The chocolate in a chocolate stout

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I'm working on a recipe for a Chocolate Stout. my question is, can i achieve a solid chocolate taste by using malts alone, or will i need to add actual chocolate or cocoa powder? I don't need or want the beer to be a candy bar, just a nice, less-than-subtle hint of chocolate. a medium to big chocolate nose, maybe, with a some light chocolate flavors. I've never brewed with chocolate malts before, so i dont know what to expect. here's a preliminary grain bill, tell me what you think i can expect.

7.5 gallons post boil, 1.055 OG

9 lbs maris otter
1.5 lbs chocolate malt
1 lbs chocolate wheat malt
8 oz carapils
6 oz roasted barley
1 lb lactose added at boil

what do you think about the chocolate wheat? i'm having trouble with whether or not this is a sweet stout or a dry stout. obviously it leans toward sweet with the lactose, but i'd like to mash low, 152ish, so i can have a little bit of both.

also, i could be persuaded to drop the carapils, or replace it with crystal 60 maybe.
 

Brewsmith

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That's a bit much Chocolate malt with the choccolate and chocolate wheat. I would nix the carapils and definately add some crystal. You already have enought roasted barley in there. I'd go with maybe 8-10 oz of Chocolate malt and make up the difference with an extra lb of maris otter and a lb of crystal, maybe split in half crystal 60 and 120 or even 150 if you can find it. The dark crystal will add a dark toffee, caramel flavor that will go nice with the chocolate malt. Plus you will have a little sweetness from the lactose.

Edit - you could go up to maybe 12 oz of chocolate malt, but not much more. I'd still keep the crystals
 

Grimsawyer

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I have heard of people just tossing in a few hershey's bars for a chocolate beer beyond what you can get from grains. I'm going to do one with a buttload of chocolate and lactose eventually! Sorry, no advise on just grains. Heard something and thought someone could benefit!
 
OP
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thanks for the tips, brewsmith. grim, i wanted to avoid using actual chocolate. im brewing this for a competition and the pub that's hosting the comp has very well liked stout with a bunch of belgian chocolate in it, so i'm trying for something that will stand out to the brewers.

Revised grain bill:

9.5 lbs MO
1 lbs chocolate malt
.5 lbs crystal 60
.5 lbs crystal 120
.5 lbs chocolate wheat
4oz roasted barley

the chocolate is still pushing it given your recommendation. will i be disappointed with the flavors? can you describe what too much chocolate will taste like? let me know what you think!
 

kenb

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SenorWanderer said:
thanks for the tips, brewsmith. grim, i wanted to avoid using actual chocolate. im brewing this for a competition and the pub that's hosting the comp has very well liked stout with a bunch of belgian chocolate in it, so i'm trying for something that will stand out to the brewers.

Revised grain bill:

9.5 lbs MO
1 lbs chocolate malt
.5 lbs crystal 60
.5 lbs crystal 120
.5 lbs chocolate wheat
4oz roasted barley

the chocolate is still pushing it given your recommendation. will i be disappointed with the flavors? can you describe what too much chocolate will taste like? let me know what you think!
You need to up the roasted barley. Despite it's name, chocolate malt imparts more of a nutty flavor and not much chocolate. You will get more chocolate out of roasted barley than you will from chocolate malt...i would up the roasted barley to 1 lb....
 
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IMO .. up the roasted, the chocolate looks a little high, but should be ok, keep the carapils.. I use a pound in my stouts and love it. I'm not a fan of crystal in stouts, but that's just my opinion. If you want a REAL chocolate flavor/nose add 100% pure cocoa powder. It's good, don't us chocolate though, because the oils will kill your head on the beer.
 

RadicalEd

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A little flaked barley is nice for flavor, too :D. My dry Irish has just some 2-row, flaked barley, and roasted barley, and it's got lots of yummy roasted chocolate flavor.
 

Brewsmith

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Yeah, I'd reduce the Chocolate to a half pound if you want to keep the chocolate wheat and up the roast to half a pound
 
OP
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hey, thanks for all the suggestions! it IS kinda silly that i'm pretty much flying blind, and willing to take ANY suggestion, but what the hell! I'm not really sure if i like crystal in a stout, but i don't feel like it belongs. KISS, right? kenb, thanks for the tip about roast tasting more like chocolate than chocolate, that's exactly the kind of info i'm looking for. no one disputed that claim so i'll take it as gospel for now ;)

so here's what i settled on:

10 lbs MO 72.73%
1 lbs roasted barley 7.27%
.75 lbs carapils 5.45%
.75 lbs chocolate 5.45%
.25 lbs chocolate wheat 1.82%
1 lbs lactose for the boil 7.27%

1.057 OG
33.3 SRM

now the fun part, i was thinking about keep this part a secret, but i can't help my self and i want to get some reaction, so . . .

i'm adding sweet orange peel. weird? possibly tasty? i was thinking of how much i love those orange chocolate oranges during the holidays. this is why i want only a medium chocolate without the chocolate flavor from actually adding chocolate. i figure the orange i'll be getting from the orange peel won't be that big in flavor, so if they're both there, but subtle then i might have a winner. there is also a high % chance this will suck A$$. i've also considered adding orange extract to 2ndary or at bottling, but that will probably give me major head retention issues. i'll certainly let ya know how it goes!
 

kenb

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SenorWanderer said:
hey, thanks for all the suggestions! it IS kinda silly that i'm pretty much flying blind, and willing to take ANY suggestion, but what the hell! I'm not really sure if i like crystal in a stout, but i don't feel like it belongs. KISS, right? kenb, thanks for the tip about roast tasting more like chocolate than chocolate, that's exactly the kind of info i'm looking for. no one disputed that claim so i'll take it as gospel for now ;)

so here's what i settled on:

10 lbs MO 72.73%
1 lbs roasted barley 7.27%
.75 lbs carapils 5.45%
.75 lbs chocolate 5.45%
.25 lbs chocolate wheat 1.82%
1 lbs lactose for the boil 7.27%

1.057 OG
33.3 SRM

now the fun part, i was thinking about keep this part a secret, but i can't help my self and i want to get some reaction, so . . .

i'm adding sweet orange peel. weird? possibly tasty? i was thinking of how much i love those orange chocolate oranges during the holidays. this is why i want only a medium chocolate without the chocolate flavor from actually adding chocolate. i figure the orange i'll be getting from the orange peel won't be that big in flavor, so if they're both there, but subtle then i might have a winner. there is also a high % chance this will suck A$$. i've also considered adding orange extract to 2ndary or at bottling, but that will probably give me major head retention issues. i'll certainly let ya know how it goes!
I notice you have lactose in the recipe.
That should normally be added at bottling; just boil it up with the priming sugar for a minute.... as opposed to during the boil...if adding during boil, do it at knockout....it is unfermentable though, so i fugure why add it before fermentation? also that is a LOT of lactose unless you are going for a Milk Stout.. i would cut it back to 8oz.....otherwise i think this looks pretty yummy....
 
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I think it's wise to add at boiling, then if it's not enough at bottling time, add more. It is very easy to not sweeten enough as it is to sweeten too much.
 

david_42

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I really like the flavor of chocolate wheat, more bitter-sweet than barley.
 
OP
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the lactose- totally unfermentable? beer smith adds 5 OG points for a pound of it, but only bumps the FG 2 points. what am i missing? i'll certainly cut it to a half pound, but i think i'll add it at knockout.
 

CBBaron

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SenorWanderer said:
the lactose- totally unfermentable? beer smith adds 5 OG points for a pound of it, but only bumps the FG 2 points. what am i missing? i'll certainly cut it to a half pound, but i think i'll add it at knockout.
From what I have seen the beer recipe tools use the OG and yeast attenuation to determine FG and don't consider the recipe.
I do wonder, is lactose totally unfermentable? Given that some people add it at bottling time I would guess it is unfermentable or nearly so.

Craig
 

CBBaron

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Also be aware that all dark grains are not created equal. Chocolate malt ranges from about 300 SRM to 450+SRM and roasted barley can be found over that same range. The contribution to flavor will be significantly different depending on the color. There is even a pale chocolate malt at 200SRM.

Craig
 

Ryan_PA

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You're not going to get any real chocolate flavor from the chocolate malt. There is a roastiness that will be associated with the cocoa flavor, but chocolate malt has no chocolate in it. It only is a reference to color. If you are looking to get a real chocolate flavor (albeit subtle or pronounced) you should look to pure coca powder, real cocoa beans (if you can find them) in the mash, or a chocolate extract.

Your recipe seems to be a great stout, but I would not anticipate a chocolate flavor to really be easily identified.
 
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