Beer Goodness, Step 1: Chocolate Porter

So, me_not_you and I made the first of three (!) beers that we’re making this weekend yesterday.


Ingredients:
3.3 lbs Dark Malt Extract
3.3 lbs Amber Malt Extract
0.5 lb Black Patent malt
0.5 lb Crystal malt
4 oz cocoa
1 oz Cascade hops (boiling)
1 oz Tettenang hops (boiling)
1 oz Cascade hops (aroma)
Wyeast European Ale yeast

Procedure:

Step Time Instruction
1 X Place the bags of malt extract into hot water to make them more manageable.
2 X Make a slurry by combining the cocoa with four cups of boiling water. Set aside.
3 X Add 2 gallons of water to the brewing pot.
4 X Pour the Crystal and Black Patent malts into a muslin bag and tie the bag closed.
5 14:28 Place the bag into the cold water and allow the grains to steep. Raise the temperature to 130-140 degrees F but no hotter.
6 14:58 After 30 minutes from turning on the burner, turn off the burner.
7 X Lift the bag from over the water with tongs. Pour 0.5 gallons of hot water through the bag. Discard the grain bag.
8 15:05 Add the Dark and Amber Malt Extracts to the pot.
9 X Stir the pot until everything is completely dissolved. Make sure no syrupy liquids remain on the bottom of the pot.
10 15:07 Restart the burner and bring the pot to a boil.
11 X Place 1 oz. of Cascade and 1 oz Tettenang hops into a muslin bag.
12 15:27 When the pot begins to boil, add the Cascade hops to the pot.
13 X Monitor the pot for the first 20 minutes to make sure it does not boil over. If it appears ready to boil over, turn down the heat.
14 X Place 1 oz. Cascades hop pellets into a muslin bag.
15 16:22 55 minutes after the pot started boiling, add the Cascades hops to the pot.
16 16:22 55 minutes after the pot started boiling, add the cocoa syrup to the pot.
17 16:27 Five minutes later, turn off the burner.
18 X Place 2.5 gallons of cold water in a sanitized carboy.
19 X Cool the pot as quickly as possible.
20 16:37 When the temperature of the wort is below 120º F, pour it into the fermenter.
21 16:40 When the fermenter temperature is at 70º F or below, pitch the yeast.
22 X Pull a sample from the fermenter and measure and record the Original Gravity: 1.046

This had an incredibly dark look to it, with a reddish tinge due to the cocoa. Tasted fairly normal for an unfermented wort – the hop bitterness certainly overshadowed any flavor from the cocoa.

The original recipe called for making something analogous to hot chocolate – combining the cocoa with one pound of dextrose. This seemed to be to be a bit unnecessary, since the dextrose, being a fermentable sugar, isn’t going to be around when fermentation is complete to provide any sweetening. It might up the alcohol a bit, but it also introduces the possibility of that nasty “cidery” taste you get from brewing with large quantities of dextrose. So out it goes!