I am going to brew this beer to give to family/friends for xmas. I am trying to make a chocolate heavy/sweet beer that even non beer loves would like. I took the recipe from a book we have and then tweaked it quite a bit. I'm also trying to decide about the chocolate addition. Right now I want to do 8oz of unsweetened cocoa powder to flameout. I am planning on tasting the beer after a week and seeing if I should add any more chocolate. Either way I'll add one or two cracked vanilla beans to primary after a week.
I have been playing around the with the grain bill: chocolate malt, roasted barley, and black patent amounts. Let me know if you think there's too much or too little of them. Also any feedback/experience with chocolate types would be helpful. I've done quite a bit of research on the topic and can't seem to find a definitive answer to whether it's better to use unsweetened cocoa powder, semisweet chocolate, or cocoa nibs. The main thing I'm worried about is the cocoa powder causing bitterness. I am going to brew this soon to give some time for the beer to age/mellow out.
6.5 lb dark malt extract
2 lb dark dry malt extract
1 lb crystal malt 60L
1/2 lb roasted barley
1/2 lb chocolate malt
1/8 lb black patent malt
1/2 lb rolled oats (for mouthfeel)
1 1/2 oz cascade hops (bittering at 60)
1/2 oz hallertau hops (aroma at 5)
8 oz unsweetened cocoa (flameout)
2 tsp gypsum
irish ale yeast
1-2 cracked vanilla bean
Thanks in advance!