2013, 05:12 PM   #197
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Never been a stout guy, but this one sounded interesting. Brewed it back at the beginning of August, bottled around labor day weekend, and just started drinking them this week.

This beer is amazing. No issues with head retention or carbing. Nice blend of the chocolate and mint. Good creamy mouth feel. My batch carb-test plastic bottle was tight after about 5 days, so carbonation was super fast.

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Old 09-19-2013, 01:08 AM   #198
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Never been a stout guy, but this one sounded interesting. Brewed it back at the beginning of August, bottled around labor day weekend, and just started drinking them this week.

This beer is amazing. No issues with head retention or carbing. Nice blend of the chocolate and mint. Good creamy mouth feel. My batch carb-test plastic bottle was tight after about 5 days, so carbonation was super fast.
What yeast did you end up using?
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:56 PM   #199
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What yeast did you end up using?
I didn't have any WLP004 Irish Ale at the time, and my supplier was a bit behind, so I ended up using a 2nd generation US-05 that I washed from an Oaked Honey Wheat Ale I made in July. I will be rebrewing this stout recipe this weekend, minus the mint, with lactose added to make it into a sweet milk chocolate stout.

I will be using the WLP004 for this weekend's batch so we'll see if that affects ferm times at all. My supplier gets direct from WL though based on order requirements (i.e. he doesn't keep a stock, just orders as requested) so our yeasts are usually superfresh. My Irish Ale has an Aug 13 date stamp, so it should be good and strong.
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:57 AM   #200
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Excellent. With multiple carb issues mentioned with the recipe, the more "what went right" stories the the better. Good ol US-05; the backup plan for all!

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