Below is my approach to what I hope is a great recipe. I have thought through this for quite a while, and hope I have done good research and made good assumptions. I will be brewing tomorrow morning. I am looking for a critique of the approach and suggestions.
I do not have the actual recipe I plan to brew as it is on my home machine and I am at the office now.
Building my chocolate ale
* I want the end product to have a noticeable chocolate aroma, with a silky smooth chocolate finish
* I prefer a beer with a moderate amount of mouthfeel, that is not cloyingly sweet or with a moderate to high hop bitterness
* I will bottle this beer as I have read this may take time to condition, and natural carbing will benefit the beer.
* The batch will be 5 gallons-all grain
* The majority of the beer should bottle condition for a minimum of 2 months (preferably 3-4)
I plan to brew a basic southern brown ale, just above style guidelines for ABV, and on the lower end of the IBUs since the chocolate will add a bittering factor.
In an effort to improve head retention, I will include flaked wheat to the grain bill. There will be no heavily roasted grains in the bill, the highest color grain will be a small addition of crystal 120. I want any roasted flavor to come from the cocoa.
I plan to use Nottingham yeast.
I plan to ferment at 60 degrees. Primary for 1 week, secondary for 3 weeks. Normally, I do not use a secondary for this style, but I believe there are benefits in this case.
For chocolate flavor, I have pure un-sweetened ground cocoa from a gourmet market and chocolate extract in shipment.
I plan to add a amount of the ground cocoa to the mash (~1 oz) and some to the secondary (~1 oz). The extract, I plan to add at the time of bottling and my current planned addition will be around 3-4 ozs.
I also plan to add 3/4 cup of lactose to the boil (15 min) in an effort to soften/aid the edge of the chocolate.
Chocolate extract recommendation from Denny Conn - Link
Chocolate extract source - Link
Brewing with Chocolate (BYO) - Link
Formulating and Brewing a Winning Chocolate Porter (Maltose Falcons) - Link
Cheesefood's CCA Recipe - Link