Robust Porter - chocolate syrup in primary, how much to use?

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beerfactory

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We were on vacation this summer - and I had a fantastic porter. The beer was a one-off collaboration between two breweries I really like. Emailed them and got a response - pasting an excerpt below:
For the base malts we used a combination of Maris Otter and 2-row for a total of about 60-65 percent of the overall malt bill, fairly even mix but a little heavier toward the Maris Otter. We used maybe 15% flaked oats and then maybe 5 or so % chocolate wheat and a sprinkle of another chocolate malt, with the remaining bit using some dark crystal and also a little bit of golden naked oats to add some nutty-type notes. I don't remember what hops we used but it didn't matter much as we just did a 60 minute addition shooting for pretty low IBUs for some balance....maybe 15 IBUs or so. We mashed between 154-158 to keep bring out the sweetness and used an english ale yeast. Toward the end of fermentation (slowed down but still bubbling) we added some hershey's chocolate syrup.

6 gallons in the fermenter is my target. I put these into Brewer's Friend to start thinking about a recipe.
4 lbs two row
6 lbs maris otter
2.5 lbs flaked oats
.75 lb chocolate wheat
.5 lb chocolate malt
.5 lb 150L crystal

.5 lb golden naked oats
14.75 lb grain bill
1.062 OG
1.013 FG
.75 oz cascade pellet @ 60" should be ~ 16.19 IBU
154 degrees single infusion mash decided to mash @ 156
Nottingham dry yeast decided to go with S05

any thoughts on the chocolate syrup? I get the timing piece, but I am thinking about quantity. I'd like to start with a conservative amount on my first batch but I just do not know what a good jumping off spot would be...
 
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beerfactory

beerfactory

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I haven't been able to find any info on adding chocolate syrup to primary...

I did find that 8 ounces of nibs soaked in alcohol for a few days might be a way to go. Leaning this direction at the moment.
 

Leezer

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I use cocoa nibs soaked in vodka for my chocolate stout, added to primary after vigorous fermentation subsides. Rather than throw them in loose, I put them in hop socks weighted with glass beads, tied with unflavored dental floss. I also add 4.5oz Hershey’s Unsweetened coca powder to the boil at 10 minutes left (2.5G batch).
 
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beerfactory

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great idea w/ the weighted hop sock - interesting that you add the powder to the boil
 

Leezer

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With the hop sock I can suspend them in the middle, and it keeps the nibs from clogging up my auto siphon. Also, I think the cocoa powder adds to the flavor. Over time I’ve increased the amount of that and the nibs to up the chocolate flavor. I noticed your grain bill is kind of similar to my stout recipe. Hops and yeast different though, magnum and S05.
 

GrowleyMonster

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Just some thoughts. For perspective.

48 teaspoons make a cup. 16 tablespoons make a cup. A tablespoon of chocolate syrup in a big glass of milk, say a US pint, is a reasonably stout chocolate milk. A teaspoon is pretty meek and mild. There are 8 pints in a gallon, so 48 pints in your 6gal batch, and 48tsp makes a cup. 48 tablespoons makes three cups.

Beer does not equal milk, but this gives you a point of reference. I suggest somewhere near the low end of the one to three cup range will be interesting but not yech. Half a cup if you want to be cautious and sneak up on the correct amount. There will always be a next batch.

A lot of the flavor of chocolate syrup is the syrup part. The sugar. Your yeast is gonna munch up the sugar, being as it is all sucrose and corn syrup solids. It might have more of a chocolate syrup taste if you put some small amount of sugar in there that yeast don't like. In my next batch I plan on adding a little bit of lactose for residual sweetness, and you might think about that, since you are already going to be committing a high felony under the German brewing purity laws. In for a dime, in for a buck.

Hope that helps. Or, at least doesn't hurt.
 
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beerfactory

beerfactory

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With the hop sock I can suspend them in the middle, and it keeps the nibs from clogging up my auto siphon. Also, I think the cocoa powder adds to the flavor. Over time I’ve increased the amount of that and the nibs to up the chocolate flavor. I noticed your grain bill is kind of similar to my stout recipe. Hops and yeast different though, magnum and S05.
Magnum and S05 - thanks for the feedback there too
 
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beerfactory

beerfactory

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Beer does not equal milk, but this gives you a point of reference. I suggest somewhere near the low end of the one to three cup range will be interesting but not yech. Half a cup if you want to be cautious and sneak up on the correct amount. There will always be a next batch.

Hope that helps. Or, at least doesn't hurt.

that's some good common sense perspective. thank you!
 
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beerfactory

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follow up: this beer came out very nice. nowhere near as nice as the beer that inspired me to take up brewing. but plenty good and I am by no means embarrassed to serve next to standing rib roast for Christmas dinner.

I need to figure out how to fill a growler because I would not be red faced in bringing this to a club meeting either - it would stand in there with the beers the guys bring no problem. no problem at all.

I hit my expected OG and FG right on the money but I missed my volume. so my efficiency was not good. but my techniques and equipment are evolving, I am not worried. it's quality over quantity anyway, right?

also - instead of adding syrup, I will try nibs/vodka next time, just to experiment. syrup added as described by the commercial described in my initial post did work just fine - so it may be what I settle into doing...

finally - I keg conditioned this because I have not built a keezer yet. Conditioned for (3) weeks and really tasted terrible, I was worried and even wailed/gnashed my teeth a bit. after a couple weeks cold conditioned and hooked up to CO2, it came into it's own. it would probably continue to get better over time - but I am currently recycling the contents of the keg at a pretty respectable pace.

(as an aside, being limited to one appliance on the cold side is not conducive to brewing yourself into a pipeline - but I don't want to freak my wife out with too much too soon from a footprint perspective).
 

GrowleyMonster

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Nice. I plan on trying some flavored Imperials in the coming year, definitely some choc and some raspberry. Maybe an apple/mint to have with my hookah. Also a HEAVILY oated imperial stout, maybe with rolled oats making up about 60% of the mash bill. A little roasted oat malt is another ingredient I am considering.

As a stop gap measure you might get a couple of pressurized growlers. They use a mini regulator and accept the small bb gun disposable CO2 cartridges. You could stick them in the fridge and dial in about 5psi and have a good pour in a few days. There are also some that are double walled vacuum insulated. Perfect for beer on the go. Or if you don't have a kegerator. In fact you can think of them as 1 or 1/2 gallon micro-kegs that fit on your fridge shelf. (you might have to adjust the height of the one for your beer. Get some cheap champers and disguise it as a white wine and champagne shelf) These are all over Amazon but read the reviews carefully and watch for obvious fake reviews. Some don't seal well and go through a lot of cartridges. The type that use regular size ball lock beer and gas posts are very versatile. The ones with built in fittings are a little more compact.

I dare say if you monitor the pressure and watch for slow leakers, you could probably have good results either keg conditioning with priming sugar, or forced carb and aging, either one, with the pressurized growlers. Most of them are good for up to about 20psi.
 

Beenym88

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I make a chocolate peanut butter stout using Hershey syrup about a point away from fermentation ending and it’s amazing. Just because it’s not the typical way of doing things doesn’t mean it doesn’t work so if you liked the chocolate syrup stick with it for a more subtle taste I use nibs but this beer is supposed to be a sweet sticky Reese’s cup.
 

InspectorJon

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Potassium Sorbate is on the ingredient list for Hershey’s syrup. Not sure if it is enough to affect fermentation. It might account for a sweet finish. It might also inhibit bottle conditioning.
 

GrowleyMonster

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Potassium Sorbate is on the ingredient list for Hershey’s syrup. Not sure if it is enough to affect fermentation. It might account for a sweet finish. It might also inhibit bottle conditioning.
Good point. But I am thinking that they probably put JUST ENOUGH of it in the syrup. I will speculate that diluting say a cup of syrup with 5 gallons beer would probably render the stuff ineffective at suppressing fermentation. Still, something to think about.
 

camonick

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This is what I use in my chocolate porter. It gives a nice subtle chocolate flavor without the hassle of nibs. I use 15-17ml per 5 gallons at packaging. It could be adjusted for personal preference.
9511D653-8C24-428F-ABEC-5F17CE7AD644.jpeg
 

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beerfactory, sounds like it turned out well. I looked but didn't see how much chocolate syrup you used or when you added it. Sorry if I missed it. Could you enlighten me? Cheers!
 
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beerfactory

beerfactory

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beerfactory, sounds like it turned out well. I looked but didn't see how much chocolate syrup you used or when you added it. Sorry if I missed it. Could you enlighten me? Cheers!
Hey Rish - I added a cup when the bubbling slowed.
 
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