Originally Posted by Captain_Bigelow
I just racked mine to secondary. The chocolate totally fell to the bottom of the primary to leave almost a gallon of sludge. Did anyone else find this? I added the chocolate powder to the last 5 minutes of the boil like the recipe states.
I want to age this a while, so I plan on not adding the mint until 2 weeks before I want to keg it.
I sort of thought something like this would happen with cocoa powder. There's all that surface area, as opposed to maybe nibs or something else. Cocoa powder is a good idea though. There is a slight concern with the powder in that all of the fat content will go into the wort. In your case it's a godsend that it was too heavy and fell to the bottom. Think about the amount of fat in terms of ppm:
1 oz of cocoa powder=4 g
4 g = 4,000 mg
4,000 mg of fat X 8 oz=32,000 mg of fat
5.5 G = 20.82 L
32,000 mg of fat / 20.82 L = 1,537 ppm fat.
Considering how we pay close attention to calcium (50-150ppm), chloride (0-250ppm), sodium (<150ppm), and sulfate (50-350 depending) in our mash and such among other levels, there has to be some deleterious effects to the addition of this amount of 1,537 ppm of fat. Half of it is saturated, and I'm no chemist but maybe that means that they will in fact sink, and not actually be soluble in your wort, leaving behind the phenols and stuff you want from the cocoa. No one has mentioned it, and I'm wondering if there was any lack of head retention or any off-flavors associated with the addition of the fats. If not, that's awesome! Anyone?
Maybe a better option would be "dry-hopping" with nibs that were maybe roasted in the oven to sanitize, the way oak chips are done? I'm just throwing it out there, but I'm thinking that nibs would provide some flavor, maybe not as intense as the powder because of the sheer surface area factor, but also have less of a tendency to add the negative effects of the fat left in the cocoa. Nibs, on the other hand, have a higher fat content I'm guessing, because they haven't been pressed and had most of the fat removed like the powder does.
This is all fun stuff to think about. In practical experience, I've "dry-hopped" with nibs in the secondary and it leaves a nutty chocolate flavor, not as intense as I would have liked, but it tastes like a very authentic, slightly roasted nutty chocolate.
There's good information on the Hershey website on the process of making powder out of a bean.
There are a bunch of interesting tidbits here.
You'll notice that it's a one
ingredient food, and you know exactly what's up with it. Very refreshing, considering if we wanted chocolate flavor I'm sure there's a bottle with an eyedropper that we could buy. Hats-off and applause for authentic ingredients, and it appears cocoa powder actually is in that category.