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6.6 lbs. (3.0 kg) Briess light, unhopped, malt extract

1.7 lbs. (0.77 kg) light dry extract

22 oz. (0.62 kg) flaked oats

1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) chocolate malt (350 °L)

12 oz. (0.34 kg) roast barley malt (450 °L)

9.0 oz. (0.25 kg) debittered, black malt (530 °L)

7.0 oz. (0.19 kg) crystal malt (120 °L)

2.0 oz. (57 g) ground French Pressed Sumatran coffee

2.0 oz. (57 g) ground Cold Pressed Kona coffee

2.5 oz. (71 g) Scharffen Berger Baker's Dark Bittersweet Chocolate

1.5 oz. (43 g) Scharffen Berger Unsweetended Baker's Chocolate

14.3 AAU Nugget pellet hops (60 min.) (1.1 oz./ 31 g of 13% alpha acid)

2.5 AAU Willamette pellet hops (30 min.) (0.5 oz./ 14 g of 5 % alpha acid)

2.5 AAU Willamette pellet hops (0 min.) (0.5 oz./ 14 g of 5 % alpha acid)

Wyeast 1056 Amercan Ale Yeast

I melted the chocolate (which came in bar form) in a double boiler and added it to the last 10mins of the boil. It mixed right in perfectly. After flameout French Pressed Sumatra coffee added when wort got down to 190degrees.

My OG was 1.063 at 65degrees and after 11 days its down to 1.017 at 67degrees. The coffee taste is nice, smooth and fresh. Not bitter at all, the french press is definitely the way to go. The chocolate flavor is nice and subtle, but I feel like the original Founder's version has a more upfront chocolate flavor. I'm already loving the taste of this beer, but I feel like when I add the Kona coffee to the secondary in a few days that it may completely mask the chocolate flavor. So I was thinking of adding some more chocolate in the secondary.

I have organic roasted cocoa nibs that I could add about 2oz to the secondary, but what is the best method of sanitizing them? Should I soak them in vodka overnight?

Also has anyone every used cold pressed coffee in their secondary? I figure if I sanitize the french press and use poland spring water, along with the alcohol content of the beer that I shouldn't worry about an infection, but that is still in the back of my mind.

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Someone suggested soaking the cocoa nibs in starsan for a few minutes. Sounds like a descent idea, anyone have any other thoughts? –  HopHead73 Feb 16 '12 at 18:04

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Addressing your sanitation questions:

Coffee: One of your questions, paraphrased: Should I worry about secondary infection from coffee in secondary? I'd say your risk, much like the risk of most things brewing, is not from the water, which you can pre-boil on the stove or in the microwave, or the coffee which will be subject to a pretty high temperature water and would probably have molded if it was contaminated, but from the 'brewing' equipment. How do you plan to brew the coffee? If you are going to brew in a sanitized french press and use pre-boiled water (I'd choose that over 'spring' water), what is your concern? If you are brewing in a machine, I'd be a lot more concerned about contact bacteria on or in the machine like the percolator tips or something.

Cocoa nibs: alcohol might contact sanitize them but remember, sanitizer works by contact. Anything in the nibs protected by a surface layer could later be exposed. Again, I don't think this is a significant concern. If you are concerned, I'd suggested heating the nibs in water to a pasteurization type temperature (160 to 170) rather than boiling them. Heating them will raise the internal temperature of the nibs as well as the surface temperature but may damage the flavors. Since people add nibs to the end of the boil, I don't think that is a huge concern. Sanitation wise boiling them would be the most conservative while alcohol would be the least. Pasteurization might be a happy medium.

This site suggests that alcohol is an adequate sanitizer so pasteurization might be over-kill. It also suggests using alcohol to draw flavors out of the cocoa. http://barleypopmaker.info/2009/12/15/chocolatizing-your-beer/

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For the chocolate stout I'm working on, I added 8oz of cacao powder during the boil (avoided the whole sanitation issue!). A quick taste after a hygrometer test showed a really good chocolate flavor. Perhaps you can introduce the nibs during the boil.

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I've used cocoa nibs for probably 8 different brews now and I put them into a mesh bag that I boiled or sanitized. I've never done anything to the actual nibs. Didn't put them in the oven, sanitize them or use vodka. Just straight into the secondary. My brew buddies also do the same thing. Also....I think 2 oz. may be not be enough. Just my opinion. Good luck!

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