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Old 10-28-2010, 12:33 AM   #41
Captain_Bigelow
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I just racked mine to secondary. The chocolate totally fell to the bottom of the primary to leave almost a gallon of sludge. Did anyone else find this? I added the chocolate powder to the last 5 minutes of the boil like the recipe states.

I want to age this a while, so I plan on not adding the mint until 2 weeks before I want to keg it.

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Old 11-04-2010, 02:10 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Captain_Bigelow View Post
I just racked mine to secondary. The chocolate totally fell to the bottom of the primary to leave almost a gallon of sludge. Did anyone else find this? I added the chocolate powder to the last 5 minutes of the boil like the recipe states.

I want to age this a while, so I plan on not adding the mint until 2 weeks before I want to keg it.
I sort of thought something like this would happen with cocoa powder. There's all that surface area, as opposed to maybe nibs or something else. Cocoa powder is a good idea though. There is a slight concern with the powder in that all of the fat content will go into the wort. In your case it's a godsend that it was too heavy and fell to the bottom. Think about the amount of fat in terms of ppm:

1 oz of cocoa powder=4 g
4 g = 4,000 mg
4,000 mg of fat X 8 oz=32,000 mg of fat
5.5 G = 20.82 L
32,000 mg of fat / 20.82 L = 1,537 ppm fat.

Considering how we pay close attention to calcium (50-150ppm), chloride (0-250ppm), sodium (<150ppm), and sulfate (50-350 depending) in our mash and such among other levels, there has to be some deleterious effects to the addition of this amount of 1,537 ppm of fat. Half of it is saturated, and I'm no chemist but maybe that means that they will in fact sink, and not actually be soluble in your wort, leaving behind the phenols and stuff you want from the cocoa. No one has mentioned it, and I'm wondering if there was any lack of head retention or any off-flavors associated with the addition of the fats. If not, that's awesome! Anyone?


Maybe a better option would be "dry-hopping" with nibs that were maybe roasted in the oven to sanitize, the way oak chips are done? I'm just throwing it out there, but I'm thinking that nibs would provide some flavor, maybe not as intense as the powder because of the sheer surface area factor, but also have less of a tendency to add the negative effects of the fat left in the cocoa. Nibs, on the other hand, have a higher fat content I'm guessing, because they haven't been pressed and had most of the fat removed like the powder does.

This is all fun stuff to think about. In practical experience, I've "dry-hopped" with nibs in the secondary and it leaves a nutty chocolate flavor, not as intense as I would have liked, but it tastes like a very authentic, slightly roasted nutty chocolate.

There's good information on the Hershey website on the process of making powder out of a bean.

http://www.hersheys.com/nutrition-pr...alkalized.aspx There are a bunch of interesting tidbits here.

You'll notice that it's a one ingredient food, and you know exactly what's up with it. Very refreshing, considering if we wanted chocolate flavor I'm sure there's a bottle with an eyedropper that we could buy. Hats-off and applause for authentic ingredients, and it appears cocoa powder actually is in that category.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:14 PM   #43
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wow thanks for all the info.

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Old 11-14-2010, 03:18 PM   #44
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Default First All Grain


Hey guys,

I brewed this yesterday and wanted to leave some input and comments.

Here are the changes I made:

  • I changed the secondary/supporting malts to 1 lb each. This brought the total weight up to 13 lbs of grain. The Brew Your Own Calculator gave me an OG of 1.060 but my actual was 1.064 - possibly due to the cocoa.
  • I mashed 5 gallons of water at 152, then lautered an additional 3 gallons of water at strike temp = 172. I collected roughly 6.5 gallons of syrups. I'm not sure why this wasn't included in the original recipe but its absolutely necessary to lauter.
  • Cocoa went in at 5 minutes as planned and got stuck to my wort chiller =/ I used the wort to rinse it but that may detract from the final appearnace.
  • The .25 oz of williamette at 2 min leads to about .33 IBU so I doubled that to .5. I'm not entirely sure that much of this will even come through in the brew due to the cocoa powder and spearmint later on secondary. I'm going to venture that this can be removed entirely from the recipe.
  • I bought .17 lbs of fresh spearmint, removed each leaf, throw out the stems, then roughly chopped the spearmint and placed it into a cup of Absolute vodka. It's sitting for a week until I pitch it into the secondary.

That's it! I tasted the wort and am happy to say that very little (if any) burnt flavors came through. And there was an overwhelming taste of chocolate due to the 8 oz of cocoa powder. I will post back when the primary fermentation is done with any observations.

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Old 11-14-2010, 03:23 PM   #45
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I was referring to your comparison to dry hopping. I would think if you want a long lasting Mint flavor you'd be better off boiling the leaves in the wort for 30 minutes and leaving them in the primary. Just my 0.02...
I'm not sure that's entirely right - The mint oils are very delicate and they collapse under the high heat and rolling boil. You'd need to put A LOT of mint in there to get any flavor into the body of the beer. It's much better off dry hopping or extracting with alch.
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:53 PM   #46
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Hey thanks for posting this! I am planning on brewing this in the next week or two and wanted to hear some opinions like yours. Let me know how it works out! Thanks.

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Old 11-16-2010, 11:07 PM   #47
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Has anyone tried this without mint leaves, and by using peppermint extract instead?

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Old 11-16-2010, 11:16 PM   #48
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I believe the extract is exactly the same as soaking the mint in vodka.

I'm going to set a few bottles aside without the extract to see how it tastes when it finished.

Has anyone brewed this and came across a less than vigorous fermentation? It's been about 72 hours now since brewing and while my airlock is certainly moving it's not terribly foamy.

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Old 11-21-2010, 03:34 AM   #49
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I just racked this from secondary to the keg. mmmmm the sample tasted delicious - like a rich after dinner chocolate. I used about 0.6oz of mint and it is nice and subtle. I can't wait until this one is carbed and on my nitro set-up.

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Old 11-23-2010, 01:31 AM   #50
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I pulled my first pint tonight and it is great. I mashed at 156 so it turned to be almost not as beer-y, does that make sense? Almost like a sweet tasty drink, hard to describe. I think dryer would have been better in hind sight but it is very smooth and tasty. I minced mint leaves and soaked in vodka for the time it was in the fermentor and I think it was just the right touch of mint. You get it at the end and it makes for a crisp finish. I'll keep this updated to see if the mint fades. Id say for anyone else, keep it to the the recipe mash temp and the mint vodka was the way to go IMHO. It is a crowd pleaser even for my friends who aren't stout fans.

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