Monday, December 7, 2009

Chile Cocoa Coffee Vanilla Maple Bourbon Imperial Stout



Well not all in one beer, obviously.  Two weeks ago I racked my Breakfast Stout Riff Imperial Stout to four 1-gallon jugs and added the flavorants.  Then yesterday I bottled the four gallons of finished beer (ended up with about seven 12 oz bottles and a bomber of each).  My samples of the variants at bottling were very promising, all of them seemed to have a good balance, but carbonation and time will help them along.






I didn't do anything to sanitize the additives, I'm relying on the ~10% alcohol and ~45 IBUs that the base beer to provide its own protection. 

For the "Dessert" portion I added 1.5 oz of cocoa powder, made into a paste with hot water, along with 2/3 of a split Moroccan Vanilla bean.  I also decided to add .5 oz of bourbon (Makers Mark) soaked oak cubes to compliment the vanilla flavors (artificial vanilla flavor is made from wood).


The "Canadian Breakfast" portion got a touch less chocolate paste (1.375 oz), along with 2 oz of the bourbonized maple syrup, and 1.25 oz of the cubes that had been soaking in it (which spent several months in bourbon before that).  24 hours before bottling I added 2 oz of whole El Salvadorian coffee beans to the fermenter.  That is about double what I would normally use because of the lower surface area (in the past I have done coarse crushed beans), if nothing else it made transferring the beer off the coffee much easier.

This is the only one that saw significant fermentation in secondary, it also had by far the largest yeast cake in the bottom of the fermenter.  I am hoping that the sugars from fermentation were completely fermented out before I bottled, despite the fact that it was pretty cold in my basement the last few weeks.

The "Mexican" portion got a got the least cocoa (1.125 oz) I mixed the 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon into the paste as well.  The dried chiles (1/2 ancho, 1/2 guajillo) were thrown is as well along with the remaining 1/3 of a vanilla bean from the Dessert portion. 

Next to the three flavored stouts the plain portion tasted pretty bland, but it will be interesting to try next to the other three.  In particular I am looking forward to seeing how it tastes once it has some age on it, and as a control to see just what characteristics are from the coffee/chocolate, and what is from the roasted malts.

16 comments:

Tim Prendergast said...

God, you make this look so easy. I'm pretty darn jealous.

My Year Without said...

This process sounds interesting and the end product sounds heavenly.....

Do you sell your beers anywhere yet?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Maybe some day, but at the moment I believe brewing licenses start at $5,000 a year hear in DC... pretty tough to just break even on a small scale with that to overcome.

Ryan said...

You should move out to PHX, brewpub license is $300

Fool Circle said...

I did a similar thing with an Oatmeal Stout a few years ago. Fun times doing a split batch like that, but bottling was kind of a PITA. You can check it out here if your interested - http://www.foolcircle.net/2007/02/25/oatmeal-stout-experiment/

Anuj said...

i have a bit of an off topic question in regards to oak.

im looking to oak age a beer im brewing but i dont know whether i should use cubes or spirals. i cant find anything on the internet that says what the differences are between them so i am a bit confused.

any input you could provide would be much appreciated.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I like cubes because it is very easy to add exactly how much you want, they are easy to sanitize, and easy to soak in a wine/liquor if you want to go that route. I haven't tried the spirals, but I have read that they give a similar oak character to the cubes and can be easier to handle in larger batches because they are a single piece. Hope that helps you, good luck brewing.

Anuj said...

cool, question two...

how often do you replace your cubes? and do you compensate for the diminishing oak character?

thats three i guess.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

They are cheap enough that a lack of consistency/predictability isn't worth reusing them to me. I only use ~.5-1 oz per batch, so I get quite a few batches out of a bag of them. I have reused them from sour beers, but that is for the microbes more than the wood character.

hornydevil said...

Actually, I'd like to see all those ingredients in one beer.

Did an imperial stout a while back with buckwheat honey, maple syrup, cocoa powder, and coffee.

I like it now, but it'll be MUCH better in a year or three.

Simeon (Sam) George Drakich said...

A beer license in Ontario is $1,500.00 ........go figure cheaper here.

Chomper said...

I'd love to hear how the chili pepper stout is! I've got a gallon of AHS's Holiday Chocolate Stout (had cocoa, cinnamon and some nutmeg) that I added to secondary with 1 chipotle pepper. It's only been in the bottle a week or so, but I'm itching to try it. The taste from the bottling bucket wasn't as spicy as I hoped - but it had a subtle smoky hotness that creeped up on me (and that was only after a sip from my gravity test).

Matt said...

Reviving quite an old post here, but did you have any issues with the cocoa paste not dissolving in secondary? Or did you just use enough hot water that it was on the thin side to begin with?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Cocoa powder particles don't fully dissolve (even after aging you'll have cocoa sludge mixed with the yeast/trub), but you are correct that it can be tough to even get wet when added to cold liquids. I used enough water to form a somewhat thin slurry that mixed well with the beer when it was racked over from the primary fermentor.

Blake said...

Does this look like a good 2.5 gallon Chocolate Chile Imperial Stout?

http://hopville.com/recipe/1646931

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Looks good to me. You can always add more of any of the ingredients if it needs a boost before bottling. Good luck!

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