chocolate nibs

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JLem

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Anyone use cocoa nibs? I am thinking of racking a porter to secondary onto some nibs. I was thinking 8oz of nibs for a week or two. Any idea if this is a good approach? Is one week long enough? Is two weeks too long? Is 8oz enough or too much? Do the nibs settle or float and are they an issue when bottling?

I know there is no exact answer/science to this, but any general guidelines would be appreciated. Thanks! :mug:
 

hopvine

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6-8oz of nibs for two weeks is a pretty standard amount for Chocolate Stouts. I'm not sure what the "chocolate flavor vs. time in secondary" plot would look like, but just be aware that the chocolate flavor will likely be very evident in your Porter if you use 8oz.

As an aside, I've read that soaking the nibs in alchohol (vodka) overnight and then dumping the vodka+nibs into your secondary will help to maximize the efficiency of extracting the flavorful oils.
 

McKBrew

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I did it last year for the 8-8-8 Imperial Stout many HBT members made.

I used 4oz in secondary for at least 3 weeks (don't remember the exact time). Noticeable chocolate flavor for sure.

The way I prepared them, and I honestly don't know if this made any difference was to break them up in a coffee grinder slightly and then roast in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. I figured this would kill anything bad on them and that the roast flavor would carry over. Again, not sure how much of an effect this really had.

I would personally have problem dumping 4-6 oz in porter. I might stay on the lower side unless you really want the chocolate to dominate.

Edit: I think most of the nibs did settle, but again poor notes. Cold crashing before bottling or kegging for a couple days should drop out the rest.
 
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JLem

JLem

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Didn't think about the whole sanitation thing. I've never added anything post-fermentation. What do people do that add fruit to the secondary?
 
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JLem

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bump

Just wanted to see if anyone else had anything to add about using cocoa nibs or had suggestions on sanitizing them. Thanks!
 

Grinder12000

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Nibs work great. I added 2 oz into a Porter and thought that tiny touch of Chocolate did a wonderful job. I did not sanitize and used them like I was dry hopping.

I've tried Cocoa powder with so so results (seemed kind of grainy)- not what I was hoping for but from what I have read everyone has their own theories and techniques.

Just covering my ass so Edcculus does not come and beat me! LOL
 

PWalk

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For a porter I'd also recommend no more than 4 oz. In the past I've soaked them in vodka for a day before adding to the secondary just to make sure.
 

Edcculus

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Nibs work great. I added 2 oz into a Porter and thought that tiny touch of Chocolate did a wonderful job. I did not sanitize and used them like I was dry hopping.

I've tried Cocoa powder with so so results (seemed kind of grainy)- not what I was hoping for but from what I have read everyone has their own theories and techniques.

Just covering my ass so Edcculus does not come and beat me! LOL
You know, I've seen a lot of people posting that nibs seem to work better than powder. Now that just doesn't make sense. Maybe the powder is just too much. If you think about it, a chocolate bar has both cocoa butter and powder. Maybe that fat needs to be there to really convey the chocolate flavor.
 

boodyrischous

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I've used both, and Nibs provide great Chocalate flavor. Make sure you sanitize them thoroughly, as they definitely have the ability to infect a batch. I think soaking in hard alcohol is one of the better methods.
 
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JLem

JLem

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For a porter I'd also recommend no more than 4 oz. In the past I've soaked them in vodka for a day before adding to the secondary just to make sure.
OK. I think I'll go with 4 oz sanitized in some vodka then.

Anyone have suggestions on where to get the nibs? I was going to order from Spice House, but the shipping is more than the nibs. I wonder if I can find them locally?
 
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JLem

JLem

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OK. I think I'll go with 4 oz sanitized in some vodka then.
Actually, I think I've changed my mind after reading through more posts/recipes and will try using some cocoa powder instead. Now I just have to figure out how much and how/when to add it...
 

Edcculus

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From what I've read , its is best to try to "dissolve" it in a bit of hot water. You can't actually dissolve it, just get it all wet. Whisk it in really good, then your cocoa slurry at flameout. The wort will be hot enough to kill anything on it.
 

JeremyTCHO

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Nibs will work. Not exactly the best source of chocolate flavor. Cocoa powder is much more "pure cocoa" than nibs. Also on the nibs, I'd stay away from roasting them to sanitize. Nibs are the dehusked, roasted seeds from the cacao plant.

As always:

What you need to know about chocolate for brewing
Actually nibs are roasted cacao beans (cocoa beans), unless "pure cocoa" means pure chocolate flavor nibs are the optimal source of chocolate flavor. The main recommendation would be ensuring the nibs have the appropriate flavor profile of the beer.
 
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I'm adding cacao nibs to my stouts secondary in a few days. My LHBS told me just to boil the nibs for a few minutes and add the entire slurry to the secondary. I was wondering for those who soaked in vodka, how were your results?
 
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:mug: BUMP! Anyone have feedback from soaking in vodka? Going to do my annual cranberry chocolate porter for the holidays, except this year Im using nibs. So some input from someone with experience would be awesome.

Also, when you guys are talking about adding 4oz to the fermenter, what is your batch volume?
 
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JLem

JLem

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:mug: BUMP! Anyone have feedback from soaking in vodka? Going to do my annual cranberry chocolate porter for the holidays, except this year Im using nibs. So some input from someone with experience would be awesome.

Also, when you guys are talking about adding 4oz to the fermenter, what is your batch volume?
Well, I never did use the nibs, so can't really help you on the soaking in vodka thing. When I was going to use them, I was going to use 4oz in a 5 gallon batch.
 

JoeinUccle

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Making a strong stout and I just soaked 200g of locally grown and roasted cocoa nibs in about 200 ml of guaro, which is a bit like white rum. In a day or two I'll add it to the secondary. Will let y'all know how it turns out, especially with regard to the nibs.
 

ryan0914

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I did a Kentucky breakfast stout clone with 8 oz of nibs soaked in bourbon. all into secondary. Its been in there for about a month or so. i thought i would leave it in and see if i could mellow some of the coffee. and at the same time bring out more chocolate from the nibs. I was thinking of kegging it this weekend well see how it turns out.
 
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I went ahead with my brew using 4oz nibs during the boil, and added 4oz that I soaked in rum to the fermenter(10g batch volume). Ive done this same beer before using only chocolate malts, but wanted to try and add a subtle hint of actual cocoa. Ill report back around thanksgiving.
 
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I went ahead with the advice my LHBS gave me. Boiled 4oz of nibs in 16oz of water for 5 minutes and added the entire mixture to my secondary. My results were terrific! Hands down the best Stout I have made! The chocolate flavor and aroma are perfectly balanced, my buddies keep hounding me for more.
 

wonderbread23

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I made an amazing chocolate stout with nibs from a local artisinal chocolatier. 8 oz for 2 weeks added to secondary. It is seriously awesome, and almost had a chocolate covered espresso bean character.
 
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JLem

JLem

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I went ahead with the advice my LHBS gave me. Boiled 4oz of nibs in 16oz of water for 5 minutes and added the entire mixture to my secondary. My results were terrific! Hands down the best Stout I have made! The chocolate flavor and aroma are perfectly balanced, my buddies keep hounding me for more.
how long did you keep it in secondary?
 

sha0056

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I went ahead with my brew using 4oz nibs during the boil, and added 4oz that I soaked in rum to the fermenter(10g batch volume). Ive done this same beer before using only chocolate malts, but wanted to try and add a subtle hint of actual cocoa. Ill report back around thanksgiving.
How did this turn out?
 
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How did this turn out?
It turned out well. The cocoa flavors you get from nibs are quite subtle, but its definitely more "chocolatey" then the roasty, coffee flavors you get using darker/chocolate malts. As I used them, I probably could have double the amount of nibs I used and still wouldnt have gone much past subtle in my porter. Next time I use them, I think Ill do some sort of grinding or pulverizing, to increase exposure in my wort.
 

sha0056

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I am planning an imperial stout soon - thinking half with bourbon / coffee / oak and the other half with raspberry puree and cocoa nibs. I have previously made the bourbon / coffee / oak imperial stout and it is fantastic, but was thinking 6 lb raspberry (puree) and 4 oz cocoa nibs in the secondary for 4 weeks. I may consider increasing this to 8 oz cocoa nibs based on your results, dennisowens41
 
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My sugestion would be to take an oz of nibs and boil them in a gallon of water(or gallon of water and some dme) and taste. It really is quite subtle. I have a feeling that under the weight of 6#s of raspberry puree you'd be safe betting that 8oz would not be overpowering.
 

sha0056

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I will use 8 oz for this batch and modify if needed next time around. with the darker malts giving some chocolate character hopefully this will be enough
 

ACbrewer

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I used some recently with a mead, found that 1 they float, 2 wished I'd ground them (I've since bought a morter and pestel) and used about 2oz, maybe 1.75oz for my 1 gallon of mead.
 
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I used some recently with a mead, found that 1 they float, 2 wished I'd ground them (I've since bought a morter and pestel) and used about 2oz, maybe 1.75oz for my 1 gallon of mead.
+1 on the floating/grinding--i bought a handheld coffee grinder Im gonna pulverize it with next go round

How'd the mead turn out? I have 15# of honey a friend sent me from Hawaii to make mead with....never thought about using nibs.
 

ACbrewer

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+1 on the floating/grinding--i bought a handheld coffee grinder Im gonna pulverize it with next go round

How'd the mead turn out? I have 15# of honey a friend sent me from Hawaii to make mead with....never thought about using nibs.

I didn't think of the power grinder as an option :/

I took 5 gallons of mead, racked about 3.5 on to different flavors (3 1 gall, 1 3L making different batches of the main to see what I like to scale to 5 gal. -here's a link to my original thread on this https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/mead-reciepe-s-help-221393/ ) and bottled the rest about 2 weeks ago.

That is when I put 2 oz of nibs in with some vanilla and mead. They didn't look like they were disolving so I fished them out and ground them with a spoon (ugh)... which is a long way to say - I've got no idea how it tastes yet !

I took the midwest receipe for meed (1 gall/12lb honey +4 gal water=5gal must) and then added the wyeast sweet mead yeast.. I have an alcohol of about 10-11 with a ob of about 1.080 and an fg I think as 1...
From what I've read on here and elsewhere, depending on your yeast, nutrient, etc about 2 to 3.5lb of honey /gal of mead... this will get you something between a dry mead and a sweet again depending on yeast.

My only question about that is what does the honey taste like?
 

AgentHubcap

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Bumping this thread as it seems relevant.

How much would I need to flavor 5 gallons of stout? The guy at the LHBS said I only need 1/4 oz, but it seems like everyone is using 4+ oz.
 
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JLem

JLem

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AgentHubcap said:
Bumping this thread as it seems relevant.

How much would I need to flavor 5 gallons of stout? The guy at the LHBS said I only need 1/4 oz, but it seems like everyone is using 4+ oz.
No way 1/4 oz will get you there...maybe the guy meant 1/4 lb? I'd say you'll want 4-8 oz...probably closer to 8
 

AgentHubcap

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No way 1/4 oz will get you there...maybe the guy meant 1/4 lb? I'd say you'll want 4-8 oz...probably closer to 8
That's what I thought based on what I've read here. I went by the LHBS again today and made sure what they recommended was 1/4 oz. They confirmed that 1/4 oz is what I should use, and that 4 oz would be like chocolate milk.
 
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JLem

JLem

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That's what I thought based on what I've read here. I went by the LHBS again today and made sure what they recommended was 1/4 oz. They confirmed that 1/4 oz is what I should use, and that 4 oz would be like chocolate milk.
I always hate to second guess someone's LHBS, but in this instance I'm going to say that the guy you talked to has never used cocoa nibs. I have never heard of anyone using only a 1/4 oz.
 

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I just brewed an Oatmeal Stout last week -- added 1/4oz of spearmint leaves and lactose to boil and adding cocoa nibs this weekend when I transfer to secondary (Mint Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Stout). Haven't decided how much nibs to add, but thinking 8oz.
 

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Brewed a Belgian chocolate stout not too long ago and boiled 4 oz for 10 minutes then dry-nibbed with 4 oz and got a nice cocao aroma and a bit of flavor as well. Nothing too overpowering but just enough to notice and add some complexity to the brew.
 

IL1kebeer

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Newb question. Do nibs or cocoa powder add any fermentable sugar. If so, how do you account for it if added in fermenter?
 
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JLem

JLem

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IL1kebeer said:
Newb question. Do nibs or cocoa powder add any fermentable sugar. If so, how do you account for it if added in fermenter?
Neither add any sugars...unless you use sweetened cocoa powder, which I wouldn't use. If you did, you could probably use the grams of sugar per seeing listed on the nutrition label to calculate a rough estimate of gravity points.
 
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