Brewing With Chocolate

In my previous post, I documented my quest to make a Moo Hoo chocolate stout clone from the Austin Homebrew Supply budget stout kit. The process has been a crash course in learning how to brew with chocolate.

What I learned:

  • Cocoa can be delivered in four different forms: chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, bar chocolate and cocoa nibs.
  • Cocoa powders can also be used directly, but bear in mind that their high fat content makes them harder to dissolve directly in the kettle than prepared syrups and, depending on the variety, can impart harshness.
  • Cocoa powders are perfect for mashing, where they can be evenly distributed without problems and still find their way into the kettle. Start with about two to three ounces in a five-gallon recipe and work your way up―you can always augment later with syrup if desired.
  • Cocao nibs are essentially crushed cocoa beans that are either raw or slightly roasted.
  • Raw nibs are lighter in color and don’t have the burnt edge that roasted nibs. They can be used directly in the mash, the boil, or suspended in conditioning beer like hops or spices.
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