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Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer Andes Mint Chocolate Stout

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modernlifeisANDY

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Location
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Recipe Type
All Grain
Yeast
WLP004
Yeast Starter
None
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter
None
Batch Size (Gallons)
5
Original Gravity
1.060
Final Gravity
1.016
Boiling Time (Minutes)
60
IBU
28
Color
37 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
14 days @ 68
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
Kegged
Additional Fermentation
None
Tasting Notes
See below.




I made this beer as an attempt to give myself something a little darker and flavorful for the upcoming winter, but my fear is that it won't last much past November! This is a delicious dessert beer - the peppermint flavor is mostly aroma with a tiny kick on the back end complemented well by some hop spice. The beer pours black with a nice half-inch head that laces well and looks like chocolate milk that you've shaken up. Mouthfeel is creamy and thick, with a nice carbonation cushion. I know that a lot of people don't like mint with chocolate or mint with beer, but it's worth it!

Andes Mint Chocolate Stout

8 lbs. Pale 2-Row (UK)
1 lb. Flaked Barley
0.5 lb. Carafa III
0.5 lb. Crystal 40
0.5 lb. Chocolate Malt
0.5 lbs. Rice Hulls

1.75 oz. East Kent Goldings (4.5% AA) 60 min.

4-5 oz. unsweetened cocoa powder (last 5 of the boil)
10 peppermint tea bags (make sure that the brand you use only contains peppermint leaves. Celestial Seasonings is good) added in the last 10 minutes of the boil.
You can optionally add additional tea bags as a "dry hop" of sorts. Some have had success with this method but I haven't tried it myself.

Mashed at 156 for 60 minutes, batch sparge to 6.5 gallons for the boil.

Pitched one vial WLP004 Irish Ale yeast, no starter (definitely make a starter if the yeast isn't super fresh, but mine took it down to 1.016 just fine).

Comments welcome!
 
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modernlifeisANDY

modernlifeisANDY

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So if Thanksgiving was any judge, I better brew up 10g of this for the next go round. I blew through this - it's a great winter beer, but I definitely did not keep it around long enough for those temperatures to really drop.

Highly recommended.
 

nootay

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i have everything for this receipe except the carafa III. Is there a substitute for this or should i wait till i place my next grain order?
 
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modernlifeisANDY

modernlifeisANDY

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i have everything for this receipe except the carafa III. Is there a substitute for this or should i wait till i place my next grain order?
You can sub in half a pound of roasted barley, but make sure you still go with some rice hulls. They're both dehusked grains so you'll get a lot of sludge in your mash and it can clog a SS braid pretty easily if that's what you use.
 

nootay

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excellent! i have exactly a half pound of roasted barley left. i think i have a similar yeast as well. if so ill be trying it this week!
 
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modernlifeisANDY

modernlifeisANDY

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Nice, let me know what you think. If the peppermint is weird for you, try starting with 1 tsp. instead of 2. I found 2 to be perfect, but a little mint goes a long way.
 

nootay

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sounds good, i think i will start with 1 tsp. i just want that slight minty finish. i have flaked wheat, not flaked barley. i placed an order for all the right grains, will be brewing this weekend!
 

nootay

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just finished brewing this one! some how ended up with 4.5 gallons instead of 5. because of that i ended up with a gravity of 1.068. Hopefully thats not too high. I did not make a starter with this one because of the low gravity i was planning on. this is my first chocolate stout. i tasted the wort and it was pretty darn bitter. is this normal for a chocolate stout? does the bitterness tone down some after its finished fermenting/cooled/carbed? definitely looking forward to the finished product
 
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modernlifeisANDY

modernlifeisANDY

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just finished brewing this one! some how ended up with 4.5 gallons instead of 5. because of that i ended up with a gravity of 1.068. Hopefully thats not too high. I did not make a starter with this one because of the low gravity i was planning on. this is my first chocolate stout. i tasted the wort and it was pretty darn bitter. is this normal for a chocolate stout? does the bitterness tone down some after its finished fermenting/cooled/carbed? definitely looking forward to the finished product
A lot of that bitterness is probably from the cocoa powder, and it tones down after a bit. Not sure what brought you down to 4.5 gallons but if you ended up using the WLP400 like me you might want to get another vial; I'd worry about that stalling out.

It should tone itself down, just make sure when you take it out of primary and bottle or keg that you siphon from the top or you're going to suck up all of the chocolate sludge.

Keep me posted!
 
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modernlifeisANDY

modernlifeisANDY

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wowowow. Nice winter brew. Hope I remember this next fall. Thanks for the pic, btw, not enough brewers take the time to do that. It means a lot. A taste would be nice too. I'll PM my address :D
It's on my re-brew list for next week. I'll keep you informed ;)
 

nootay

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A lot of that bitterness is probably from the cocoa powder, and it tones down after a bit. Not sure what brought you down to 4.5 gallons but if you ended up using the WLP400 like me you might want to get another vial; I'd worry about that stalling out.

It should tone itself down, just make sure when you take it out of primary and bottle or keg that you siphon from the top or you're going to suck up all of the chocolate sludge.

Keep me posted!
yep i used the same yeast. im kicking myself for not making a starter. i had all the stuff out to do it last night and got lazy and decided i didnt need one. i dont have a brew store anywhere near me, so the quickest i could get the yeast would be 4 days. should i bother with placing an order just for yeast? i do have some notti and a vial kolsh yeast on hand.
 
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modernlifeisANDY

modernlifeisANDY

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yep i used the same yeast. im kicking myself for not making a starter. i had all the stuff out to do it last night and got lazy and decided i didnt need one. i dont have a brew store anywhere near me, so the quickest i could get the yeast would be 4 days. should i bother with placing an order just for yeast? i do have some notti and a vial kolsh yeast on hand.
You should be okay letting it go. You can always pitch more later if it stalls, plus Notty is neutral enough so you can do that if you need to.
 
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modernlifeisANDY

modernlifeisANDY

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Brewed this again last night. I cut the cocoa powder in half, just to make it a bit more subtle. I also decided to try and bring tha mint forward instead of so focused in aroma, so I threw in ten Celestial Seasonings peppermint tea bags in the last five minutes. She's bubbling away as we speak.
 

TonyR

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I brewed this on Friday evening, using the BIAB method. I cut the recipe in half to make a 2.5Gallon batch. I did better holding @156 than I have in the past, but my efficiency was only about 55% according to BeerSmith. My OG ended up being 1.052. I was worried about the coco powder sticking to my chiller, so I just chilled using an ice bath in my sink.

I used a 1qt S-04 starter that I made on Wednesday. Fermentation started within 3 hours, standard amount of krausen, much co2 coming through airlock, probably the most vigorous fermentation I've seen all year. By this afternoon, not seeing anything coming through the airlock, though it is in a 5Gal better bottle. Leaving it sit for now, I will take a gravity reading in a week and see how it looks.
 

nootay

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i kegged this today. ended up using 1.5 tsp of mint extract. while bleeding out the o2 from the tank, i could definitely smell the mint! did you let this one age on gas any time or drink as soon as it was carbed?
 
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modernlifeisANDY

modernlifeisANDY

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I gave it a solid week or so to carb. It mellows a bit with age though, so you can let it sit.
 
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modernlifeisANDY

modernlifeisANDY

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Kegged this second batch yesterday and pulled a sample - I like the mint from the peppermint tea bags more than I did with the extract - it's subtle but clearly there, thought it doesn't quite knock you in the nose like the extract did. I think time will tell which version I prefer, but I definitely am excited for this newest batch.
 

TonyR

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This stuff is pretty good after a couple days of carbing. I think the chocolate cocoa taste is a little overwhelming, so I think for the next batch I will use 2.5 ounces instead of 4. The rest of my family loves it, and this 2.5G will be gone in no time!
 
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modernlifeisANDY

modernlifeisANDY

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Glad you like it! The cocoa is a bit much, I agree, so I actually dropped mine down to 4 oz. for a 5g batch as well.
 

nootay

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i would agree with the cocoa comments. all in all, its a pretty tasty beer! i used 8oz of cocoa and would definitely cut it in half next time. im assuming thats what all the bitterness is coming from?
 

BrokenDog

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I used this recipe but subbed the powder for some chocolate extract. I am going to add some cocoa nibs too since the extract wasn't enough. My only concern was the peppermint extract. I used 1 1/2 tsp and that seems like too much, I hope it mellows a bit. The taste wasn't really overpowering but the smell sure was.
 

TonyR

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I used 1tsp peppermint extract for 2.5G @ 2min. You can't smell the pepperment too much when you go to have a drink, but it gives more to the taste. The bitterness of the cocoa powder has mellowed out for me since it's been in the keg. Had a big foaming problem with this beer, serving at 4psi seems to help instead of the 9psi I normally use.
 

Sergood

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I like the grain bill for this. I am brewing a similar batch today, except I am going to split the batch before kegging and do 1/2 mint 1/2 cherry (just in time for Valentines). SWMBO does not like mint.
 
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modernlifeisANDY

modernlifeisANDY

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So this second batch (using half the cocoa and peppermint tea bags instead of extract) tops the original by far. Much smoother taste overall without that cocoa bitterness that you get with a full 8 oz. Either recipe works and works well, but I think the modified one is a bit better.

@TonyR not sure what could be causing your foaming issues - are you using the same lines you usually do? I carbed mine at ~10psi and it has been fine both from a picnic tap and the tower.
 

TonyR

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I found this past weekend, that my temps weren't quite right in my keezer. The bottom was getting down to 30*F while the top where my temp controller probe was closer to 40. After I bottled the last bit so I could swap another keg in, I found the bottom was a big hunk of ice. After adjusting the temps a bit, this new mint chocolate keg I swapped in seems to be pouring much better.
 

hopalotamus

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brewed this today pre fermentation taste was good minty but not very chocolaty dose the chocolate come through better post ferment? brewed the second recipe 4oz and tea bags maybe didnt add enough chocolate?
 
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modernlifeisANDY

modernlifeisANDY

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The 4 oz. should be enough. I found a full 8 oz. to be way to overpowering. It definitely blends and comes through a bit better as the beer ferments. See how it tastes before bottling, you can always add a bit more if you want to.
 

hopalotamus

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thanks let you know how it turns out i am going to taste it in a week or two if its still lacks chocolate i may secondary with so cacao nibs i have
 

Reno_eNVy

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Thanks for the info, Andy! I've put together a recipe for a chocolate mint sweet stout but didn't know (or wasn't confident with) how I should add the peppermint.

I'll be doing a 3 gallon batch of my recipe. I figure 2oz cocoa and 6 peppermint tea bags should be fine... does that sound right to you?
 
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modernlifeisANDY

modernlifeisANDY

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That would probably be perfect to start. 2 oz. will be a little less pronounced than the proportions for a 5 gallon batch, but barely. 6 tea bags will be perfect!

By the way, kegged my version of your pumpkin ale last week and it is TASTY.
 

Reno_eNVy

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modernlifeisANDY said:
That would probably be perfect to start. 2 oz. will be a little less pronounced than the proportions for a 5 gallon batch, but barely. 6 tea bags will be perfect!

By the way, kegged my version of your pumpkin ale last week and it is TASTY.
Excellent. I've been drinking mine for a couple weeks and it just keeps getting better.
 

jjbcjohnson

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What category would this fall under 21a, 21b or 23a? I recently made this and it turned out great. It is a bit thin in the body but has a good chocolate flavor and just a hint of peppermint in the nose.
 
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