Stout Additions

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Sublime8365

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So I'm going to brew my 2nd batch ever tonight. I have an extract kit for an Irish Stout that I'm hoping to have done by St Patty's Day. I was thinking about experimenting with adding something to the stout, like chocolate. I found someone had posted a recipe for a mint chocolate stout and it sounds delicious. Of course, the recipe was for all grain brewing. My questing is, do you think additions like these are a good idea for extract brewing or am I trying to be too cute as a beginner? From what I read, chocolate powder could be added towards the end of the boil, and the poster said he added mint leaves at the bottom of the secondary fermentation. I currently only have the equipment for primary fermenation. Do you think adding the chocolate power at the end of the boil, and then dropping some mint leaves into the primary fermentation would work? If so, at what point in the primary would you add the mint? How much chocolate and mint would you recommend for a 5 gallon batch?
 

mountainbrewdude

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I made an oatmeal stout and added 5 oz. of ghiradelli chocolate powder. It has been conditioning for a month, so far I can't taste any chocolate, so evidently I didn't add enough. The mint is an awesome idea, I'm curious to see what comes out in this thread.
 

JohnnyO

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My advice to you would be to keep true to the original recipe. Focus on your processes right now. Start tweaking things after more than a few batches. Once you're comfortable with the brewing process and are getting consistent results, then look at adding things.

That's just my advice though. If you want to buck the system, go right ahead! Some great beers have been made that way. However, alot of dumpers have been made that way as well.

Whatever you do, enjoy it!
 

ongreystreet

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I'd give it a go, but try to check a few recipes first to get your portions and timing right.

I am getting ready to add whiskey to a porter, not sure how it will go. I imagine a stout is pretty hard to ruin with just chocolate.
 
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Sublime8365

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Ok, what I think I'm gonna try to do is buy a carboy and after fermentation split the batch, bottling half and putting the other half into the carboy for secondary with my additions - either just chocolate or chocolate and mint. My question is will putting 2.5 gal into a 5 gal carboy for secondary work? If not, could I use a couple of those large wine jugs instead? Also, how much of each ingredient should I put in?
 

rudu81

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There are also 3 gal carboy and better bottles. I would get those and just split it in two.
 

Bacchusuga

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I'd give it a go, but try to check a few recipes first to get your portions and timing right.

I am getting ready to add whiskey to a porter, not sure how it will go. I imagine a stout is pretty hard to ruin with just chocolate.
When are you adding the whiskey? I've got a porter I brewed Sunday, thinking about adding some whiskey with grapefruit zest in it during a light dry hopping.
 

Hang Glider

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So I'm going to brew my 2nd batch ever tonight. I have an extract kit for an Irish Stout that I'm hoping to have done by St Patty's Day. ...
That's mighty ambitious for a porter. It will likely be a bit "green" in flavor. 3 weeks fermenting, 3 weeks bottled?


Set several aside to try in 4 months and see if you don't like it a lot better.
 
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Sublime8365

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Ok, my plan is to buy a 3 gal carboy and put half of my 5 gal batch into that with the chocolate and mint for secondary.

I searched for some recipes on the forum to see what volumes I should use. The recipe I looked at called for 8 oz of cocoa powder and .5 oz of mint. The mint was cut up and soaked in vodka to sanitize I guess.

I was thinking of using 4 oz of cocoa powder and around .3-.4 oz of mint (not quite cutting it in half because the poster of the recipe said .5 oz was a little weak). So when I rack to the secondary, just throw everything in? how long would you leave it in secondary? Will a longer secondary time cause the mint to be too overpowering?
 

dabaki

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To add to this thread, I've been looking around on here and can't really find a specific answer to my question. I've got an Imperial Stout (Muntons) that's been in the primary for almost a month. I had a taste yesterday and it's coming along quite nicely. I was thinking that a little chocolate flavor to it would actually turn it into a very good beer.

That being said, is there a way that I can add chocolate to it at bottling time and have it come out good? I've seen on here that you can just throw some in the primary and hope, but if I mix it at bottling I would probably get a better distribution and hopefully more flavor? Or, am I trying to do something that will ruin it?
 

MikeM2012

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So far everything I have read indicates that chocolate needs to be added either at the last 15 minutes of the boil or at flame out. My biggest concern about adding it at bottling is that chocolate contains sugar and would give the yeast something more to eat while sitting in the bottle, guessing this might be a bit risky with bottle bombs.

I'm still pretty new to this though so I might be completley wrong.
 

exoreality

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So far everything I have read indicates that chocolate needs to be added either at the last 15 minutes of the boil or at flame out. My biggest concern about adding it at bottling is that chocolate contains sugar and would give the yeast something more to eat while sitting in the bottle, guessing this might be a bit risky with bottle bombs.

I'm still pretty new to this though so I might be completley wrong.
I agree with MikeM2012. Save the chocolate for your next batch. Sorry.
 

CTownBrewer

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I used bakers chocolate in the last 15 minutes of the boil of my chocolate peanut butter stout with good results...1 bar, 8 oz total. You can pick up bakers chocolate at most grocery stores.

I think you'd be fine with 2 separate 4 oz additions at 5 minutes & flameout. IMO, if you don't have a secondary to rack the beer on top of cocoa powder, I'd just go with the late boil addition.

Sent from my iPhone using HB Talk
 

brewit2it

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Ok, my plan is to buy a 3 gal carboy and put half of my 5 gal batch into that with the chocolate and mint for secondary.

I searched for some recipes on the forum to see what volumes I should use. The recipe I looked at called for 8 oz of cocoa powder and .5 oz of mint. The mint was cut up and soaked in vodka to sanitize I guess.

I was thinking of using 4 oz of cocoa powder and around .3-.4 oz of mint (not quite cutting it in half because the poster of the recipe said .5 oz was a little weak). So when I rack to the secondary, just throw everything in? how long would you leave it in secondary? Will a longer secondary time cause the mint to be too overpowering?
Any mint would be overpowering to me. I can't even stand flavored coffee, mocha, hazelnut, mint, can't stand any of it. I'm always amazed at the stuff a lot of you folks will put in perfectly good beer, but whatever you like since you're the ones drinking it:mug:
 

vitrael

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So far everything I have read indicates that chocolate needs to be added either at the last 15 minutes of the boil or at flame out. My biggest concern about adding it at bottling is that chocolate contains sugar and would give the yeast something more to eat while sitting in the bottle, guessing this might be a bit risky with bottle bombs.

I'm still pretty new to this though so I might be completley wrong.
Unsweetened chocolate does not contain sugar. This includes unsweetened baking chocolate, cocoa powder and the likes. Semisweet chocolate and milk chocolate are different in that they do contain sugar, and often other additives.

For beer I would recommend using only unsweetened cocoa powder because it will dissolve the most easily into the wort, and impart a chocolate flavor without adding unnecessary and unidentified sugar or milk products to your wort.

Don't forget that the actual flavor of baking chocolate is not sweet. In fact it is intensely bitter and will need to be balanced by the sweetness of your beer's malt character. If the kit you are making is a dry Irish stout (like a Guinness clone) chocolate might be an inadvisable addition.
 

05m50dan

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Your best bet is to add the chocolate to the secondary and let it sit. If you're using backer's chocolate, chop it up fine. You'll lose some of the flavor and aroma if added during the boil.
Also, what's great about secondary additions is that if the flavor comes out too strong after a two week bottle conditioning, you can always put it on the shelf for a couple of months and the flavors mellow out.
I made an IPA back in August, 10 gal batch. Split it into 2 5gal secondaries. 1 I made into a Rosemary IPA, the other into. Whisky-Oak IPA. I bottled the Rosemary (which turned out way too much!) And put it aside. Meanwhile I had soaked 2oz oak chips in JD from the boil date in Aug. In October I added them to the second batch for what I intended to be 1 week, but four weeks later I kegged it. After it was carbed, I thought about dumping it because it tasted like sucking on an oak barrel. But I let it sit for another 6 weeks of cold conditioning and it mellowed out a lot. Come New Years I had a great tasting Oaked IPA!
Point of the story is that the harshness of secondary additions tend to mellow out with age.
 

vitrael

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Your best bet is to add the chocolate to the secondary and let it sit. If you're using backer's chocolate, chop it up fine. You'll lose some of the flavor and aroma if added during the boil.
You can add chocolate at flame out and you won't cause any loss in flavor. It's certainly no different from melting cocoa powder in butter at near boiling temperatures to make brownies (yes, I'm old school like that!). I even added chocolate for the duration of the boil in my porter and it came across strong at only 4oz/5G.

And you should not use bar chocolate because you can only chop it so fine--cocoa powder is readily available in the baking section, it's the same stuff, you can measure it more accurately, and it will get the greatest surface area against your beer for the biggest flavor. I still think it would be safer to add at flame out than straight into the secondary for sanitation reasons.
 

brewit2it

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To add to this thread, I've been looking around on here and can't really find a specific answer to my question. I've got an Imperial Stout (Muntons) that's been in the primary for almost a month. I had a taste yesterday and it's coming along quite nicely. I was thinking that a little chocolate flavor to it would actually turn it into a very good beer.

That being said, is there a way that I can add chocolate to it at bottling time and have it come out good? I've seen on here that you can just throw some in the primary and hope, but if I mix it at bottling I would probably get a better distribution and hopefully more flavor? Or, am I trying to do something that will ruin it?
You could prime it with hersheys syrup plus corn sugar disolved in H20.

Lets say you were going to use 4 oz of corn sugar to prime. Lets just call it 115 gms of sugar. There are 20 gms of sugar in a liquid oz of Hershey's syrup so if you used 3 oz of syrup that gives you 60 gms of sugar so then you could add 2 oz of the corn sugar which would be close enough to your target.
Or if you really have guts you could use 6 oz of the Hershey's and no corn sugar for more chocolate flavor. Either way, all of the dextrose and fructose will ferment out to give you carbonation.


I'd never do it but I'd be interested to hear how it came out if someone else did it LOL.
 

vitrael

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You could prime it with hersheys syrup plus corn sugar disolved in H20.
Ack! But Hershey's syrup !== chocolate! Ingredients list by weight in this order:

High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Cocoa, Sugar, Contains 2% or Less of: Potassium Sorbate (a preservative), Salt, Mono and Diglycerides, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 60, Vanillin, Artificial Flavoring.

Ingredients 1, 2, and 5 are all refined sugar! If 1fl oz of syrup has 20g of sugar, I've got some sorry news... there are only 30g in 1fl oz. It's 66% sugar by weight. Then you're adding salt, processed fats, emulsifiers, and chemical flavorings that remain undisclosed.

Call me a food elitist, but do you really think that garbage is going to make your beer taste better? If you want cocoa flavor, add cocoa powder! (and maybe hold the sugar-syrup next time you have some vanilla ice cream)

Conclude rant. Whew. :mug:
 

CTownBrewer

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Unsweetened chocolate does not contain sugar. This includes unsweetened baking chocolate, cocoa powder and the likes. Semisweet chocolate and milk chocolate are different in that they do contain sugar, and often other additives.

For beer I would recommend using only unsweetened cocoa powder because it will dissolve the most easily into the wort, and impart a chocolate flavor without adding unnecessary and unidentified sugar or milk products to your wort.

Don't forget that the actual flavor of baking chocolate is not sweet. In fact it is intensely bitter and will need to be balanced by the sweetness of your beer's malt character. If the kit you are making is a dry Irish stout (like a Guinness clone) chocolate might be an inadvisable addition.
Thanks for catching that regarding baker's chocolate. I meant to mention that. It definitely gives it a dark chocolate flavor due to the bitterness.

If the OP is looking for a sweeter milk chocolate flavor, aim for a higher OG. My chocolate peanut butter stout was great, but it wasn't sweet enough. It's definitely an adjustment I'll make if I brew it again. Mine came in at around 5.5% ABV. You need to hit 7.5 - 8% if you want the sweetness to come through.
 

brewit2it

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Ack! But Hershey's syrup !== chocolate! Ingredients list by weight in this order:

High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Cocoa, Sugar, Contains 2% or Less of: Potassium Sorbate (a preservative), Salt, Mono and Diglycerides, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 60, Vanillin, Artificial Flavoring.

Ingredients 1, 2, and 5 are all refined sugar! If 1fl oz of syrup has 20g of sugar, I've got some sorry news... there are only 30g in 1fl oz. It's 66% sugar by weight. Then you're adding salt, processed fats, emulsifiers, and chemical flavorings that remain undisclosed.

Call me a food elitist, but do you really think that garbage is going to make your beer taste better? If you want cocoa flavor, add cocoa powder! (and maybe hold the sugar-syrup next time you have some vanilla ice cream)

Conclude rant. Whew. :mug:
Like I said, I wouldn't add any of the above to my beer, but actually the ingredient list doesn't look too bad. He asked how he could add it at bottling, i.e. when you want to add sugar so I'm not clear how it containing sugar is a problem. Cocoa is actually pretty high on the list. The salt isn't going to hurt your stout, the potassium sorbate is a common additive to wine, it wont kill your yeast or keep it from fermentation but does reduce reproduction so it might give a smaller sediment. A tiny amount of mono- and diglycerides aren't going to hurt anything, might help with creaminess in a stout, but in the tiny amount added, I doubt it would be at all noticable. Same goes for the polysorbate-60. Vanillin, again, how is this going to hurt a chocolate stout?

Like I said, I wouldn't do it, but it might not be so bad. Who knows until you try it?
 

ongreystreet

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When are you adding the whiskey? I've got a porter I brewed Sunday, thinking about adding some whiskey with grapefruit zest in it during a light dry hopping.
I am probably going to add it on bottling day with my priming sugar and rack onto it. I would add it thru wood chips, but I might split the batch and do half bourbon half whiskey, or half whiskey, half plain.

I am thinking about a small addition, maybe 8 ounces per 5 gallons.
 
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