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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: zacbwb on September 23, 2010, 02:47:16 PM

Title: Cacao Nibs
Post by: zacbwb on September 23, 2010, 02:47:16 PM
I am looking to add cacao nibs to an oatmeal stout and I am looking for recommendation on how I should add this, as well as how much for a 5 gallon batch.  I am looking for a very subtile chocolate flavor, nothing overpowering.

Adivce?
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: gordonstrong on September 23, 2010, 02:48:21 PM
Use them like oak chips.  Post-fermentation steep, taste frequently, pull when they're at the right level.
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: zacbwb on September 23, 2010, 02:53:31 PM
Thanks Gordon, do you recommend a cetain amount of nibs for the steep?
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: gordonstrong on September 23, 2010, 02:59:38 PM
I don't use them much, so not really.  Like dry hops and oak, there's a quantity + contact time aspect in play.  The more you use, the faster the flavor will change, and the more critical timing becomes.

Pull off some, put it in a 1L pop bottle, and experiment.  Then scale up.  Or be ready to taste every day.   Either/both work.

Trust your palate.  "Overpowering" is subjective, and you're the person who matters most, so do it to your taste.
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: zacbwb on September 23, 2010, 03:09:55 PM
Cool, sounds like a plan.  One more question for ya, is this something that I can do in the primary, or would you recommend transfering to a secondary before I start steeping?
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: gordonstrong on September 23, 2010, 03:18:43 PM
You can do it in either, depending on how long you think it will be.  Personally, I like to do all various adjustments (oaking, dry hopping, etc.) in a secondary so I don't have to worry about how long it takes, and I mix it without worrying about letting it sediment all over again.
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: Rhoobarb on September 23, 2010, 05:41:18 PM
I brew a Chocolate Stout that calls for 8oz. of nibs in secondary.  I leave them for 14 days b/c I'm looking for a good chocolate aroma and taste profile. I'd recommend half of that for the same amount of days or, as Gordon suggests, check it.   
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: zacbwb on September 23, 2010, 06:04:51 PM
Thanks, I appreciate the help!  I will try to remember to follow back around and let you know how it turns out.
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: tschmidlin on September 23, 2010, 06:09:07 PM
The Tcho cocao nibs I have recommend 4 oz in 5 gallons.
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: bluesman on September 23, 2010, 06:14:50 PM
You can do it in either, depending on how long you think it will be.  Personally, I like to do all various adjustments (oaking, dry hopping, etc.) in a secondary so I don't have to worry about how long it takes, and I mix it without worrying about letting it sediment all over again.

+1

Plus if you plan to harvest the yeast it's safer and more practical to make additions in the secondary.
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: enso on September 23, 2010, 08:21:15 PM
I have found if you leave them too long you can get an earthy (dirt) flavor that is somewhat drying.  Tannins I would suppose.  It is especially apparent in beers that are lighter i.e. have less roast character.  I tried some in a belgian dark strong and it was really apparent there.
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: skyler on September 24, 2010, 06:12:05 PM
I'd go with one 4-6 oz package of nibs and don't even bother tasting for at least two weeks. YMMV, but I didn't get much from my 6 oz of nibs with 1 month of contact time (I was in an "I have to keg this now whether it's ready or not because I'm moving scenario, so no tasting). That was a 7% ABV stout.
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: 1vertical on September 25, 2010, 04:50:01 AM
My method is to winnow off the hulls of the beans and then make a slurry of
everclear and cacao in a blender...put this slurry in a pint jar and keep it in
a cool dark place for a couple weeks...adding everclear as needed to maintain
a liquid condition. Then add the entire slurry to secondary.....this serves to
assist in breaking down the cacao bean and it's oil/butter...also I would add a
little splash of some vanilla extract which helps get the aromatics rolling....

it works well...enjoy.  ;)
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: etbrew on September 26, 2010, 09:18:13 PM
I have tossed the nibs in at flameout and let them steep for 15 minutes or so.  It gave ok flavor and aroma but I've been thinking about trying them in the secondary...
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: amish electrician on September 29, 2010, 01:10:06 AM
For my Chocolate Stout, I throw 6-8oz of crushed nibs into secondary, along with a couple vanilla beans for at least 2 weeks.  The choco flavor is pretty good for a few weeks then seems to fade rapidly so for next time I'm gonna try 8oz or so of some unsweetened lowfat cocoa powder.  And perhpas if that isn't enough I'll see about adding some chocolate extract.... or maybe just a squirt of Hershey's syrup in each pint  ;)
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: ultravista on June 14, 2013, 01:55:53 PM
Rhoobarb - care to share that recipe?

I brew a Chocolate Stout that calls for 8oz. of nibs in secondary.  I leave them for 14 days b/c I'm looking for a good chocolate aroma and taste profile. I'd recommend half of that for the same amount of days or, as Gordon suggests, check it.
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: hubie on June 17, 2013, 04:12:46 PM
I've never worked with nibs.  What flavors do they impart?  Is it an unmistakable chocolate flavor?  I know there is all sorts of processing that can be done on nibs to turn them into cocoa powder such as roasting, alkali, etc., that I was wondering whether you get a lot of chocolate-ness out of it or whether it imparts other unique flavors.  In other words, if I want a definite chocolate taste, do nibs give you that or are you better off going with something like a chocolate malt or using cocoa powder.  This is probably too general of a question because, like coffee, I'm sure it is very dependent upon the cocoa pod, where it comes from, and how it's handled.
Title: Re: Cacao Nibs
Post by: morticaixavier on June 17, 2013, 04:36:15 PM
I've never worked with nibs.  What flavors do they impart?  Is it an unmistakable chocolate flavor?  I know there is all sorts of processing that can be done on nibs to turn them into cocoa powder such as roasting, alkali, etc., that I was wondering whether you get a lot of chocolate-ness out of it or whether it imparts other unique flavors.  In other words, if I want a definite chocolate taste, do nibs give you that or are you better off going with something like a chocolate malt or using cocoa powder.  This is probably too general of a question because, like coffee, I'm sure it is very dependent upon the cocoa pod, where it comes from, and how it's handled.

buy some, eat some. I get a sort of cross between chocolate and walnuts. with a fat content more like pine or macadamia. It is delicious and does very much say chocolate without shouting it. I have not used them in a beer.