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Planning on repeating a recipe I designed last year, a chocolate orange stout.

The problem was that not much of either the chocolate or the the orange came through. Was still a tasty beer, thankfully.

This year, I'm going to double the orange, but the chocolate I am not sure about.

I used 100g raw cacao powder, added at boil time. My thinking is that this simply dropped out before it was drunk. Add more will just mean more to drop out. My thought it to add actual chocolate, melted, but I'm looking for anyone experienced who might have thoughts.

My alternative is to look for malts that might accentuate chocolatey flavours.

Any thoughts?

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I've seen cocoa powder added right to the cooled wort going into the fermentor. The yeast does a good job to keep it in suspension.

8oz of special dark per 5gal.

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I have used Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder with great success in a Porter. Used a whole 8 oz tin of it.

I added it during the last 10 minutes of the boil, with a really good stir to be sure it didn't go to the bottom and scorch. Although the powdery nature of it kept it at the surface pretty well. I'd recommend putting the powder in a bowl first, then dump it in from there. The steam will cause some of it to cake as you pour it (like DME). Then you can dunk the bowl in to get it all out if need be.

You'll see plenty of it in the bottom of the kettle, but adding it in the boil gets much of it up into the boil, so the loss is compensated for.

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I would stick with the cocao powder not use chocolate and add it with about 2oz/50g of chocolate extract at flame out; to not boil off the aromatics.

You could also experiment with some vanilla and/or coconut extract which can bring out the chocolate flavours and give an impression of sweetness.

Could you please share your grain bill?

I would personally not use a roasted barley for darkness as it will impart a bitterness that will mask the chocolate notes, I would instead include some Carafa III, Chocolate malt and/or some dark crystal; for sweetnesss.

  • Wouldn't cocoa powder contain too much fat, thus affecting foam quality? – DJHellduck Mar 30 '16 at 8:28
  • From what I have experienced, not really, I don't think it contains enough and I think some of it is taken up by the yeast and the rest likely drops out. Chocolate would contain too much fat. – Mr_road Mar 30 '16 at 9:10
  • That might be. In general, my experiences with drinking beer with fatty ingredients have been rather variable, and thus this has been my primary qualm about adding certain ingredients (coffee also contains quite a lot of fat). Perhaps i will give it a go sometime anyway. – DJHellduck Apr 1 '16 at 11:38
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Try researching a 'Food Science' site. They'll explain the effects of heat and prolonged heat on various forms of chocolates i.e. powder, fat content, aromas, and what happens to their flavors. They can also take you into the orange problems. Just a quick guess, it seems to me that a 60 minute cooking time will cause a lot of the flavors to sort of evaporate right out.

  • I did add orange during fermentation. Maybe I should skip the boil addition entirely – Mild Fuzz Mar 31 '16 at 13:20

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