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I want to add cocoa or chocolate to a beer, but cocoa powder isn't very soluble in water. What methods/alternatives do I have?

  • I prefer to avoid extracts, if possible.
  • I don't think I can find nibs at any local grocery stores.
  • The beer is already on secondary.
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4 Answers 4

Adding cocoa 8oz of cocoa powder to the boil has always worked for me. While cocoa has water solubility issues, adding it to boiling water/wort helps out significantly. There will be some sludge in the base of the kettle, but not the entire 8oz.

The only other option is to use cocoa nibs in secondary and wait for the alcohol extraction to take place. But cocoa powder has always worked well for me.

EDIT: Its important to note that you have cocoa powder that is fat free also. Most premium powders are.

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1  
The one time I brewed with cocoa powder it was a mess. It took two months in the secondary and a week of cold crashing to get the cocoa to settle to the bottom. I still ended up with a bunch of cocoa in the bottles. It may work for some, but I'll never use cocoa powder again. –  JackSmith Dec 8 '10 at 13:47
    
I have never had cocoa floating around in the fermenter, that didn't crash out as quickly as the yeast did. Again this is a YMMV situation. –  brewchez Dec 8 '10 at 17:10

I agree about extracts - they taste fake. You can buy cacao nibs online. Might be a bit late if you want to add them now, but if you're planning for a future batch I'd do this. Also, I don't know if there's one near you, but specialty food stores such as Sur La Table carry them.

I commented on brewchez's answer about my experience with cocoa powder. If you can't get nibs in time to use in this batch, use powder. But beware that you might have a beer that always has cocoa particles in suspension.

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What if you made a chocolate tincture with cocoa and vodka, and then added that to the beer?

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If I was using cocoa to make hot chocolate then I would make a thick paste with the milk and then thin it down.

I would do the same if I wanted to add it to a beer. Either use water or take some of the beer out and do it.

Chocolate itself is not soluble either - even if it's melted. In fact if you add water to melted chocolate you end up with a mess where the cocoa solids separate from the cocoa butters and the water in between.

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