Advice with possibly jazzing up a chocolate stout extract kit

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MooDaddy

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Just purchased a chocolate stout extract kit from AHS and plan to make it this week. The only other brew I have done was over 9 years ago and it was also a chocolate stout extract kit, but with the exception of having most of the equipment I need from the first brew, I have pretty much forgotten everything else I did except for making sure I had everything sanitized for the event, so for all intents and purposes I will be starting from scratch. The first brew - a Young's Double Chocolate Stout clone - turned out fantastic and I'm trying to decide whether or not to simply leave this kit 'as is', or maybe add some additional cocoa powder, cacao nibs, or whatever to give it even more of a chocolate flavor. I've googled the subject and found 8 gazillion opinions on what to add and when to add it and so forth, and I'm kinda looking for some simple easy suggestions on what I can safely add and when I should add it, if I indeed choose to mess with the original kit at all. Much appreciated.
 

McKnuckle

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I think many people would advise that if this is your first brew in 9 years, to just follow the recipe and see what the baseline is for the kit. After all, it's already a beer style with some panache, so it shouldn't be boring. The 8 gazillion opinions you found already will just be augmented here by a dozen or so. :)
 

Calder

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I've googled the subject and found 8 gazillion opinions on what to add and when to add it and so forth
8 gazillion opinions is not enough for you, so you are here asking for more!

Since you haven't brewed much, I would recommend brewing it per the instructions and not screwing with it. Learn to walk before trying to run.

Sure, there are things that you can add; Oak, Bourbon, Rum, Vanilla, fruit (raspberries would go well), coffee, etc. But before adding anything, you should really have some idea of what the beer will be like before you add additional flavors.
 

jrgtr42

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Jazz it up? Maybe a drum solo?
Seriously, like others said, I would recommend brew it as is for now - get your feet back underneath you brewing wise. Do a couple more batches, then maybe think about adding more.
Personally, I would think of something to complement the chocolate, rather than add more. Be it coffee, or bourbon, or some sort of fruit flavoring.
 

RM-MN

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Brew this kit as it is and while you are waiting for it to complete fermentataion, buy another one exactly the same and then make the changes to it. Now you will have a fair comparison to what your changes did to improve the beer...or not.
 
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