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Old 12-04-2012, 03:39 PM   #1
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Default Cocoa Nibs Advice

Looking to make a chocolate Mead using Orange blossom honey, I have sourced cocoa nibs and want to use those. My concern is the fat content. I am looking for advise on how to use them.

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:42 PM   #2
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They can be used directly in the mash, the boil, or suspended in conditioning beer like hops or spices. They should be used with restraint. Three ounces in a five-gallon batch is a good starting point. To get maximum effect in the mash or kettle, mill them as you would your grain.

There is a misperception that chocolate is fattening. In truth, the fats in cocoa butter are healthy fats. Cacao contains oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, also found in olive oil, that may raise good cholesterol.

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:29 PM   #3
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In my few experiences with cacao nibs in--yes--mead, the fats or oils have not been a problem. Nibs seem to give a fuller less bitter chocolate flavor than powder and the fats are not noticeable like with chocolate. Use them in secondary at no more than 4oz nibs per 5G mead, after fermentation is finished, and rack off to tertiary (to clear residual floaties or powder) when the mead tastes good to you. This could be 1-6 weeks depending on other ingredients/complexity/strength. Too long and the mead (or beer) can get a husky or smoky flavor. Expect a red-brown hue to be added, not the brown-black of chocolate.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:51 AM   #4
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Ooops--I used 3 oz in a gallon!

I haven't noticed any problems with fats from them. I do recommend roasting them (in a dry frying pan) to help bring out the chocolate flavour.
And to add to HYDOHARRY's post, you get different flavours depending on when, and how you add them--I believe it's earthier when added to the mash, and so forth. Somewhere out there is some information on different methods of using them.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:08 AM   #5
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I've used them in the secondary for mead. I went with several oz in a gal, just not for a real long time. It was still too much. It taste more like a chocolate liquor now. Kinda good, but I am thinking about mixing it with a more traditional mead to tone it down.

Next time I would probably go with about 1 oz per gallon (maaayyybe 2) depending on how long you wanted to leave it on the nibs.

It seems like the flavor is also a little more pronounced as it ages. I hope that is not a continueing trend as I would rather see the flavor lessen over time.

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