Cocoa powder substitute

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AzOr

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I recently ran across a recipe for a chocolate cherry stout recipe that calls for .5lb of cocoa powder.
What would be the substitute amount for coco nibs? I have the nibs on hand and I don't like dealing with the powder (way too goopy and messy).



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Rish

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I saw a KBS clone recipe referenced that had 1.5 oz of cocoa nibs added at 15 minutes. Haven't brewed it, so can't say for sure but I like the chocolate level in a KBS. Good luck!
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, I brew a huge chocolate stout and use both cocoa powder (end of boil) and nibs (post-fermentation ie: "secondary"). No mess either way.
If one tries to add cocoa powder post-boil in the fermenter, they're gonna have a bad time. Don't do that :)

Cheers!
 

VikeMan

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If one tries to add cocoa powder post-boil in the fermenter, they're gonna have a bad time. Don't do that :)

I've used cocoa powder quite a few times in secondary (along with fruit), as much as 8 ounces in a 5 gallon batch. I haven't had any problems per se. Maybe a little extra time to clear after kegging. What's the bad time you refer to?
 

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Seems an appropriate time to link this:


It seems that nibs in the mash are effective, I'd expect that cocoa powder in the mash would be as well. Seems like it'd be an easy place to add and easy to clean up as well.

I've used powder in the boil and primary both, they certainly create extra work (especially in the boil kettle) but nothing that's a big deal at all. In my opinion.

As for flavor I'm still experimenting. I think I need to use more powder and / or more nibs. A couple ounces for 5 gallons isn't enough. It's there, for sure, and I usually like subtle, but I'd really like to pour a stout that smells and tastes like brownies.
 
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AzOr

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The info about the powder is helpful for future brewing, but I have nibs in my pantry that are gonna be awful lonely for a long time unless I use them.

I figure I should bump it bc powder has much more surface area. But that’s just a guess since I don’t know what if any diff there is between the two ingredients.
 
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AzOr

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Please use me. I’m lonely.
 

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PCABrewing

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Compared to dissolving in wort at the end of the boil it's a relative bitch to dissolve cocoa powder in room temperature wort...or beer...

Cheers!
Kind'a like trying to mix cocoa powder with cold milk.
Presuming we are talking true cocoa powder and not some emulsified chocolate drink mix.
Almost seems like trying to dissolve Styrofoam in water. ;)
 

VikeMan

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Compared to dissolving in wort at the end of the boil it's a relative bitch to dissolve cocoa powder in room temperature wort...or beer...

That's true. I've used powder in the boil and in secondary. When I use it in secondary, I consider it to be similat to nibs, in that flavor is extracted from the powder without the powder dissolving per se. (i.e. I make no attempt to dissolve it)
 

Bobo1898

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I use cacao nibs in one of my imperial stouts. For 5.5 gallons, I dry-nib with 4oz. I've never boiled it. It's a nice note of chocolate. I roast it in the oven @ 225 for 10 minutes, stirring half way through. I've followed that up with soaking them in enough bourbon to cover and throwing all of it in, although I don't think the bourbon is necessary. I've never boiled nibs.

I tried cocoa powder once in the boil and found the experience messy and the beer to be chalky, but that's just my experience. If you really want to do something in the boil, I've had good success with taking 90% cocoa dark chocolate, something without preservatives, and shredding it on a microplane (to dissolve easier). I throw that in the boil in the last 5 minutes, giving it a good stir so it doesn't scorch on the bottom. I do around 3.5oz. Shredding it on the microplane can be messy, though.

Keep in mind, I'm also relying on some of the malt to provide some chocolate characteristics.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, when I do a 10 gallon batch of my imperial chocolate stout I put 8 ounces of roasted cocoa nibs and a couple of scraped and smushed vanilla beans in a tupperware bowl and pour dark rum over it to cover. Let that sit on the kitchen counter for a week, giving it a solid swirl any time I happen by. Then I dump that in a fresh carboy and rack the fermented beer on top, let it sit 'til whenever - usually another couple of weeks - then keg...

Cheers!
 
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AzOr

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I use cacao nibs in one of my imperial stouts. For 5.5 gallons, I dry-nib with 4oz. I've never boiled it. It's a nice note of chocolate. I roast it in the oven @ 225 for 10 minutes, stirring half way through. I've followed that up with soaking them in enough bourbon to cover and throwing all of it in, although I don't think the bourbon is necessary. I've never boiled nibs.

I tried cocoa powder once in the boil and found the experience messy and the beer to be chalky, but that's just my experience. If you really want to do something in the boil, I've had good success with taking 90% cocoa dark chocolate, something without preservatives, and shredding it on a microplane (to dissolve easier). I throw that in the boil in the last 5 minutes, giving it a good stir so it doesn't scorch on the bottom. I do around 3.5oz. Shredding it on the microplane can be messy, though.

Keep in mind, I'm also relying on some of the malt to provide some chocolate characteristics.
Thanks Bobo1898
Did you soak in bourbon for extraction or sanitization purposes?
Btw- when I use nibs, I throw in a non stick fry pan and roast them just until they change color and are fragrant. Similar to what others do in the oven.
 

Bobo1898

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Did you soak in bourbon for extraction or sanitization purposes?

When I've done that, it's been sanitizing reasons. Normally, I chuck them in when they cool down, after roasting, but in some cases, I've left them out too long and wanted to be sure.

@dbeechum has a tincture process that a lot of people have had success with:

 
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