Author Topic: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout  (Read 1586 times)

Offline yso191

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Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« on: March 31, 2016, 04:56:15 PM »
I have brewed stouts before, but never one with cocoa nibs, and I have never tried to coax the coffee notes to the fore... so I am asking you all about the following recipe.  It is for a five gallon batch that I want to be ready for the holidays.  I am also curious about what (if any) late addition hop would go well in this beer since I am not sold on the EKG listed below.  Thanks!

15 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) 66.0 %
2 lbs Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)  8.5 %
2 lbs Roasted Barley (450.0 SRM)  8.5 %
1 lbs Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM)  4.3 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)  4.3 %
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)  4.3 %
1 lbs Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM)  4.3 %
2.00 oz Magnum [13.20 %] - Boil 60.0 min  61.8 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) 
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)
5.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.70 %] - Boil 0.0 min  0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Denny's favorite (Wyeast Labs #1450) 
5.00 oz Cacao Nibs (Secondary 1.0 weeks) 
Steve
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2016, 05:05:51 PM »
That looks (and sounds) good. 1450 is just awesome in stout. By the holidays most late hop character would be gone, but Willamette would work well late and stay out of the way of the coffee and cacao character.
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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2016, 06:48:27 PM »
I would personally go with Willamette as the finishing hop on a stout.  For 5 gallons, that seems like a lot of cacao also.  Make sure you soak it in something to sanitize it (100 proof rum is my personal pick).

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2016, 06:46:01 PM »
I would personally go with Willamette as the finishing hop on a stout.  For 5 gallons, that seems like a lot of cacao also.  Make sure you soak it in something to sanitize it (100 proof rum is my personal pick).

+1 for the tincture and +1 for the 1450 and +1 for Willamette would go great in a sweet stout.  I don't think 5 oz is too much depending on how you use it.  I like the 1:1 ratio on the oz/gallon of knibs.  They are a subtle chocolate flavor, and give off more aroma of chocolate to me anyway.

For your recipe I would back off the RB to 5% and keep the chocolate to 8.5% for a 13.5% dark malt.  I like to use Midnight Wheat for a 1-4% of the grist within that 13.5% dark malt. Well when I can find midnight wheat.  Not as easy as I like but it isn't terrible either.

What Chocolate character are you looking for?  Two very different but available examples IMO that taste great.  One is a stout and One is a Porter so obviously there is a taste difference there, however the approach on getting the chocolate is different two, with apparently different results.  Depends which direction you want to take your beer.

Youngs - Double Chocolate Stout [Dark Chocolate Bar and Cocao Knibs in BK, Chocolate Malt -Chocolate Cake in a glass] Bittered with Fuggle and Goldings

Boulder Beer - Shake Chocolate Porter [Cocao Knibs for aroma with chocolate wheat, chocolate malt, and black malt - Velvety soft chocolate flavor, with an aroma and overall flavor of rich bitter chocolate and tastes like a chocolate malt shake] Bittered with Tettnang and Nugget

So what are you looking for in Aroma, or Texture? A pronounced sweet chocolate flavor, or nuanced bitter dry chocolate flavor? 

IME Cocao knibs give a nuanced chocolate aroma, and dark chocolate flavor on the back of my tongue.  Dark Bitter Chocolate gives a very smooth milk stout like texture.  So thicker, overly full body, and loads more flavor but aroma dies down while the beer is still green. 

My favorite blend on a sweet stout was Cocao Knibs in the BK with 2.4oz/1Gallon of Dark Chocolate Bar at F.O. (chopped up very fine to melt quickly during chill) and Black Rum [not the spiced Captian or Jamacian stuff - The Black Dutch Carrabien kind] on 1.04 oz of Cocao knibs /1 gallon of beer with enough rum to cover completely.  I held it in the fridge for 7 days then pitched the whole thing in while I racked to a bottling bucket with my Priming Sugar.

In case you are wondering why on the Black Dutch Rum - It is going in the beer too.  And the carried over flavor is not going to be noticed in the final product.  But it generally has higher ABV than the white crap but is mellowed out from being barrel aged and doesn't have a jet fuel after burn.  I am afraid of putting 151 proof white rum in my beer because it tastes like crap, but a 140 proof Charred Oak Barrel Aged Rum is on my shelf because it tastes GREAT.  And the 151 crap isn't.  So call me bias...

And I will say you will pull out the essentials from the Knibs using 100 proof rum or vodka.  But the black rum is roughly 4$ more per 750ml bottle, and you will have plenty left over.  And unless you have a rum runner in your future I wouldn't advise anyone buying 100+ proof rum, cause I hate it. ;) like I was shy about that any point during that rant... Cheers!

**Edit - if you are looking for strong coffee with it, I like to put high quality espresso in my bfast coffee stouts 1 shot/1gallon too.  But I would not do that with a rich chocolate bar stout, but idk what you are after
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 06:49:43 PM by JJeffers09 »
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Offline yso191

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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2016, 07:09:04 PM »
Some really good questions!

I'm not looking for a dry stout.  Something with a bit of sweetness.  Interesting about using a chocolate bar.  How is that different from cocoa nibs?  I would think it would add fat to the beer which doesn't sound good for head formation/retention.   I'd be very happy with the Young's flavor profile as far as the chocolate goes.

I'm still considering it, but if I add coffee I'll add Starbucks VIA powder since it is only coffee but acts like an instant coffee.

Are you thinking the Roast Barley at 8.5% would give it too much bite?  With the sweetish stout and chocolate flavor I was thinking a bit more roastiness would be a nice balancer.

I really like the idea of the dark rum!
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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2016, 07:20:15 PM »
I do think that the RB would be more or less a dry stout at 8.5%. But at that % I would not go for in a sweet stout profile IMO.  But again a lot of things play in there.  pH 5.5-5.7 mash/boil (fermentation, and finished range will def be lower but are also a factor from what I have read), water profile mill make the difference on what you choose to build off of - black or brown - malty balanced or sweet, age of the dark malts, I could go on.

I have not seen an issue with adding high quality chocolate and there being an issue with the fat content of the bar.  Again, its not milk chocolate - it should be bitter dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocao.  Anything that is high quality enough for a chocolatier is good enough for me.  My kids don't like them anyway so that helps me keep them in the house.  Although adding fermented products, like chocolate to begin with, to a fermentable wort can't be terrible can it?

Youngs Double Chocolate Stout uses a chocolate Bar with knibs all in the boil kettle.
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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2016, 07:28:18 PM »
To your question on how is a bar different than the bean itself.  Well one is made from the bean the other is the actual bean itself.

And I should correct myself it is cacao vs cocao.  the processes that the beans go through are very different.  The fermented, dried, roasted de-husked beans that are chopped up packed and shipped to the stores are the cacao knibs.  Chocolate is the beans fermented, dried, roasted, de-husked, ground, then usually split into what makes powder and what makes bars.  The mashed cacao is then called chocolate liquor and has sugar, cocao butter, vanilla, and milk to it and make a bar out of it.  Obviously not that they are not made from the same bean, but undergo drastic differences during manufacturing
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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2016, 07:33:06 PM »
I would say if you are worried about adding the milk, sugar, and cocao butter to your beer, go for the high quality powdered stuff.  I know that may seem like an oxymoron but the pure cocoa powdered dark chocolate stuff is insanely pure chocolate liquor.
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Offline yso191

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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2016, 09:52:30 PM »
So if I go the powder route, I assume there is no point in nibs - the powder would cover the bar and the nibs - correct?

What are your thoughts on adding some to the boil and some to secondary?
Steve
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2016, 09:53:37 PM »
I add a full four oz. baking chocolate bar to the boil for my stout.  There is no impact on head retention.  It may be 100% cocoa.  It's the standard Bakers baking chocolate.  I've used Ghirardelli and also powder.  Either way go with 100%, nothing less.

I wouldn't add VIA coffee but I'm a coffee snob.  I add cracked beans to the keg.  If you're not kegging you can add them to the fermenter.  You should get pretty much all the coffee flavor within 24 hours but I've seen no harm in leaving them in longer.  I put them in a stainless tea strainer so I can pull them when I want to.

I don't like tinctures, but you should probably sanitize the nibs if that's the way you go.  To me the vodka, rum, whatever carries over to the beer and I don't typically care for it.

To me, 2lbs roasted barley is a boatload and I think that will be all you taste.  2lbs chocolate malt is a lot, too.  I typically go with 8oz of each, at most.  And 8oz of black patent.  I think I may have cut the RB back to 4oz.

Your recipe otherwise looks a lot like mine.  I finish with EKG.

Toby has a bottle or two of it (I think one with coffee one without, but I don't recall).  If he gets around to them, he might could give comments that would help you out.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2016, 09:54:59 PM »
So if I go the powder route, I assume there is no point in nibs - the powder would cover the bar and the nibs - correct?

What are your thoughts on adding some to the boil and some to secondary?

I've only added nibs to the secondary.  And that only once.  Trying to save a bad batch which I should just dump.

If you're boiling them, no need for the tincture.
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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2016, 10:32:04 PM »
Already plenty of responses and suggestions but I'll add the things I have tried in my Chocolate Coffee Porter. For Chocolate I like to add Hershey's Natural Unsweetened Cocoa to the end of the boil, nearly at flame out. The character from doing this is deep yet gently chocolate character that lasts into the aged beer. It's a background flavor that just melds with the rest of the beer. I haven't used anything else because I like what the cocoa in the boil does. The best I can describe it is it gives the beer a slight chocolate syrup note, its' not sweet, it's not like a candy bar or milk chocolate...it's more like dark chocolate, but just a touch.

For coffee I like to add cold brewed coffee to the keg, about 1 cup of strong cold brewed coffee. I use a ratio of 1/4 cup ground coffee to 1 cup of water. I make this up in a larger batch so I have extra. I add the coffee to a mesh sac and add this to a pitcher of cold filtered water. Steep in the fridge overnight or so never more than 24 hrs. This coffee flavor is that of what you can expect from an Iced Coffee drink. It's bold, flavorful and has some coffee punch. The nice thing about this method is you can easily adjust how much coffee to add per taste at kegging or bottling. With this method, the coffee character mellows and can fade off but the character is clean and like the chocolate blends with the beer very well.

I have used Cocoa nibs a time or two and that to me is a bit of a different character. I haven't done it enough to compare the methods though. I have also added coarsely cracked coffee beans in a sac to the fermenter before kegging and I can't say I would do that again. The character is much different than the cold brewed coffee. There was much more coffee flavor doing this, more aroma as well. I may have over did it when I did do this but I didnt' like this method as much as cold brewed coffee. BUT, if you are looking for coffee flavor to hold up for a long aging period a little dry bean coffee might work out well. But (I) much prefer the cold brewed coffee character.

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2016, 10:40:21 PM »
So if I go the powder route, I assume there is no point in nibs - the powder would cover the bar and the nibs - correct?

What are your thoughts on adding some to the boil and some to secondary?

I have used them in both.  There is flavor that will get extracted faster or more fully with heat.  Aroma will still come out with them in the secondary.  Think of it like hops - more bitterness when it is a full boil vs dry hopped right?
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Offline yso191

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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2016, 10:42:28 PM »
I've done a Coffee and Cream Stout before which was using lactose and cold pressed coffee.  It wasn't bad, just not what I was looking for.  I too am a coffee snob.  That is why I thought Starbucks VIA would be just the ticket.  It is just micro-ground coffee beans.  I have not tried it yet so I'm not vouching for it, just saying I want to try it.  Each packet is supposed to be enough for an 8 oz. cup of coffee, so I thought 4 packets wouldn't be too much (I hope) in a 5 gallon batch.
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2016, 04:44:59 PM »
Cascade Candi Syrup company has one made with cocoa nibs. I haven't tried it, but the sour cherry one I used in a stout was very good.
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