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Beer: Chocolate Stout

Toxxyc

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Dec 21, 2017
375
9
18
Pretoria, South Africa
I'm busy making a chocolate stout from a beer recipe kit. I'm using Mangrove Jack's Dublin Dry Stout recipe kit as the base, and added some cacao during the quick boil to dissolve all the solids. I pitched yeast (Mangrove Jack's M42) at 1.048 OG and after 3 days it's done. This yeast is a BEAST. The aromas from the fermenter is incredible - not sweet, but rich and dark chocolate notes with the hints of hops. I can't wait to see how this turns out!
 

Toxxyc

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Dec 21, 2017
375
9
18
Pretoria, South Africa
Does the kit include chocolate malt (the level of kilning of the grain)? Chocolate malt grains provide an incredibly chocolaty aroma and flavor.
It's an extract kit, not a grain kit, so there were no grains included. The kit was for a dry stout, with hints of chocolate and coffee in there (so I think they used chocolate malt, they must have), but the aimed finish for the kit is a dry stout. I'm not a big fan of dry stouts, but they do provide a very nice "blank" sheet to start off from, which is why I chose this kit. I added the cacao to boost the chocolate aroma and flavour, and it seems like a success. The nose from the fermenter is astonishing, I want to spoon it up and eat it. It's rich, deep, "soft" and chocolatey without being overwhelmingly chocolate.

In addition to the cacao, I'll be adding some lactose (probably around 300g~450g to the batch) as well as a cup of cold brewed coffee to get to where I want it. I'm trying to mimic a local beer we sometimes get here which I absolutely adored, and it's far from a dry stout. So far I think I'm getting to it.

On the fermentation - it wasn't done when I posted the above. Airlock was dead quiet but I think it's because of the winter we have here now. Yesterday afternoon it was slooooowly bubbling away again, so I'm going to have to find a way to keep the temperature of the fermenter slightly warmer. Seems like the yeast steamrollers anything in it's way as long as it's warm enough. Just too cool and it slows down to a crawl.

The kit contains:

1 x Mangrove Jack's Irish Stout 1.7kg can (liquid malt extract)
1 x Mangrove Jack's No 74 Irish Stout Beer Enhancer (with lactose, hops, DME, etc.)
1 x Mangrove Jack's Dark Unhopped Malt (DME)
1 x Liquorice stick

So I just added on to that.
 
Last edited:

darigoni

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Jun 4, 2016
822
6
18
Brookline, NH
Actually, a LOT of extract kits come with what they call "steeping grains". These add both color and flavor, and are usually added upfront and taken out just before adding the DME/LME.
 

Toxxyc

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Dec 21, 2017
375
9
18
Pretoria, South Africa
Actually, a LOT of extract kits come with what they call "steeping grains". These add both color and flavor, and are usually added upfront and taken out just before adding the DME/LME.
Yep, but that depends on the kits. They're usually called "partial mash" or "mini mash" kits. This isn't one of them though, it's just plain extracts (dry and liquid).
 

Toxxyc

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Dec 21, 2017
375
9
18
Pretoria, South Africa
With the cold setting in, I can't keep the fermenter warm even in the warmest room in the house during the full 24 hours of the day. I've had to resort to placing a "hot water bottle" (literally a 5l bottle filled with warm water) in the cooler box with the fermenter, covering the whole shebang with a thick towel. It seems to be working, from yesterday afternoon's 16°C temperature reading on the fermenter to this morning's 20°C I think it's a success. I get around 12 hours of very slowly released heat from the bottle of hot/warm water and keeps the fermenter just warm enough.

On that note, the fermentation is doing Land Rover-like fermenting now. It's going for a bit, and then it stops, and then it goes again, and then it stops. Obviously because of the cold, but whatever.

On the nose - it's brilliant, still. I took a little taste straight from the fermenter last night and, well, it's very hoppy, decently chocolaty and, well, to me it tastes amazing, even unchilled and uncarbonated like that. This stuff is GREAT, from my initial taste. It's also less dry than I anticipated, so the lactose will be a bit less than planned for now.
 

Toxxyc

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Dec 21, 2017
375
9
18
Pretoria, South Africa
This turned out REALLY well. I ended up adding less lactose than I wanted and also a bit less than I wanted, so it's drier than I aimed for but it's good. Think a dark, 80% chocolate in liquid form, backed up by hops and a dry finish.
 

Squatchy

Lifetime GotMead Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Nov 3, 2014
5,203
25
48
Denver
Make sure to toast your Nibs next time. Raw nibs give an early not and not much for the chocolate fraction.
 

Toxxyc

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Dec 21, 2017
375
9
18
Pretoria, South Africa
Make sure to toast your Nibs next time. Raw nibs give an early not and not much for the chocolate fraction.
I didn't use nibs at all, actually. I ended up adding 180ml of raw cacao powder and 300g of lactose boiled in 2 cups of cold-brewed coffee to the entire 23l batch. There was already some chocolate in the stout from the darker malts so I didn't want to overpower it. I also didn't mind the powder in the brew since it's a black beer anyway, and it doesn't clarify (at all). It is starting to mellow out really well now, every week further is a difference. I'm considering packing a few up into a box and storing them somewhere far so that I can't find it for a year or two to see what happens to it then.

Overall though there's a strong chocolate scent on the nose. The mouthfeel is smooth with a dry finish, and not as rich as a full-blown milk stout. Taste is chocolate at first, dark chocolate, with a hint of the coffee in there as well. Immediately after the hops kick in, giving a good bitter and hoppy kick. Finish is slightly dry and hoppy. It's a good beer, in my opinion, and better than most supermarket stouts I could find in the shops here. To boot, it seems like our craft beer market all suffer from the same problem: Infection. From the ~10 stouts I've tasted in the past few weeks, 6 had the distinct taste of baby vomit. One was so bad I couldn't even finish it.

So glad I started homebrewing, it's just a lot better! :D
 

Toxxyc

Worker Bee
Registered Member
Dec 21, 2017
375
9
18
Pretoria, South Africa
I had the last of this batch a few weeks ago. Turned out absolutely amazing. Rich, not too sweet and a good chocolate flavour. Definitely making this again...