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Chocolate milk stout is kind of bitter


I’m only on my second batch (caribou slobber was first and is bottled). I followed all instructions with the exception of adding 4 ounces of chocolate syrup in last 20 min. My OG was 1.062 and after a week it was down to 1.023. I measured again 4 days later and it’s still at 1.023. I took a taste and it was very bitter. 2 questions:

  1. What’s making it so bitter? Too much sugar still?
  2. Should I put in more yeast?
  3. I haven’t put in the cacao nibs or moved it into the secondary yet. Will the nibs sweeten it up enough and get rid of the bitterness?


1: Not sure why it would be bitter. My guess is that fermentation is still so young that you are tasting byproducts of that. The yeast haven’t had nearly enough time to clean up after themselves.
What hops did you use for bittering and at what weight/time?
2: Putting in another batch of yeast now is kinda tricky. The problem you will run into is that there is no oxygen, little nutrients left, and there is a presence of alcohol now. I would start by increasing the temp and rousing the yeast by giving the carboy a swirl… if you fell that maybe your fermentation has come to a stand still and the yeast have given up.
Some have results with champagne yeast because they are ready to pitch into an environment which has very little nutrients and the presence of alcohol. Champagne yeast and wine yeast can tolerate these conditions.
3: The flavor profile of the cocoa nibs may round off the edges, but I wouldn’t think they will completely get rid of the bitterness. How long Have you been in primary for? I wouldn’t transfer anything into secondary until 2 weeks of primary. You can put in your cocoa nibs then if you’d like. Some wait even longer. There is no hard fast rule on when to add them. I just wouldn’t add them to primary when it’s still bubbling so you don’t lose any aroma during the release of CO2.

What range are you expecting to see for FG?

If you are concerned about a stuck fermentation, this topic (and the forced fermentation test) may be helpful.

I used 1 ounce of cluster for 60 min and then another half ounce for 30 minutes (as the directions said). I’ve been in the primary about 10 days.

I was expecting around 1.14-1.15


Can we move the rest of this discussion over to this other topic? The three questions you asked in this topic also asked there.

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