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Old 04-12-2014, 09:13 PM   #1
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Default Who has experience with coffee and chocolate?

Looking to brew an imperial coffee stout soon. Are there any suggestions in the amount to brew with when to add it? I have heard adding it to the end of the boil will add flavor as well extract some of the caffeine, thoughts? As well what would be the best time to add chocolate to get maximum flavor and gravity increase. I was contemplating boiling water and melting chocolate and adding it to the fermenter... or maybe the boil kettle. what do you think?

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Old 04-12-2014, 09:43 PM   #2
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Try cold steeping your (course ground) coffee for a day or two before brewing and add it near the end of the boil or at flame out. Coffee extracts astringency when heated and it may add some bitterness that you didn't account for. Cold steeping will offer a smooth, full coffee flavor without any bitterness. Be aware that adding cold steeped coffee liquid will kill your boil for a few min so maybe add it at flameout and it can help cool your wort at the same time.

If you do some math, 5 us gal of full strength brewed coffee requires 48 oz of grounds, or 4 regular sized bags of coffee beans. So, 4 bags of coffee would essentially replace your brewing water with coffee. Use that to gauge how much coffee flavor you want. I just brewed a breakfast stout with 1 full bag of ground coffee and the coffee flavor is VERY prominent but not yet overpowering.

Not a lot of experience with chocolate. I know you should use cocoa nibs and I've used it in the boil and in the secondary but always in the same batch (never either/or) so I can't tell which adds more flavor. If you add to the secondary be sure to use a hop bag because it will really clog your siphon rod.

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Old 04-13-2014, 02:05 AM   #3
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I cold steep 8 oz of medium ground beans in about 40 oz of water for a normal gravity (~1.060) 5 gal batch, the coffee flavor is assertive. For an Imperial, I'd still do 8 oz and have it be more subtle or up it to 10 oz.

I just tried 4 oz cocoa nibs in a stout, can't really taste them. So I guess I'd go 6-8 oz of those. Personally, I stick to one flavor at a time until I nail it proportion-wise. So now that I know my own personal coffee additions, I could try a coffee-vanilla or coffee chocolate beer with just the new flavor as the unknown variable.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:10 AM   #4
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I dry hopped with 4oz of cacao nibs before in a milk stout and at first, the chocolate taste was very prominent but it faded quite a bit over time (a couple months) and was gradually replaced with more of a coffee taste (I also dry hopped with ~1/3lb of coarse ground coffee, french roast).
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:45 PM   #5
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I've made some coffee porters, never used chocolate before though. I use my French press and make it really strong, then add it at kegging time. Last time I made it, it was overpowering for the first couple of weeks, then smoothed out. I might have not mixed it well enough in the keg, though.

Lots of people recommend cold brewing coffee. I've never tried it, so can't say if it's any better.

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Old 04-13-2014, 06:58 PM   #6
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You can add unsweetened bakers chocolate at the beginning of the boil for a nice chocolate flavor. Make sure it is unsweetened though.

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Old 04-13-2014, 09:24 PM   #7
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I also use cold stepped coffee, added at bottling/kegging to taste.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:24 PM   #8
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I've never added coffee to a beer, but have a recipe in kind I would like ready for fall. Something like a fullers London porter with the coffee flavours enhanced with a few ounces of course ground dark roast. I understand the bitterness/astringency concerns of boiling coffee, but is there any reason I couldnt streamline the addition by getting the wort to 190ish and adding the coffee like it was whirlpool hops? A strong French press batch added at flameout would also work for me as I already have one.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:16 AM   #9
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When I did my Vanilla Java Porter I added my cold steeped coffee into secondary with my vanilla beans. I did 5 scoops of the coffee grounds into my french press with the supplied scoop and then put the whole thing in and it came out a bit more coffee flavor and not enough vanilla. Next time Ill do the same amount but only put 2/3-3/4 of the french press and slightly change how I did my vanilla beans.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:00 AM   #10
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I used cacao nibs for a chocolate flavor. 2 oz for the last 15 min boil and 2 oz in secondary. Not a hint of chocolate. More like coffee I was very dissappointed. I even tried boiling water and adding cocoa powder(pretty bitter) that didn't help much either. Good luck.

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