Author Topic: Holiday Brew  (Read 3459 times)

Offline mikeroni

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Holiday Brew
« on: June 02, 2012, 08:29:47 AM »
    I know we are barely into June but I am planning my Christmas beer.  Last year I did a brown ale with ginger, clove, all spice, molasses, and nutmeg.  This year I am looking to do a porter with cocoa nibs, mint and maybe a vanilla bean or two.  I have never brewed with cocoa nibs, mint or vanilla before.  My questions are when to add them to extract the right flavors and the right aromas, going for a chocolate chip mint ice cream feel.  I was thinking of adding 5 oz of nibs at knock out (5 gallon batch), half a bunch of mint, and one vanilla bean cut and scrapped.  In the secondary 3 oz of nibs and half a bunch of mint. Am I on the right path here?

Offline erockrph

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Re: Holiday Brew
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2012, 09:45:24 AM »
Mint can be pretty grassy (and overpowering if you're not careful). I'd suggest using an extract for the mint and tasting it in a small sample before you add it to the batch.
Eric B.

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Offline denny

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Re: Holiday Brew
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2012, 09:55:22 AM »
I'd recommend mint extract added at packaging.  Much easier to control the amount than adding fresh mint.  Actually, I'd recommend no mint at all, but it's your beer!
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Offline hoser

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Re: Holiday Brew
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2012, 10:08:46 AM »
I would only add the nibs and the vanilla in the secondary, just like dry hops.  I wouldn't add the nibs to the boil or the wort, you may extract too much bitterness and astrigency (think boiling coffee). No experience with mint....

Offline hooter

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Re: Holiday Brew
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2012, 10:29:57 AM »
I agree with the above statement.  Add the nibs and vanilla to secondary.  Never brewed with mint so I'll leave that one to someone else.

Offline snowtiger87

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Re: Holiday Brew
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2012, 02:26:06 AM »
Do something to sanitize the vanilla bean (like soaking in vodka) if you put it in the secondary. They have lots of bacteria.
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Offline mikeroni

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Re: Holiday Brew
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2012, 09:39:04 AM »
Thanks for the responses.  The powers that be/ brewing partner/wife have vetoed the whole mint idea.  Going back through our tasting notes the few beers that we have had with mint tasted horrible, so it’s back to the drawing board.

Offline gmac

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Re: Holiday Brew
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2012, 01:30:50 PM »
Actually, I'd recommend no mint at all, but it's your beer!
I can't see it being good either but how do you explain this?

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Offline hooter

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Re: Holiday Brew
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2012, 06:00:45 PM »
I can't see it being good either but how do you explain this?

AB up to their old antics of creating new products to take up more shelf space and keep their piss swilling customers happy. 

Good call on dropping the mint btw.  I've only had one beer with mint in it and it was nasty, and it was from DFH so that's saying something.

Offline mikeroni

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Re: Holiday Brew
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2012, 06:41:23 AM »
I am guessing that you are referring to the Black and Red.  That is pretty much what did it for us too.

Offline Rhoobarb

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Re: Holiday Brew
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2012, 01:46:07 PM »
I've brewed this many times (and plan to brew it again soon) and found that the amount of vanilla bean and nibs is perfect:

http://free90free.com/peshchat/viewtopic.php?t=2258 

I've never sanitized the beans or the nibs and have never had a problem.  I guess it wouldn't hurt.

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Offline hoser

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Re: Holiday Brew
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2012, 02:17:37 PM »
I have never sanitized cacao nibs, vanilla bean, coffee, or coconut before when adding to the secondary and have never had a sanitization issue.  Nothing wrong with making an extract out of vodka either.  Different strokes for different folks.