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Using real chocolate

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craigg:
Anyone have any experience using bakers chocolate in either a stout or porter recipe?

We have both coming up, and would like to know the particulars of when to add, what form is used (i.e. powder or bar or syrup) and how to best get it into solution.

Any insights are appreciated/

pyrite:
I've used organic cocoa nibs, but that really has no real sugar chocolate flavor, they have more of a raspy faint chocolate flavor.  For coco nibs I added 16oz (dry hop method) to a 5 gallon beer and aged it for 8months, and the taste of cocoa was really evident, so good..

Also if you want to use cocoa nibs in the boil, they add a bitterness to the beer.  You can substitute some bittering hop additions with cocoa to get a chalk like raspy bitterness.

EHall:
I've used cocoa powder in the past, I mixed it with corn sugar and some water to make a syrup then added it during the boil. Gotta say I wasn't that impressed with the flavor... I agree with above, the cacao nibs in secondary give the best chocolate flavor.

richardt:
I used 8 oz of Nestle's low fat, unsweetened cocoa powder (per 5 gallons) and 4 oz cocoa nibs (per 5 gallons) in a Stout.
Aged on the powder almost 3 or 4 weeks, and on the nibs for the last 2 weeks.  Rationale:  Cocoa powder was targeting flavor and cocoa nibs was targeting aroma.
It is hard to overpower the roast with the chocolate, IMO.
If served below 50 F--the cocoa is absent from flavor and aroma.  It must be warmed up above 50 F to even pick up the roast or cocoa.

Would I do it again?  I'd probably pick a different cocoa powder to try.  Cocoa nibs, yes, but only in the last 2 weeks or so in the secondary (not in the boil).

I'd also find ways to lower the roast character of the stout to allow the chocolate to play a more prominent role.  I'm intrigued by what I've read about cold steeping the dark grains (see recent threads referencing G. Fix and Mary Gruber [sp?] of Breiss) to reduce the astringency and unpleasant roast characteristics.

I'd love to hear other tips if anyone's got them.

craigg:
Thanks guys
The brewing efforts we have coming up are these
1) I'm remaking a cherry porter recipe, upping the cherries from last time, using a heavier dose of chocolate malt and a lighter dose of black patent  (4:1 ratio), and was considering adding chocolate to see if I could get a more luscious mouthfeel and hint of chocolate to go with the roasty background that offsets the fruit.
2) My brewing partner is going after a clone of the Founders Breakfast Stout.

Neither of us have used chocolate before in any recipe. When I talked to my homebrew supply guy, he suggested melting down the bar form of bakers chocolate and adding it to the bottling bucket, skipping both the boil and the fermenting process.  All around it sounds like somewhere late in the process is best. 

Any other experiences are welcome and appreciated - thanks!!

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