Chocolate Milk Stout - fermentation question

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Merds

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Morning! I'm new to home brewing and started fermenting my first batch last week. Everything seems to be going well - keeping temp around 64-66 degrees and happily bubbling away.

My question is this - the recipe calls for 1-2 weeks primary, then add chocolate nibs (which I will soak in Vodka to make sure no bacteria), then another 1-2 weeks secondary. I'm doing it all in my primary as I don't have a secondary. Should I just add the chocolate at the end of the first week to let it soak longer? And is there that muck more of a benefit waiting the 4 weeks vs 3 weeks total? Thanks!

And I'll be honest - just can't wait to try it!

Thanks for any advice!

Oh and I'm calling it Lon Lon Milk Stout - if there are any Zelda fans out there (kids were listening to Zelda music when I was brewing and felt appropriate).
 

smarch0

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Throwing them in the primary is fine. Typically the length of primary is dependent on the gravity of the brew. Higher original gravity beers should have a longer primary. If yours started 1.050ish (standard 5%) then 3 week primary is probably fine, although another week of primary will only make it better.

P.s. Did you consider toasting the nibs? It will make the chocolate flavor a little less raw, and more of a traditional chocolate flavor you are probably after. only takes ~12 minutes @ 250F to make a difference. Put them on parchment paper to make them easier to move after.
 
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Merds

Merds

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Throwing them in the primary is fine. Typically the length of primary is dependent on the gravity of the brew. Higher original gravity beers should have a longer primary. If yours started 1.050ish (standard 5%) then 3 week primary is probably fine, although another week of primary will only make it better.

P.s. Did you consider toasting the nibs? It will make the chocolate flavor a little less raw, and more of a traditional chocolate flavor you are probably after. only takes ~12 minutes @ 250F to make a difference. Put them on parchment paper to make them easier to move after.
I did not - the kit never mentioned that but i could see how that would make a big difference getting the chocolate flavor out more. Awesome advice. Just to make sure - would i still need to soak in vodka then since i baked and killed bacteria (after baking I mean)? Hurt/help? Read too many reviews of people having their stout going great, added the nibs, and the bacteria ruined the beer. Thanks!
 

stieg000

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I've used nibs many times with no problems just tossing the them in. I've always used the same brand of nibs, Navitas Naturals Organic Cacao Nibs. Who knows though, sanitation could vary by producer.
 

smarch0

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I have only used them a few times but I did use vodka to sterilize, just put in a sterilized mason jar and shook for a few seconds. If you don't want the chance of extra harshness, just pour off the vodka and have a chocolate vodka shot!
 

deadwolfbones

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I always add the tincture after soaking nibs/coffee beans/chilis/whatever in vodka. The harshness you'd get from 1-2oz of vodka is nothing in a batch of beer and there's a lot of flavor extracted into the solution. Just dump the whole thing in and let it sit a couple weeks.
 

Redpappy

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So... I brewed this stout about 3 weeks ago, (my kit (extract)was from Northern Brewer) I waited for a week and a half, then i threw nibbsin a jar of vodka. I let them soak for 3 days, then I tossed them ( vodka included)into primary. Left it for another week then to Bottles. I tasted the sample, it was decent, had a nice roasted flavor, but the chocolate was very mild. I took a sniff of my trub
, and boy could I smell the chocolate. Not sure if I screwed this one up or not ( from the way it was attended to taste like).

Throwing them in the primary is fine. Typically the length of primary is dependent on the gravity of the brew. Higher original gravity beers should have a longer primary. If yours started 1.050ish (standard 5%) then 3 week primary is probably fine, although another week of primary will only make it better.

P.s. Did you consider toasting the nibs? It will make the chocolate flavor a little less raw, and more of a traditional chocolate flavor you are probably after. only takes ~12 minutes @ 250F to make a difference. Put them on parchment paper to make them easier to move after.
I think I’m going to have to try this next time around. And let it sit for 4 weeks instead of 3. Thanks
 

triethylborane

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So... I brewed this stout about 3 weeks ago, (my kit (extract)was from Northern Brewer) I waited for a week and a half, then i threw nibbsin a jar of vodka. I let them soak for 3 days, then I tossed them ( vodka included)into primary. Left it for another week then to Bottles. I tasted the sample, it was decent, had a nice roasted flavor, but the chocolate was very mild. I took a sniff of my trub
, and boy could I smell the chocolate. Not sure if I screwed this one up or not ( from the way it was attended to taste like).

I think I’m going to have to try this next time around. And let it sit for 4 weeks instead of 3. Thanks

Go to 6oz or 8oz of nibs. Or 6oz of Cholaca. My wife and her friends are the primary consumers of my chocolate milk stout and are absolute chocolate fiends. Chocolate is forward, but not cloying, at the amounts of nibs or cholaca I mentioned. Nibs or cholaca sit for 2 weeks.
 
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Merds

Merds

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Go to 6oz or 8oz of nibs. Or 6oz of Cholaca. My wife and her friends are the primary consumers of my chocolate milk stout and are absolute chocolate fiends. Chocolate is forward, but not cloying, at the amounts of nibs or cholaca I mentioned. Nibs or cholaca sit for 2 weeks.
That was the other part to my question- how long to let nibs sit. I'll throw in and leave for 2 weeks. Thanks.
 

triethylborane

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That was the other part to my question- how long to let nibs sit. I'll throw in and leave for 2 weeks. Thanks.
No problem. Chocolate milk stouts are easy to make and people usually find the beer very tasty. 2 weeks of nibs will be just fine and it helps reduce waiting.

Ocarina of time . . . man that was a long time ago but perhaps the greatest video game. Lon was the farmer with the horse IIRC
 

youlovedp

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Kind of a follow up question from the OP- I have an extract kit from Midwest Supplies that say to move to a secondary fermentor after 2 weeks. I don't have a secondary fermentor- will it be ok to just leave in the primary for the extra 2 weeks? Are secondary fermentors more so used to get the next batch rolling or do they serve a different purpose?
 
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Merds

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Kind of a follow up question from the OP- I have an extract kit from Midwest Supplies that say to move to a secondary fermentor after 2 weeks. I don't have a secondary fermentor- will it be ok to just leave in the primary for the extra 2 weeks? Are secondary fermentors more so used to get the next batch rolling or do they serve a different purpose?
Supposed to help clarity as you leave all the junk at the bottom of the primary. And then yep get next batch going. I'm doing all in primary just as I'm getting started. Good luck
 
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Merds

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No problem. Chocolate milk stouts are easy to make and people usually find the beer very tasty. 2 weeks of nibs will be just fine and it helps reduce waiting.

Ocarina of time . . . man that was a long time ago but perhaps the greatest video game. Lon was the farmer with the horse IIRC
Thanks and yep that is a classic game! Many good memories.
 

Justin Archer

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Hey Merds, I brewed this same one and am bottling this weekend. Question. When I took my gravity before adding the cocoa, it had a pretty smoky taste to it. Did you get that? Not in a bad way, just didn’t expect it to have that. Can’t wait to see how the nibs changed it.
 
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Merds

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Hey Merds, I brewed this same one and am bottling this weekend. Question. When I took my gravity before adding the cocoa, it had a pretty smoky taste to it. Did you get that? Not in a bad way, just didn’t expect it to have that. Can’t wait to see how the nibs changed it.
Adding chocolate nibs tomorrow and will let you know. I did the bake a 250 for 12 mins and made a big difference in the chocolate. Soaking in vodka now to be safe.

Btw, what was your gravity reading? Thanks.
 

Justin Archer

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Adding chocolate nibs tomorrow and will let you know. I did the bake a 250 for 12 mins and made a big difference in the chocolate. Soaking in vodka now to be safe.

Btw, what was your gravity reading? Thanks.
I’m not home right now to look at my notes, but I think it finished at 1021. Almost certain that’s what it was. Also, I didn’t bake my nibs, but I did do a 24 hr vodka soak. Airlock smells great.
 

Justin Archer

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And sorry. I didn’t pay attention to the date on your original post. I thought this was older than it was. I have a relaxed brain.
 
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Merds

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And sorry. I didn’t pay attention to the date on your original post. I thought this was older than it was. I have a relaxed brain.
Hey Justin, I took my reading today - at 10 days its 1.03 so still needs a way to go. But flavor was great. A bit.of smoky taste but very mild, mostly coffee and notes of caramel. I would bottle it flavor wise as is to be honest but we'll see how it turns out with the chocolate.
 
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