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Old 11-29-2012, 05:42 PM   #1
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I figured you guys would be the best to help me out since you have the most experience with these things. I brewed a milk stout and transferred to the secondary about 1 week ago, adding some cacao nibs. Now it looks like this:

What do you think? I'd like to keep it if I can stand the taste at all. Do I need to rack to another carboy ASAP if I want to salvage it or should I just wait the normal two weeks or so and bottle (racking from under this stuff)?


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Old 11-29-2012, 05:47 PM   #2
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Looks like a lacto infection to me on first sight. Do you have any other pics?


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Old 11-29-2012, 05:48 PM   #3
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Blue cheese crumbles?? Maybe feta....

If you've reached FG, and the beer under the infection tastes OK, get it bottled, carbed, and in the fridge ASAP. The only thing that will slow down the infection is cold temps.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:54 PM   #4
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I have other pics but none are better--the condensation on the carboy obscures everything. Those are bubbles (more well-formed and spherical than typical fermentation), and the brown things are the nibs.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:06 PM   #5
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Did you use raw cocoa nibs? I did a vodka infusion with raw nibs once that formed a layer of fat at the top. Cocoa nibs have 'cocoa butter' that will come out in alcohol, I think roasting must remove most of the oil, but if you use Raw nibs (they sell them at whole foods) you'll get fat chunks floating to the top.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:22 PM   #6
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yeah theyre straight raw nibs
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:12 AM   #7
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Not to jack this thread but I do have a question related to the nibs. I recently purchased some cocoa nibs (raw) from whole foods to include in my first porter before I knew about them. I have had them sitting in vodka with a vanilla bean for about a week now waiting to pitch to keg when I take it out of primary. I had read about toasting them prior to vodka and I did that. However, it is my first attempt at using nibs as well as roasting. I followed the advise of others, heating them with med/high heat in a pan, constantly stirring them. I did that for about 3-5 minutes. How long should it take to remove most of the oil when roasting them?
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:28 PM   #8
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Looks like a lacto infection to me. I'd say you have two options. Like TopherM says, you could keg it immediately and keep it cold, or bottle it and move the whole batch into the fridge as soon as it's carbed, to slow the infection down. All in all, somewhat risky but probably still drinkable. Second option, get yourself some sour dregs or Brett cultures, toss them in, and let it go for a year, and have yourself a sour stout. Not sure how a sour chocolate stout might taste, though.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:26 PM   #9
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The lipids from the raw cocoa nibs is also going to kill head retention, BTW, just like oil from your nose breaks down soda/beer fizz. The fats/oils occupy the surface area of the beer, leaving no nucleation sites for the CO2 = no head.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:27 AM   #10
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Turned out it was the fat from the nibs. Tasted great!


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