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Creating a big chocolate stout recipie- how's this sound?

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Chaos_Being

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Firstoff, I'll give credit where it is due- I'm tweaking sirsloop's German Chocolate Stout recipie as a base, and taking inspiration from some of the other stout/chocolate stout recipies I've seen traded here. I don't have any brewing software (yet!), so I'm going with my intuition on some of the changes...that's how I usually cook, anyways. Let me know how it sounds!

3 gallon boil, 5 gallon batch.

.5lb cracked roasted barley- steep for 30 min
.5lb cracked chocolate malt- steep for 30 min

4 lbs light DME
6 lbs dark DME
6-8oz cocoa powder (wavering on the amount of this to use)

.5-.75oz Nugget @ 60 min
1oz Williamette @ 15 min

1oz vanilla extract, 2oz chocolate extract in the secondary.


I'm aiming for an SG of ~1.080 or so.

I'm planning on using Nottingham, and I have 2 packets available. I already have most of the ingredients as well, save the chocolate malt and 1lb of light DME. The main variables at this point are the amount of bittering hops- the original recipie called for .5oz, but since I am adding a little more DME, I'm wondering if I should bump it up a bit. I'm not a hophead, but I don't want this to be too sweet either. (If necessary, I could put a full ounce in there- I already have the hops on hand.) Like many others making chocolate stouts it seems, the one I have in mind is Young's- only a bigger version of it. I wouldn't want to be much more bitter than that (relatively that is.)

The orginal recipie also called for 4oz of cocoa powder at flameout, I feel inclined to increase it (as in Tuck's Chocolate RIS recipie- he used 8oz.) I'm also wondering if I should add it in the entire boil (as I have seen done in some other chocolate stout recipies,) or emulsify it in some liquid and add it to the primary- this would allow me to leave the trub behind in the pot. If I add the cocoa in the boil, I think I'd have to just dump everything into the primary, so the cocoa could sit in there while the beer is fermenting. I also wonder if boiling it would drive off some of the flavor/aroma of the cocoa as well.

As for the extracts, I figure I'll taste it when I'm ready to rack to secondary, and use that as a guide to how much I want to add. I want to add it to the secondary vs. the primary as to not lose flavor from the extract during fermentation. His original numbers sound pretty good though.

I'd appreciate any feedback! (and note to self- get some brewing software to help me formulate recipies!)
 
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Chaos_Being

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Well, I either have such great ideas that no one needs to correct me, or they're so bad that no one wants to say anything :cross:

Either way, I'm probably going to be brewing this on the upcoming Monday holiday. Success or disaster? We shall see!
 

sirsloop

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I just made another batch of my german chocolate stout last night... I changed a few things this time, so we'll see.

First I used 10.3# LME which resulted in 1.070 OG. If you use 10# DME you'll be upwards of 1.085 (pitch both packs of notty!). I reduced the amount of Chinook to .25oz for 60 minutes and left the saaz alone. I felt the first batch was a little too hoppy for what I was going for so I went with less chinook. If you are at 1.085 you will probably want a little extra hops in there though. For a 1.085 batch figure on around 30 IBU. Your hop schedule looks pretty good. Maybe do .5 nugget for 50 minutes. The cocoa powder is quite bitter and will help balance it out too. I used 2oz coconut extract, 1oz pure vanilla extract (dont use cheap imitation vanilla), and 2oz chocolate extract. I pitched this batch on a nottingham cake from a porter I just racked to keg.

Umm... anyways we'll see how it turns out. If you are going for mega chocolate go ahead and add in more cocoa. You're gonna need to age this brew... id say for 6+ months. It'll be great next fall when the temps start to drop!
 
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Chaos_Being

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Just the sort of information I was looking for :mug:

I'll stick with .5 of Nugget, and I was already planning on pitching two packets of Nottingham. I think I am going to go for more cocoa in the primary, and I'll make a decision on the amount of extracts to use once I'm transferring to the secondary.

I'm guessing 3-4ish weeks in the primary at least (I've had a brew go for 6 weeks in the primary before and it tasted fine, so I'm not worried about leaving it in primary for a while,) and then I'll bulk age it in the secondary for a month or two before bottle aging it. If I decide that it's too bitter from the use of cocoa at that point, I figure I can always add some lactose (but not too much- my wife is lactose intolerant.) Should be tasty!
 

Ooompa Loompa

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Unless you've just got it lying around I'd swap the dark DME out for light LME. You'll get plenty of flavor/color from your grains and the cocoa powder
 
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Chaos_Being

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I just picked up a 6oz can of Scharffen Berger cocoa powder at the grocery store near me today (I've heard this is good stuff, and was kind of surprised to see it for sale there.) I'm planning on using all 6oz of it in the brew. The one thing I haven't been able to find locally is chocolate extract...although I've found plenty of places selling it online.

I should be brewing this up in a few days hopefully- I've been sick and don't have much energy to do anything, other than sleep, read, and surf the web a bit :(
 
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Chaos_Being

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I do actually, there's one north of Baltimore which is probably a 30-ish minute drive for me. I've been meaning to go there anyways ;)
 
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Chaos_Being

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I brewed it up today :mug:

I went with the recipie as planned- steeped the specialty grains for 20 min, added the 10 lbs of DME, and brought to a boil. The 0.5 oz of Nugget was boiled for 60 minutes, and the 1 oz of Williamette for 15 minutes. I added the Irish Moss at 15 for the heck of it too...I'm not sure how much of a difference it will/did make, becuase this stuff looks like used motor oil :p

After the wort was chilled, I siphoned it into a sanitized 6 gallon BB, letting it splash and fall inside. While the wort had been chilling, I emulsified the 6 oz of cocoa into some pre-boiled water, making a nice viscous chocolate liquid. I funneled that into the BB, and shook vigorously. I then added the top-off water in stages, shaking the water both in its jug, and then in the BB after each addition. After it was up to 5 gallons, I shook the hell out of it some more and then added the re-hydrated two packs of Nottingham.

It was just as I was affixing the blowoff that I remmebered to measure the OG. It was not what I expected- I got ~1.10 @ 77 degrees. I know the malt alone should not have gotten it that high, so I can only assume that all of the suspended cocoa and yeast threw it off?

Anyways, I set up the blowoff and went out to dinner. When I returned about 3 hours later, there was already signs of krausen :rockin: Two hours later, and around a bubble a second is coming out of the blowoff. I've never had one take off like this before...I'm expecting a spectacular amount of blowoff by the morning.

The house still smells like chocolately wort...yum.
 

umlaut

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Any idea what you will be using to "sweeten" the bitter chocolate flavor during conditioning phase?
 
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Chaos_Being

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After I let it bulk age, if I think it's still way too bitter, I'll probably add a little bit of lactose to help balance it out. I won't know one way or another for a few months though ;)
 
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Chaos_Being

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Yeah, with that much malt, I don't think I'm going to have a problem with overwhelming bitterness.

I found some chocolate extract at a specialty cooking store in a mall near me yesterday :ban:
 
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Chaos_Being

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I decided to take my first post-pitch gravity reading today. This beer fermented very vigorously, by the morning after I brewed it (~12 hours later,) it was at full krausen. It never actually got up into the blow-off tube, but it was up to the neck of the BB for at least 24 hours after that. Even now, there is still a thin layer of bubbly yeast on the top of the beer.

Anyways, I used my big beer thief with the hydrometer inside- it was leaking a bit, so the reading was very hasty and not completely precise. Despite that, I can say that the current gravity is somewhere around 1.025 or 1.030. Still a bit to go, but since I can still see some yeast activity (and since I plan on leaving it in primary for a few more weeks,) i'm not too concerned. I did give the BB a decent swirl however, and set my space heater a bit higher. The beer has been fermenting around 66-68F, I'm going to raise the room temperature to around 70-72 to (hopefully) help it finish attenuating.

And of course, I had to taste the hydrometer sampler. I have to say, this is the best green beer I've tasted so far in my homebrewing endeavors. It has a very noticable chocolate aroma, but a more mellow chocolate/roasty taste. It also (somewhat surprisingly,) does not have the hot alcohol taste that I was expecting in a young "big" beer. The bitterness is very low- a little lower than I expected honestly, but that will probalby be a good thing. I know it will taste completely different after it's bottle conditioned and carbed.

So far, so good! I'm still curious about what exactly was going on with my OG, but there isn't much I can do about it. That just means that I won't really be able to calculate my ABV (as I'm still under the assumption that a reading of 1.10 was incorrect.)
 
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Chaos_Being

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I'll probably be racking it to secondary this weekend, where it will age for a couple/few months, before going into bottles. Surprisingly though, I'm still getting a sort of "skum" of yeasty bubbles on the top- it isn't krausen exactly, just really big (dime to quarter sized,) thick looking bubbles. I've never seen any of my other beers do this, but then again, this is the "biggest" beer I've made to date. I was kind of hoping the activity would calm down before racking, but a month in primary is the max I want to leave it in there.
 

McNasty

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I'm making a chocolate coffee stout loosely based on Chocolate Jitters. I was going to add unsweetened cocoa powder after boil and in the secondary. I know where to get chocolate extract. Is there a benefit in using that instead (for the secondary)? I want a pretty strong chocolate taste. You're beer is really starting to sound good btw.
 

Aclay

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If you think that your beer is still to bitter before you bottle it try priming with molassas instead of light DME or corn sugar. I think I'm going to do this with my Chocolet Coffee stout that I'm currently doing. I'm not sure how it tastes right now though. Maybe I should go home and take a gravity count and taste the sample! Sounds good to me.
 

brewhead

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i'd jack the chocolate malt to 3 lbs and add 2 cups of cocoa at flameout
 
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Chaos_Being

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brewhead said:
i'd jack the chocolate malt to 3 lbs and add 2 cups of cocoa at flameout
Yeah, if you want it to taste like bitter crap :rolleyes:

Anyways, I racked my stout to secondary today, and added the extract (1oz vanilla, 2oz chocolate.) I checked the gravity again, and it had not moved in the past few weeks- it's still at 1.030. That seems fairly high, but I guess the extra grains I steeped and the fact it is extract, may mean that it's as low as it will go. It tastes good though :) If my OG of 1.10 was correct, that puts me at 9.5% ABV, which is plenty big.

I'm going to leave it in the secondary for at least a month, maybe two, and then bottle it.
 

brewhead

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Yeah, if you want it to taste like bitter crap
uhh ok fine then. nothing like killing the messenger.

recent award winning chocolate stout:

A ProMash Recipe Report

Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (Gal): 16.00 Wort Size (Gal): 16.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 34.40
Anticipated OG: 1.056 Plato: 13.81
Anticipated SRM: 32.4
Anticipated IBU: 52.2
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75 %
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
74.4 25.60 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) America 1.036 2
9.3 5.0 lbs. Chocolate Malt America 1.029 350
7.0 5.0 lbs. Flaked Barley America 1.032 2
4.7 1.60 lbs. Biscuit Malt Great Britain 1.035 35
4.7 1.60 lbs. Special B Malt Belgian 1.030 120

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3.20 oz. Centennial Whole 10.50 45.6 60 min.
4.80 oz. Willamette Whole 5.00 6.5 10 min.

London

3 cups of coco at flameout
but then again those jusdging must have liked bitter crap
 
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Chaos_Being

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My bad, I thought you were "messing with the n00b"- I've seen a lot of people here advising against using too much cocoa and roasted grains in chocolate stouts, because it would be too bitter and strong in flavor.

That's what I get for being a [email protected]$$- I apologize :(
 

Ølbart

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3 lbs of chocolate malt is still far too much for a 5 gallon recipe. The award winning one above is for 16 gallons.
 

brewhead

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no worries man - no appologies needed. i wouldn't purposfully lead you astray

as far as whether it's too much chocolate malt - i'd say that the next batch i do i will increae it even more.

i don't brew to styles...but when i recommend something it's usually from experience.

when i want a chocolate stout - i don't want notes i want full frontal chocolate assult.

but thne again i'm not bound to styles. i brew what i like.

you could gradually increase the choco malt with subsiquent batches to get a desired taste.

as far as coc = bitter it depends on where you put it in in the recipe. at 60 minutes yes it's gonna be bitter - at flamout you get more of the chocolate taste without the bitter.
 
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Chaos_Being

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Yeah, I can confirm the cocoa at flameout not imparting bitterness thing- that's what I did (actually, I emulsified it in boiled water, added it directly to the primary, and siphoned the wort onto it.) The hydro samples haven't had any noticable cocoa bitterness, just a lot of chocolate aroma and flavor.
 
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