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Cocoa, Dark Cocoa

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I've been playing with recipes that call for cocoa. In each of those, I've been using Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa because I'm kind of a dark chocolate fan.

Question is: what is fermentable in cocoa, if anything?

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There are some carbs in cocoa powder, but if they will ferment I don't have a clue. They might if you put it in a mash and/or depending on yeast choice, some yeast will ferment stuff other yeast will not. Even if it does it's such a small amount that I don't think it matters in the grand scheme of things.

I've had made good beer (chocolate stouts/porters) with Special Dark, regardless.

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Not everything you put in your beer is going to be fermentable, nor is it meant to be. With adjuncts like cocoa or cinnamon, it's the flavor and maybe some color, depending on how much is used and how dark or light the grain bill.

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this is a good topic.
I'm currently trying to figure the chocolate out myself for my Dark ale.

I'm thinking you would still need to ferment in keg a few days longer though.

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Keep in mind, too, that some specialty grains add a chocolate flavor - one of them being Chocolate Malt. I'm currently boiling an all-grain batch of Chocolate Cherry Porter, and I'll be adding pureed cherries after primary fermentation is done. But the chocolate flavor is coming from Chocolate Malt. I can smell it as it's boiling.

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All grain is a very scarrrrry place for me right now.

I think the 5 gallon Coopers Dark Ale recipe I'm planning will be as far as I jump from the mr beer norm this year :)

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Hey, I understand. I didn't move to all-grain for something like two years. But the more you experience, and the more you learn, the more you realize that you're ready to take the next step. Eventually you'll decide you're ready for unhopped malt extract, hop boils, and steeping specialty grains. And then Partial Mashes. And then all-grain.

Take your time, though. When you're ready, you'll know it, and we'll be here to help you feel more comfortable with it. I speak from experience, y'know. The Borg held my hand all throughout my learning process, and I'm dedicated to paying it forward. We only care about the beer, so you won't have anyone disparaging your ignorance or lack of experience.

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I used Bakers Chocolate block for my Stout/Porter recipes.
I add 2 oz or 2 blocks to the wort at FO. Mix well until melted. I have used 3 blocks or 3 oz, very strong but good after 2 months.

I have used Coco powder with one recipe, I added 3 oz. It was a bit bitter for a few months. That one also had too much coffee added, so the bitter could be either.

I think 2 oz of Coco or dark bakers choc is adequate.

You can also add 1 to 2 oz of pure vanilla extract at batch prime/bottling.
That brings out the chocolate flavor.

As Dave said, Steep grains add flavor, color and body.
I have used Choc Malt in a few recipes. All are in the conditioning phase.

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Yeah, I think just tossing a Hershey Bar in there isn't a good idea. But powdered cocoa isn't hard to come by.

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Point noted
Bakers Choc Blocks Ingredients Chocolate with Fat shown at 7 g.
So yes some added some fat to the beer. However the Choc nibs one buys at Northern Brewer or LHBS are solid chunks of choc..so what makes that any different.?
Many toss x amount of the choc nibs in the wort while hot or in the keg after initial fermentation.
Really doubt the slight bit of fat in a 2oz solid block of pure chocolate will cause any problems. Sure has not trashed my 4 recipes.
Making an issue when there is none.


Coco powder, nothing but Coco and no fat. So may be better.

Now a Hersey bar has LOTS of junk in it like sugar, alkali, a long list - I dont eat candy :)
There is a difference between milk choc and coco/pure choc.

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Chocolate Porter and Dark Forest Stout are the two recipes I've run that used Cocoa. Both turned out okay, but the Dark Forest Stout is the first extract stout recipe I've brewed that actually tastes like a stout...with that creamy mouth feel and all. Very strong finish that's sort of a coffee/chocolate hybrid with a *good* bitter ending. Wasn't sure about it at first but it is growing on me. 1/2 cup of Hershey Special Dark in both recipes.

Next time, I'm going to up the ante with a pound of NB dark UME.

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