Author Topic: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??  (Read 685 times)

Offline cmooreseymour

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Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« on: December 09, 2013, 07:49:41 AM »
Brewing a Coffee Milk Chocolate Stout.  Last time, I added lactose, coffee grinds and Hershey's powder at the last 10 minutes of the boil.  It tasted great, but lost a lot of the coffee and chocolate flavor.
After some research, I would like to add a pot of brewed coffee (or two) and whole chocolate nibs when I transfer to the secondary fermenter (after 1 week).  What is the best way to sanitize the cocoa nibs?
I've considered warming up the coffee to 180 degrees on the stove and adding the cocoa nibs to that for 15 minutes, cooling and adding that to the secondary fermentation.  The nibs would obviously melt during this process, but I don't think that would affect the flavor.
Any better ideas on how to sanitize the cocoa nibs?  Thanks!

Online Steve in TX

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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2013, 07:58:24 AM »
Be careful melting the nibs. They can burn and get bitter very fast. I've never use them in a beer, so I can't offer suggestions there.

I use cold brewed coffee in my beers. Simply steep 1/2 lb in a 50oz French press overnight, press, run through a pour over filter to, and add to taste. The mellow coffee flavor has always been more important to me over sanitation. A keg only lasts a couple of weeks whenever I make a new batch.

Whole foods and other gourmet stores sell cold brew extract made in the same fashion. Never tried one, but may in the future.

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2013, 08:07:09 AM »
I know you didn't ask about the coffee, but I'd really recommend cold steeping over brewing. Easiest way - add whole coffee beans to the beer in secondary (or primary after fermentation slows) and let it sit for a few days. Heating coffee to sanitize nibs seems like a great way to make Burnt Office Coffee Pot Stout. It's bitter like our dreams for advancement. Mad Fermentationist tried a bunch of techniques and settled on adding whole beans to the fermenter. He says the flavor was most persistent that way.

Cocoa nibs? Not sure, but I'd be tempted to add them directly too. You could spray them with everclear to surface sanitize them, if you wanted.
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Offline phunhog

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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2013, 08:09:17 AM »
I soaked mine in bourbon for 5 days.....probably not what you want in your beer though.

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2013, 08:34:46 AM »
I would just add them as mtnrockhopper mentions.

Just to clarify though, cocao nibs won't melt. they are more or less like a piece of nut. They remind me very much of waltnuts that taste like chocolate delicious for snacking out of hand. They can be toasted lightly like walnuts to bring out the flavor and aroma. Just keep them moving in a dry pan over medium high heat until they smell good.
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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2013, 09:48:09 AM »
I just brewed a chocolate coffee stout.  I used the nibs in the secondary.  I just dumped them in the carboy and racked the stout on top.  In two weeks cold crashed the last of the floating nibs out and kegged.  It's well over 4 weeks since I did that.  Quaffing quite well.  No bugs.   If you are worried about it mtnrockhopper's everclear idea sounds good.  I'm with Steve in TX on the coffee......
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Online Steve in TX

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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2013, 09:52:54 AM »
I would just add them as mtnrockhopper mentions.

Just to clarify though, cocao nibs won't melt. they are more or less like a piece of nut. They remind me very much of waltnuts that taste like chocolate delicious for snacking out of hand. They can be toasted lightly like walnuts to bring out the flavor and aroma. Just keep them moving in a dry pan over medium high heat until they smell good.

They will melt. That is what happens when the nibs are ground at a chocolate factory. It works better when ground like melting anything else.

Offline denny

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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2013, 09:59:27 AM »
No need to sanitize the nibs at all in my experience.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2013, 10:05:25 AM »
I would just add them as mtnrockhopper mentions.

Just to clarify though, cocao nibs won't melt. they are more or less like a piece of nut. They remind me very much of waltnuts that taste like chocolate delicious for snacking out of hand. They can be toasted lightly like walnuts to bring out the flavor and aroma. Just keep them moving in a dry pan over medium high heat until they smell good.

They will melt. That is what happens when the nibs are ground at a chocolate factory. It works better when ground like melting anything else.

well okay, but in that case so will peanuts. They are ground into a chocolate paste and the oil and solids are, to some degree, separated then recombined to make different products. really high end cocoa powder being just the solids, white 'chocolate' being just the fat
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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2013, 10:22:16 AM »
No need to sanitize the nibs at all in my experience.

Agree with Denny +1.060

Offline cmooreseymour

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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2013, 10:44:19 AM »
Wow! Thanks for all the speedy responses!
Sounds like I'll try cold brewing the coffee, although I don't have a french press.  Backup could just be adding whole coffee beans.  I definitely don't want the burnt taste, so I'll avoid brewing the coffee or re-heating it.  Any tips on cold brewing if I don't have a french press?
Sounds like adding the cocoa nibs at the beginning of the secondary will work best, I'll either sanitize with high proof liquor or add directly.  I usually siphon straight from my secondary fermenter to my keg.  Will the cocoa nibs stay solid so or fall to the sediment bed?  I'd hate for them to break up and affect my clarity.  Thanks again!

Online Steve in TX

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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2013, 11:28:53 AM »
Any tips on cold brewing if I don't have a french press?

Pour through a filter like the one below (does require a paper cone). It take forever with that much coffee grounds. You can get cheap ones at Target/Walmart. I use this in combination with the french press to get all the grounds out before adding.

http://www.amazon.com/Melitta-Ready-Single-Coffee-Brewer/dp/B0014CVEH6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1386613580&sr=8-2&keywords=single+serve+drip+coffee+maker

I once tried putting a filter on a mason jar then flipped onto another jar. It didn't drip at all.

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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2013, 11:57:45 AM »
Any tips on cold brewing if I don't have a french press?

Pour through a filter like the one below (does require a paper cone). It take forever with that much coffee grounds. You can get cheap ones at Target/Walmart. I use this in combination with the french press to get all the grounds out before adding.

http://www.amazon.com/Melitta-Ready-Single-Coffee-Brewer/dp/B0014CVEH6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1386613580&sr=8-2&keywords=single+serve+drip+coffee+maker

I once tried putting a filter on a mason jar then flipped onto another jar. It didn't drip at all.

these also, in my opinion make the best cup of drip coffee you can have (Assuming good beans to start with)
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2013, 12:18:31 PM »
You can make a giant filter by laying paper towels in a strainer basket or colander.
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Offline cmooreseymour

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Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2013, 08:45:22 AM »
Thanks again for the responses, everybody!

Sounds like I'm going to go with cold french press and a filter cone for the coffee addition and whole chocolate nibs (sanitized or not), both at the beginning of secondary fermentation.

Any other suggestions/improvements are appreciated.  Otherwise, I'll let you know how it turns out on New Year's Day/give or take.