Chocolate-Coffee-Raspberry Imperial Stout

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oberon567

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So, I have been working on a summer ale recipe that I am going to brew this Friday (https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=72570) and it occurred to me - Why can't I brew a heavy stout in the summer? I like big beers and have wanted to try a chocolate-espresso stout for a while, so I figured I would give it a go. And then I thought I would go one step further and add some raspberries. I looked through all the recipes on this site, and there are a number of chocolate stouts, coffee stouts, and chocolate coffee stouts, but none with the fruit addition. I know Snake River Zonker Stout is an Imperial Stout with all three, and I know Weyerbacher makes a Raspberry Imperial Stout as well. though I have tried neither. So I am working on getting a recipe down, and would love some advice.

What I picture is a big, heavy stout, black as oil. The kind of stout that makes an evening an evening. All of the flavors are there, apparent, but nothing overpowering, and the solid bitterness and malty delicicaies of the stout still make their way through. The coffee notes are probably what hit the nose first, and are probably first on the taste. The smooth chocolate finishes it out. The raspberries sparkle throughout, not overpowering but making themselves known.

I went through the chocolate and coffee stout recipes here as inspiration. Most had an IBU of approx. 50 - 60 so I decided to shoot for somewhere in that range. I do not want to doa partial mash so I got rid of all of the grains that would require it, like flaked barley or oats, munich malt, etc. Without further ado I will give the roughest draft of the recipe, and then some of my questions and concerns afterwords:

EDIT - This recipe has changed somewhat, keep reading through to see its current state, and when I actually brew it I will post a final recipe

Midnight Oil Imperial Stout
9.0 lbs. Dark DME
2.0 lbs. Crystal 80L steeped 30 mins at 150-160
1.0 lbs. Roasted barley steeped 30 mins at 150-160
1.0 lbs. Black Patent Malt steeped 30 mins at 150-160
1.0 lbs. Chocolate Malt steeped 30 mins at 150-160
1.0 oz. Chinook Pellet Hops 60 minutes
1.0 oz. Saaz Pellet Hops 15 minutes
1/2 c. baking cocoa at flameout
1/4 c. baking cocoa in Secondary
1 c. fresh raspberries, crushed in Secondary
24-32 oz. cold brewed espresso in Secondary
White Labs WLP004 Irish Stout Yeast

According to TastyBrew's Recipe Calculator, this should have approx. IBU 55, ABV 8.3, both of which seem to be in line with what I am going for. I will be doing a 3 gallon boil and then adding to make 5. I am most likely going to brew for 30 minutes with only 3 lbs. of the DME, to make sure the hos have a fighting chance, and I will add the additional 6 lbs. for the final 30 minutes.

OK, now questions:
(1.) I am worried about a little too much smokiness from 1 lb. Black Patent and 1 lb. Roasted Barley. Should this be a concern? Should I modify my steeping grains? I don't want to shy away from a traditional, heavy stout flavor, I just want to layer on top of it.
(2.) Do the amounts of chocolate, coffee and berries look about right? Like I said, I want them all to be very present, and it would be difficult to mask 9 lbs. of dark malt.
(3.) What could I expect the difference to be from boiling the cocoa for the full 60 like some recipes do as opposed to putting it in at flameout as opposed to putting it in the secondary? Similarly, what could I expect to be a difference between adding ground coffee at flameout or in the secondary as opposed to the cold-brewed coffee in the secondary?
(4.) Does anyone think blackberries might create a more interesting bouquet than the raspberries?
(5.) I am not entirely settled on the Saaz as my flavoring/aroma hop. The stouts I was using as my inspiration used Chinook, Saaz, Liberty and Fuggles as flavoring hops. Saaz has less of a citrus or fruitiness to it and more of an earthy spiciness, which I thought would be a stronger compliment to the berries.
(6.) I ferment in an Ale Pail (6.5 gallons) with an airlock. I have read these types of stouts might warrant getting some blow-off tube and setting that up, at least for the initial days of fermentation. Good idea, or unnecessary?
(7.) I wanted the crystal to add nice, smooth undertones but did not want it to be too overpowering, which is when I was going with 80L. Does that make sense? With this heavy of a recipe would it be a marked difference anyway?

As even my few weeks reading and even fewer days participating in this site have displayed for me, many of y'all know answers to questions I haven't even thought of and see remedies to problems I forgot to anticipate, so I will take any advice you have got.

Thanks for the patience, support and encouragement, folks!
 

landis

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I'm a recipe noob so you can take this all with a grain of salt, but it looks like your recipe is the bigger/stronger/older brother of the recipe I made up and brewed last week:

6lbs Muntons Amber DME
1/2 lb Black Patent Malt 471L
1/2 lb Roasted Barley Malt 675L
1/2 lb Chocolate Malt 338L
1/2 lb Oats
1 lb Flaked Barley

1oz Kent Goldings (60min)
1oz Fuggle (60min)
1oz Kent Golding (5min)
4oz Bakers Chocolate (0min)

Unfortunately at this point I'm not sure what this will taste like, but in two months time hopefully I'll know better. Oh, and this was (in my opinion) ridiculously expensive ($50) to brew as extract.

I used the flaked barley for head retention purposes, and the oats for a nice thickness. The guy at the LHBS who helped with the recipe said that if I boiled the cocoa for longer then it became more of a bittering agent instead of adding to the flavor. At flameout and in the secondary would add more flavor.
 
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oberon567

oberon567

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If only you had brewed yours 2 months ago!

Since I have a tendency to brew stronger brews, $50 for an extract brew is on my low side. My Wild Dog Days Summer Ale, which I linked to above, will be between $54 - $64, depending on how strong I decide to make it. And think of it this way: $50 for your batch = approx. $1 a bottle. If you go buy some Young's Double Chocolate Stout, that costs $10 for a 4 pack, or $2.50 a bottle. So it ends up being pretty cheap.

Another question: Is there any utility to adding some vanilla extract (or vanilla bean, should I be able to find it) to accentuate the flavors that are there, or would that just be muddying it up? I only ask because I saw it in a couple of other recipes for chocolate stout...
 
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oberon567

oberon567

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Landis, did you do a partial mash in order to get the most out of your oats and your flaked barley? The chocolate malt can just be steeped but I thought those two needed to be mashed... though I could be very wrong... and I am not sure what happens (in terms of enzymatic action, starch and sugar action) when you only steep a grain that wants to be mashed...
 
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oberon567

oberon567

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Sorry for piling up the questions, but I have also read that when ding extract brewing it is often best to always use either pale or amber extract, because anything beyond pale extract is just the pale extract with other things added to it, and if you're going to steep specialty grains you can add all of those things yourself... If this is true, could I switch my DME to amber and still get the deep black color, tan head, and flavors I am desiring without changing any of the other grains?
 

The Blow Leprechaun

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1 cup of raspberries in a beer like this probably won't come through very much, but personally I don't think I'd add them anyway - it's best to build a beer from the ground up, the more you add to it in the beginning, the harder it is to tell what's causing any off flavors that develop.

As to telling what color your beer will be with various extracts/specialty grains, get a piece of brewing software and play around with it. It'll tell you the SRM and (usually) show you a picture of roughly what the color will be.
 
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oberon567

oberon567

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I was just playing with TastyBrew's calculator to see what differences would exist if using 80L vs 120L and using Amber DME vs. Dark DME. The 80L vs. 120L had no difference in any of the numbers at all, irrelevant of the DME. (Though the 120L would be getting closer to the toffee flavors I would expect from the Crystal, so I might switch to that...)

The Amber DME had:
IBU 53
SRM 50
ABV 8.8

The Dark DME had:
IBU 55
SRM 50
ABV 8.3

So the Dark had a few less fermentables, leading to lower ABV, but somehow accentuated the hops and made it slightly more bitter. The SRM stayed the same either way, at 50, which would be nice and dark.
 

landis

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I did end up doing a partial mash on the oats and flaked barley. As I mentioned I am no expert on these things, so I have been just doing/trying new things to try and understand the brewing process more. The guy at the home brew store suggested warming up 1.5 to 2 gallons to use for steeping. After after that was done I noticed that the oats really sucked up tons on my steeping water so I poured 1/2 gallon of warm water over the oats and another 1/2 gallon of warm water over the barley. I'm not exactly sure chemically what that did

Then with the boil and other additions I suppose that was 3 or 3.5 gallons and I then topped off to 5 gallons to ferment. I wish I had equipment to do boil all 5, but maybe some day.

And The Blow Leprechaun recommended a small amount of vanilla at bottling time to improve the perception of the chocolate flavor.
 

landis

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Oh yeah, I forgot about the DME question. I ended up going with amber just because I used the Muntons Amber before and really thought it had a great flavor. I know a lot of people use BeerSmith or other software to help with the numbers. I downloaded BeerSmith (30 day free trial) but haven't had much of a chance to experiment with it yet.
 

visitor

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Just a few small comments. I've been toying with the idea of trying an espresso beer as well as wanting to use raspberries but haven't thought about combining the two into a single recipe.

I've been thinking when I do the espresso, I'll add a espresso puck or two into the whirlpool just after flame out. Then use about 3% espresso in the secondary. Your's looks a about 6% or so, maybe a little high? I am not a coffee drinker so I'll error on the side of caution and just add more if I don't think it has enough taste.

As for the berries my gut tells me you'll want more because they might get hidden by the espresso? I LOVE raspberries and don't mind tasting them in the brew, I think they go great with a light stout or porter! Are you going to heat the berries before pitching them to kill any bugs? How are you looking to prepare the berries?

Looking forward to your results!
 
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oberon567

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I am considering slowing this bad boy down to a regular stout and not an imperial stout, and lowering the DME. I am not sure, though. I need to make some decisions between now and Friday early afternoon, as I plan on buying the ingredients Friday after work and brewing this guy on Saturday (after I get home from seeing "The Dark Knight" in IMAX!)

My plan for the berries was to flash boil/steam them (ie, boil some water, throw the berries in long enough to sanitize them, and then immediately immerse them in cold (also sanitized) water to cool them down) and then crush them, so the skins are broken, and throw them in the secondary.. You dont want to let them get too hot for too long ecause (and I may be wrong about this) I believe the heat will activate some sort of chemical reaction that will catalyze the pectin in them and will cloud up the brew.

EDIT - Also, by the time you add things to the secondary, your now fermented beer is already pretty acidic and can kill off a lot more nasties than your ever so delicate wort could. There are still sugars and other things for nasties to feed on, but their chance for survival is significantly less than it was just a few days prior...
 
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oberon567

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And by % espresso, are you getting that number from 32oz espresso/640 oz. (5 gallons) beer = 5%?

Because the math should be 32oz / 672 oz total liquid = 4.76%, or, at the bottom of my scale, 24 oz. / 664 oz = 3.6%.

I guess my question is, what is the difference between throwing a puck in (and how much constitutes a puck of ground espresso beans?) at flameout + an additional 3% in secondary and not putting any in at flameout + 6% in secondary?

Secondary often adds more to the aroma than the flavor, right? So if I want to have a roasted espresso flavor as well as aroma I might be wise to split it up, and put some in at/just before flameout and some in at Secondary?

The recipes I used for inspiration did both methods, but none of them combined the two methods. I am not sure what the differences would be. Anyone?




ALSO - Should I double the raspberries to 2 cups? How much do we think I need to get that sparkling through, trying really hard but not at the forefront flavor from the berries with all of this malt, cocoa and coffee? And does everyone think raspberries (which were my first thought) are better than blackberries?
 
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oberon567

oberon567

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Running on the train of thought of not making it quite so Imperial - if I drop the DME from 9lbs to 6lbs but leave everything else the exact same, I get an IBU of 64 and an ABV of 5.8. The ABV I would be fine with, but I think the IBU is too high... though the TastyBrew calculator is not taking into account any sweetness added by the baking cocoa or the raspberries. But I am still up in the air if I actually want to drop the ABV or not on this guy. The extra malt is what separates a full-bellied stout from a normal stout.

What do people think I should be aiming for as an IBU on this guy? Other coffee and chocolate stouts I looked at all seemed to aim for 50 - 60. A normal dry stout is usually only 8 - 22. I, personally, am a hop-head which is why I love IPAs. But I want to do this guy right. So should I aim for a slightly lower IBU? (These number are all based on assumed AA%, the actual may vary a bit. And that is all assuming these hops are even available at my LHBS).
 

The Blow Leprechaun

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Chocolate will not add sweetness to your beer, it will add bitterness.

Raspberries also will not add sweetness, but tartness.

If you're using a chocolate bar, it'll contribute a negligible amount of sugar, but cocoa powder is better than bar chocolate for beer anyway - it doesn't have nearly as much fat and oil in it.

Raspberries will also contribute sugar, not quite as negligibly, but still not a huge amount.

Neither will make it "sweeter" or "maltier."

Coffee will also add some bitterness. I'd be very willing to underhop this beer slightly.
 

Cugel

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In the book "brewing classic styles" jz has a recipe for a raspberry porter and has another section on fruit beers and at least one stout (I think) with chocolate in it. Have a look at the recipes and read his logic/thinking before you go any further. I'm sure your LHBS will have a copy.
 
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oberon567

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Thanks, Blow Leprechaun. I knew neither would make it maltier, obviously. I guess cocoa is bittersweet, isnt it? I would never have thought to classify chocolate as a bittering agent, but that makes sense, also just considering the chocolate beers I have had.

I have been thinking long and hard, and have made some serious modification to my original recipe. I think for the better. Obviously it isn't codified yet... I am not buying ingredients until tomorrow afternoon so I still have time to modify things.

Midnight Oil Imperial Stout A Work in Progress
9.0 lbs. Dark DME
0.5 lbs. Roasted barley steeped 30 mins at 160, sparged at 170
0.5 lbs. Black Patent Malt steeped 30 mins at 160, sparged at 170
0.5 lbs. Chocolate Malt steeped 30 mins at 160, sparged at 170
0.66 oz. Chinook Pellet Hops 60 minutes
1.0 oz. Saaz Pellet Hops 15 minutes
1/2 c. baking cocoa at flameout
1/4 c. baking cocoa in Secondary
2 c. fresh raspberries, crushed in Secondary
28 oz. cold brewed espresso in Secondary
1.0 oz pure vanilla extract in Secondary
White Labs WLP004 Irish Stout Yeast

I realized I needed to clarify for myself my reasons for putting all of the grains in there. Roasted barley to complement the coffee. Chocolate malt to compliment the chocolate. Black Patent malt to give some of the traditional stout kick. I realized there was no need at all for the Crystal, aside from adding more (unnecessary) fermentables, it was adding another flavor on top of everything else that was not needed. And even now I am considering losing the Black Patent Malt. Originally I did not want to do a partial mash, I was only going to steep the specialty grains, and the grains I use still allow me to do that, but I think I might as well go ahead and sparge the lot of them. I just need to figure out how much water I need to sparge 1.5lbs. of grain. I don't remember how to figure that out off the top of my head, but I will look it up later today.
 

The Blow Leprechaun

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Yeah, I only threw in the "maltier" because some people confuse it with sweetness ;)

Chocolate is actually quite bitter, taste some unsweetened chocolate some time.

I would lose the black patent. That's more of a porter thing than a stout thing. If you need more color, up the roasted barley a little, .5 lbs is pretty light for a beer this size.

Are you using bar chocolate or cocoa powder? I would strongly recommend the powder. I used 6 oz of it in my chocolate stout, and that gave me a very solid chocolate flavor (although my stout was smaller on the whole than yours).
 

landis

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I used the powder with mine too - nice and easy to measure plus less of the oils/fats.

I think Stone used cocoa in their 12th anniversary ale as a main bittering agent.
 
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oberon567

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I am using cocoa powder. I am not sure how much to use... I need to figure out the oz. to c. conversion which I cannot do while at work... but if you used 6 oz. but had a smaller stout then maybe I will up it a bit. When did you add it, at flameout, in the secondary, or earlier in the boil?

Thanks for the note on the black patent. I will actually do just what you said. Maybe 1.5lbs Roasted Barley, .5lb chocolate malt.

Again, many thanks!
 

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You may consider having the raspberry flavored extract handy just before you bottle. I have a hunch that even 2 cups of raspberry is going to be very very subdued... maybe a balance between real fruit, and false flavoring, could get you to where you want to be.

I've been thinking of the same kind of a brew, once I get closer to winter. In the meantime I have to worry about my barleywine and my next batch of regular RIS. :)
 
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oberon567

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I was considering just using raspberry extract at the same time as the vanilla extract. But the idea of using fresh fruit is so much more appealing, never mind adding a few more sugars here and there. I would even prefer to use frozen berries instead of extract. But I am betting extract will be the best (read: easiest and cheapest) option.

Thanks for that suggestion, Chriso, it makes sense. And it is probably what I will end up doing.

On a side note - sometimes the flavor and aroma from fruit thrown into the secondary slowly dissipates throughout time. Does the same thing happen with extract?
 

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From what I understand, the aroma from extract stays a lot longer than fresh fruit, especially in a high-gravity brew that might be aged 6-12 months. That's what makes me think of using some fresh raspberries for the "tartness" they provide, and some extract to kind of "shore up" the aroma and flavor.
 

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You will likely want 5-10 lbs of frozen raspberries to produce anything more than a hint of the fruit in your beer.

I think that a can of pureed fruit would work ok - that's 5-6 lbs. I think the oregon cans at your LHBS would work fine.
 

The Blow Leprechaun

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Add extracts/flavorings at bottling time so you can taste them as you add them to make sure you get what you want. They don't have any sugars, so they don't need to go through any kind of fermentation.

I added 6 oz of cocoa powder with 15 minutes left in the boil, but when I rebrew my chocolate stout, I'm going to do it differently.

The chocolate addition I did gave me a great chocolate flavor on the back of the palate, when you swallowed, but had very little chocolate up front. I'm planning next time to add 3 oz at flameout and 3 oz in secondary after fermentation is done, then draw a sample after a week to see where the chocolate flavor is at.

I don't know that you need to increase the chocolate amount because it's a bigger beer, but you're going to have some competition between the chocolate, coffee, and raspberry flavors. The tough thing with a beer like this is getting all the flavors to balance appropriately and still taste like beer. These are all dark flavors in a RIS, so I don't think they'll clash with the beer flavor, but it might be tough to get the coffee and raspberry to balance with each other.

Multiple flavors are difficult to get to come through cleanly, I did a cherry-lime wheat at the request of a friend and initially it had a great lime flavor, then the cherry rose up and blunted the lime, and now it just tastes a little muddled and ambiguous. I think it's slowly improving as the cherry becomes more distinct, but it's still a little clumsy tasting.
 
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oberon567

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I brewed this tonight, and just pitched yeast. A few complications, nothing too extraordinary. I have yet to really figure out what I am adding at secondary. My big contention is I am getting nervous of the raspberry. I have read about Imperial Stouts with all three flavors, but I am getting more and more nervous that I can balance them, and on top of that even more nervous about the raspberries in a stout. I like a bunch of fruit beers, but I am just not sure in the stout. It sounded like an awesome idea when I started. We will see how I feel when the whole mess gets racked to a secondary (or possibly 2 secondaries, one for a chocolate coffee, one for a chocolate raspberry). (Also, I had a raspberry-flavored iced coffee yesterday from Dunkin Donuts... and it was AWFUL.)

Not counting the 1 oz. of vanilla extract, the 4 oz. cocoa powder, 28 oz. cold brewed espresso, and the ?? raspberry which will go into the secondary, here is the recipe... At first glance a few things seem quirky, but the quirks were born of necessity, I will explain afterward...

Midnight Oil Imperial Stout
Boil: 3 - 3.5 gallons
Batch: 5 gallons

9.0 lbs. Dark DME
0.5 lbs Light DME
1.5 lbs Roasted Barley
1.0 lb Chocolate Malt
0.5 lb Flaked Barley
0.75 lb Pale 2-Row
1.5 oz. Cluster Pellet Hops (7.9%) 60 minutes
1.0 oz. Sterling Pellet Hops (5.3%) 15 minutes
0.5 tsp. Irish Moss
4.7 oz. Powdered baking cocoa At Flameout
White Lab 007 Dry English Ale Yeast

Pitched yeast starter at 72 degrees. OG 1.093. (I was hoping for 1.100, but I can live with 1.093).

Ok - Explaining the quirks...
1. I had wanted 5 oz. Baking coca. Turns out I only had 4.7, so thats what I used.
2. I had just a little more than 0.5# Light DME left over from a brew a few days ago. Figured might as well not let it go to waste.
3. I mashed all of the grains. The flaked barley was a last minute decision, to aim for a better head and a creamier mouth feel. By the time I had decided to add it I had already purchased the 9# of DME. None of my other grains needed a base malt/enzymes to do their thing. Once I got the Flaked Barley I needed to get some 2-Row to make it work. But I didnt want to either waste the DME or up the ABV, so I did two separate partial mashes simultaneously. One only had the 2-Row and the Flaked Barley, so the 2-Row should have provided enough enzymes to make everything happy. The other partial mash had the roasted barley and the chocolate malt. I didn't want to do everything at once, because that would mean I needed an additional 2.5 lbs of 2-row to accommodate the roasted barley and the chocolate malt, and that would mean either reducing the DME or upping the ABV.
4. Had to entirely re-assess hops plan and schedule once getting to my LHBS due to availability.

Going from others' experiences, including two of the folk at my LHBS, I am using a blow-off tube instead of an airlock, even though it is fermenting in a 6.7 gallon ale pail. Also I am trying to let it ferment at as cool a temperature as possible, in an AC room with a 65 temp avg., while it sits in a tub of cold water. I want my beer in my stomach, not all over my bedroom.

I will be sure to check back in when I switch it to a secondary, and let everyone know how it is looking. Any advice or opinions on just what I should put in the secondary are encouraged and requested!

Thanks for all the help y'all gave me planning this recipe.!
 

The Blow Leprechaun

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I would hold onto the vanilla extract til bottling time, there's no need to add it to the fermenter at all.

I would add the coffee first because it's already brewed coffee, I imagine the coffee flavor won't get too much stronger with time as it would if you used coffee beans - I'm not sure about this, but since the actual coffee-flavor-providing elements are not going into the beer, the coffee flavor should be set.

I would add the cocoa powder a little bit later because it will get stronger with time, since you're really just extracting the flavor from the powder. I would add it and taste it after a week and see if I like the chocolate profile - if not, let it sit more, if so, move the beer somewhere else.

There are no fermentables in the vanilla extract, coffee, or cocoa powder, so you're really just looking at flavor development and extraction - you can bottle right after adding those if you so desire.

Personally, I would leave the raspberry out for this one. I just have a very hard time imagining all those flavors coming together the way you want right away. If you do want to add it, though, I would add it first in secondary, giving it a chance to ferment out the sugars. Then you can taste it and ask yourself, "Do I want coffee in this? Do I want more chocolate?"

I guess what I'm really saying is, I see coffee + chocolate being good, or raspberry + chocolate being good, so I'd decide which one I wanted more, add that, then up the chocolate to taste if needed. And if you really want both, you can add both.

Doing it in stages like this gives you more control - you can always add more of something, but you can't really take anything out once it's in there.
 
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oberon567

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Doing it in stages like this gives you more control - you can always add more of something, but you can't really take anything out once it's in there.
So true. Thanks for the advice. I am still muddling around in my head just what I want to do to finish this beer off. But I have plenty of time while it ferments to figure it out.
 

The Blow Leprechaun

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So true. Thanks for the advice. I am still muddling around in my head just what I want to do to finish this beer off. But I have plenty of time while it ferments to figure it out.
Yeap. Another option, if you really want to get creative, would be to split it into different batches and then blend them to your heart's content.

But that would probably be overkill ;)
 
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oberon567

oberon567

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I am considering splitting into 2 batches, one chocolate raspberry, one chocolate espresso. But only mildly considering it...
 
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oberon567

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I just took a gravity reading... it is a little early to expect this to be ready to go, but I was taking readings from my other brews which are closer to being put into a secondary for dry hopping and figured I might as well go for the hat trick. As of today, with 7 days in the primary, the SG was 1.034, which is about .009 more than TastyBrew's Recipe Calculator is estimating. We will give it a few more days and see how it goes. The more exciting part is that it looked beautiful, black as oil and almost as thick and creamy. The chocolate aroma was very noticeable but the taste was subtle. The taste was actually a little more powerful on the hops than I had anticipated, but it has some more time to go and some more additions yet before it is done, never mind a few months aging. However, even as green/not even done fermenting as it was, the flavor and aroma made me very excited...
 

wurensh

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Just came onto this site, and found this dialogue - very cool. As a matter of fact, I just did a Raspberry Imperial Stout last night, and oooeee - once the raspberry puree (Oregon) was added, the aroma just notched right up there. I have tried the Weyerbacher Raspberry Imperial (was out in PA earlier this summer), and absolutely loved it - the rasberries were more of an "accompanyment" than an overbearing flavor (Weyerbachers' moderate in weight, at 8% abv).

By no means am I trying to replicate their recipe, just trying my own (as I prefer heavier brew generally). According to the recipe I was using, the SG should have been 1.10 - this was beyond the scope of my hydrometer (1.08)... I could only extrapolate the reading lines and figure I was about 1.11 with the addition of the puree. Needless to say, the bubbler valve is going crazy right now! :)

Here's the recipe I used:
12oz crystal malt
10oz chocolate malt
3oz roasted barley
3oz black patent
10# dark DME
1# corn sugar
1.3# molasses
2.5oz target hops (bitering)
1oz " " (flavor) (last 15mins)
.5oz " " (aroma) (5 mins)
1 can Oregon raspberry puree (49oz) (5 mins)

This was dark as night, and the fragrance during the process was strong, not overbearing, and just what I was hoping for. Like I said, once I added the puree (last 5 mins), the whole thing just blossomed.

Going back to the original discussion, I've used canned whole raspberries as well as fresh/frozen rasperries before - this was my first time with the puree. I'm sold... *none* of the hassles of dealing with the fruit... all fluid.

My son was bummed, as he wanted me to save some fo the puree to make raspberry sherbet in our ice cream maker, but when I calculated out that this amounts to less than 1 oz per bottle, on top of a strong stout, that I wasn't going to worry about it being to strong of a flavor (and I'm not dealing with the palate of flavors with the chocolate and coffee - though I'll admit - I'm making note to possibly come back to that recipe for next winter's brew!). Also, not to worry, I've promised him another (smaller) can just for the sherbet this next weekend ;-)

I look forward to bouncing around through homebrewtalk... having this be the first post, what a great place to start! :)
 
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oberon567

oberon567

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Thanks for the post and sharing your recipe, and welcome to the forum. Let us know how it turns out when you get a chance to taste it! I am going to be cold-brewing espresso tonight to add to my secondary tomorrow...
 
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oberon567

oberon567

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Bottled today, and the FG was 1.034, which was higher than I wanted... I had hoped for it to be closer to 1.024. But it was in the fermenting bucket for 3 full weeks, and the gravity was the same three days in a row, and it is actually not higher than the style guidelines allow.... It was in a room that had an ambient temp of of 64 degrees, so the beer had more than high enough temperature, probably a little too high.

Oh well, that's in large part what comes from using Dark DME instead of all grain. In the future, as I navigate my way into all grain, I would use 2-row, Crystal 40, Crystal 60 and Crystal 120 (small amounts of the crystal but to give it color and flavor depth). We will see how this tastes. If it is good I will post it in the Recipe section. But I won't be testing it for a few months...
 

wurensh

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Thanks for the welcome ;-)

WOW! I was calendaring to bottle this last weekend (or at least to test), but a friend had a baby boy :). So, tonight, 16 days later, I opened up to take a hydrometer reading... WOW! (did I say that already?!?!?) When I opened the fermenter, my olfactory sensory neurons went bonkers! I just sat there for a moment and savoured the moment... The fragrance was *exactly* what I could only have dreamed of!

Similarly, my reading came in at 1.038, looking for a FG ~1.024. An inital search of fermentation times leaves me comfortable in re-capping and letting it sit for at least another week before I take a second reading, with a target of bottling over the Labor Day weekend.
 

The Blow Leprechaun

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I used dark extract for my first ever brew and the final gravity came in much higher than I expected as well. As much as I enjoyed that beer, I won't use the same recipe because I've not interest in using anything other than light extract or straight grains again.
 
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oberon567

oberon567

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I used dark extract for my first ever brew and the final gravity came in much higher than I expected as well. As much as I enjoyed that beer, I won't use the same recipe because I've not interest in using anything other than light extract or straight grains again.
+1 on this. My goal is to be Ag from now on, and if I enjoy the way this turns out I am going to try it over again AG and see how it works out.
 

soontobepcv

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I am considering splitting into 2 batches, one chocolate raspberry, one chocolate espresso. But only mildly considering it...
I am a HUGE fan of smaller (2 gallon) plastic fermenters that you can get for $6 each. Usually I'll take a gallon or two of each batch and set it aside as a mini-experiments, racking with extra fruits, spices, sugars, etc. etc. It requires very little extra labor and investment, and definitely makes up for it in what you'll learn. If nothing else, you get extra variety, and my otherwise disappointing recent saison was somewhat salvaged with the more interesting one gallon of mango saison.
 

landis

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Have you tried any of these yet? That's about three weeks in the bottle, right?

I tried my Chocolate Oatmeal stout earlier this week and it was delicious, the only thing I feel it's missing is that thick creamy mouth feel. I tried using the oats for that, but doesn't look like it did much of anything. I was afraid of the sweetness when it stopped at 1.020, but the bitterness of the chocolate really shines through.
 
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