Author Topic: cocoa nibs vs. powder  (Read 4333 times)

Offline cfleisher

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cocoa nibs vs. powder
« on: November 29, 2010, 07:05:06 PM »
Does anyone have experience using cocoa nibs vs. powder? A friend of mine has asked for a chocolate milk stout. I was planning on using my milk stout recipe (based on Left Hand's) and adding 8 oz. of cocoa powder, but heard that 8 oz. of nibs for 2 weeks in the secondary might give a cleaner, less grainy mouthfeel and flavor. Thoughts?
Primary: Jalapeno porter
Secondary: doppelbock

Offline EHall

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Re: cocoa nibs vs. powder
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2010, 07:28:55 PM »
http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/beerkits/ChocolateMilkStout.pdf

not the route I would go but its another option. I much prefer nibs in secondary over powder... I didn't get much out of the power...
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Offline hoser

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Re: cocoa nibs vs. powder
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2010, 08:39:34 PM »
Always go nibs.  You get a way better chocolate flavor.  I believe their is a discussion on how to use them on the Maltose Falcons website?  I have found that if you bake them for 10-15 minutes at 350F it really brings out that chocolate flavor.  I don't ever use the powder.  Only the nibs. 

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Offline 1vertical

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Re: cocoa nibs vs. powder
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2010, 11:05:42 PM »
I had such good results with the nibs that I should not soon try to use another method
the beer made with nibs was delicious!
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Offline Beertracker

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Re: cocoa nibs vs. powder
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2010, 11:25:01 PM »
This would be a good spurment to see what each can offer. I'd try the cocoa powder at the end of boil then if you're not satisfied with the overall charcater then you could always use the nibs after the beer is finished. I much prefer the cocoa nibs for their depth of character, but a good choco stout can be made with either or both. Either way, use the best cocoa money can buy.  ;)   
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Offline skyler

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Re: cocoa nibs vs. powder
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 01:26:36 AM »
I have used 10 ounces of cocoa powder in the boil (2 min to the end) and I have also used 6 ounces of cocoa nibs in secondary. Both worked nicely for me, though the nibs were decidedly less messy. I also tried a third method: chocolate chips in the boil. Actually, the chocolate chips lent the most intense chocolate flavor of the bunch, but it also made a huge mess. I would recommend the nibs if you're going for a subtle cocoa note and the powder in the boil if you're shooting for a choco-kick-in-the-nuts. Hell, you could layer it - powder in the boil followed by bulk aging on nibs for 6-8 weeks.

Offline richardt

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Re: cocoa nibs vs. powder
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2010, 06:59:22 AM »
I don't recommend cocoa powder in the secondary.  Personal experience. 
Makes more sense to put it in the boil (e.g. last 5-10 minutes).

Offline EHall

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Re: cocoa nibs vs. powder
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2010, 08:24:47 AM »
I also keep a bottle of chocolate coffee flavoring around, sometimes put it in my coffee, sometimes add it to a porter or stout if I'm feeling like it... works very well and I don't have to flavor up an entire keg/batch.
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: cocoa nibs vs. powder
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2010, 08:28:06 AM »
Photo essay on how I prepare nibs for beer
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=52084&p=463294&hilit=cacao#p463294

I suppose you could do this with cocoa and give that a lil soak in the solvent.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 08:39:32 AM by 1vertical »
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Offline richardt

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Re: cocoa nibs vs. powder
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2010, 08:47:15 AM »
winnowing off the hulls is a good idea--makes sense and may help lessen some of the off-flavors I noted with my stout and the use of cocoa nibs.  Mine were already rather crushed, so I don't know how to tell the husk from the bean.  Would there be an easier way to tell (i.e., would husk material float while bean particles settle if put in water)?

Offline EHall

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Re: cocoa nibs vs. powder
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2010, 09:07:14 AM »
possibly try blanching them...
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: cocoa nibs vs. powder
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2010, 09:13:21 AM »
If the entire bean, hulls and all are crushed together I don't think you could ever seperate
if they were crushed very much...I do not think the water method will work...
In that link, mine were whole beans and I was able to control the amount of breakage
easily in the mortar and pestle. I cannot imagine any chocolate maker wanting
the hulls in his nibs, so I am guessing that your crushed product may not contain the hull
portion of the bean...emphasis on GUESSING....you will be able to tell by tasting a portion
and if there is a difficult to chew component...like the shell on a pecan, then your product
is likely mixed hull and all...it would be VERY unpalatable and tough to chew...the
meat of the bean however, crushes readily...similar to the meat of an almond.
I am sure that I would not desire the hull portion in any beer.
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