Got my first Stout brewed! Advice?

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Zandrello

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Well, I got my Chocolate Milk Stout from Northern Brewer brewed on Sunday 12/2. Everything went flawless with the brew process, and yeast was pitched at perfect temperature.

My question now is concerning the Cacao nibs that will go into secondary fermentation.

I have seen some people on here mention that they soaked their nibs in VODKA for 3 days before adding them to secondary?

Is this advisable? What are the benefits and/or risks involved? Does it raise the ABV a little bit? Because I would like to do that if possible, because this is a relatively low point stout (ranked at around 5.4-5.6% ABV).

Also, when the nibs are done soaking, do you put JUST THE NIBS into secondary? Or do you poor all of it, both the nibs AND the vodka into secondary?

Thanks for any and all advice.
 

Gtreloquence

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I believe the point of soaking them in the vodka is to sanitize the nibs. As for the second question, I believe that's just personal preference. I don't think a small amount of vodka in the secondary will affect the ABV or anything else.
 
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Zandrello

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Aah gotcha. Thanks for the reply. I think I will go ahead and do the Vodka soak (with high quality vodka of course). So, how long do the nibs need to soak for?
 

Gtreloquence

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I have no personal experience with this so I couldn't attest to that. If the posts you were referring to mentioning 3 days yielded good results, I'd say start there.
 

Shawnylocks

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we just brewed an " toasted caramel apple pie ale". it is a recipe from a LHBS. it came with some apple pie spices that need to steep in vodka for a few days. the instructions specifically state "do not hesitate to use lower grade vodka. as it offers no flavor or alcohol to the brew" so i asked the owner and he said he uses the cheapest stuff he can get because there is nothing a better vodka will do for you. hope this helps
 

ronsky

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I am getting ready to brew a similar recipe, and I'm thinking "hmmm... I got vodka, and I got Kahlua... Should I whip up a black russian; soak nibs in that and dump it all in? " or am I going off the deep end again?
 
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Zandrello

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I'm not to big of a fan of vodka in general. So when I buy some to soak the nibs, I'm not gonna get cheap crap vodka. Cuz if I'm gonna have it laying around, I at least want it to taste good and not like gasoline. In case i get a craving for a bloody Mary or a White Russian. ;)
 

gelatin

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It really depends on how much vodka you are using. Suppose you were soaking the nibs in a cup (8oz) of 40% ABV vodka. Adding that to 640oz (5 gallons), you will see very roughly a 0.5% increase in ABV.
 

ssazreal560

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my advice would be:

Consume most of the vodka
see what happens

(you might come up with something really cool to do with the nibs, but you prolly wont remember the next time to be able to repeat it)
 

Johnnyhitch1

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Grab a bottle of jameson. Toss a split vanilla bean in a couple oz of the whiskey for the length of primary. Strain out pod and seeds and dump in keg/bottling bucket.

Believe it or not the vanilla will actually bring out more of the chocolate and roasty notes your looking for. I wouldnt bother with the nibs..Chew on them and taste your beer. Not a big fan of there bitter astringency. Hell then again i love the smell of coffee and havent had a cup in 5 years....

Aah gotcha. Thanks for the reply. I think I will go ahead and do the Vodka soak (with high quality vodka of course). So, how long do the nibs need to soak for?
No reason to spend money on something your not going to taste, by the time its diluted. Never understood why people make mixed drinks with top shelf liquor.

Thats like putting cubes in your scotch...:confused:
 
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Zandrello

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Grab a bottle of jameson. Toss a split vanilla bean in a couple oz of the whiskey for the length of primary. Strain out pod and seeds and dump in keg/bottling bucket.
Why jameson whiskey instead of vodka?
 
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Zandrello

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It's only going to take a few ounces for sanitizing the additions to your beer. What will you do with the rest of it? I don't like vodka.:D
Yeah, idk, i'll probably just give the rest of the Vodka to my wife. I'm not much of a fan of vodka either. She likes bloody mary's
 

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