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Guidelines for chocolate adds to a stout

I’ll be making an imperial stout soon. First run to the imperial and second run to a chocolate stout. I’ve been reading up on the various method - nibs, cocoa powder, and even chocolate extract. My intent is to add about 4 oz cocao powder at flameout then use nibs to taste in the secondary.

I’d appreciate input from anyone who has made chocolate stouts and what they feel was the preferred method.

Also, does anyone have a proven recipe for reference ? thanks

I use nibs only. The cocoa powder turns into a sludge and I’m not sure how to explain it but I like the flavor better from the nibs.

Here’s my recipe that took first place (scored a 43) for specialty ale in my local competition last May. It came out a very nice, rich stout with a pleasant subtle chocolate flavor. Grain bill is based upon a Brewing Classic Styles recipe, but bigger. The Mexican chocolate is pretty easy to track down in a lot of places; comes in a hexagonal yellow box. The chocolate doesn’t have chili pepper in it- just a touch of cinnamon.

Mexican Chocolate Stout
OG 1.081
FG 1.026
IBU 38

12 lbs Maris Otter
0.75 lb. 20L Crystal malt
0.5 lb. 120L Crystal malt
0.5 lb. Chocolate malt
0.75 lb. Roasted Barley

12 oz. Ibarra Mexican chocolate (flame-out)

0.75 oz. Magnum, 10% AA, 60 min.
1.5 oz. Saxon (homegrown, est. 5% AA), 20 min.

mash 154F, 1.25 quarts/lb
WYEAST 1450 Denny’s favorite, fermented ~65F

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