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Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 31 October 2016 at 02:59
Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout - Tips and Advice

On 29 October 2016, I brewed a Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout, by Brooklyn Brew Shop.



As always, I’ll start with the particulars:

Informational Link:

http://brooklynbrewshop.com/mexican-hot-chocolate-stout-mix

Instructions:

http://brooklynbrewshop.com/directions/Brooklyn_Brew_Shop_Me xican_Hot_Chocolate_Stout_Instructions.pdf

This beer appears to be a chocolate oatmeal stout with the added flavours of red hot chile pepper and cinnamon inspired by Mexican hot chocolate. Brooklyn Brew Shop describes it as “everything you love about hot chocolate (creamy, super-rich and filled with cocoa goodness) but with a surprisingly delightful kick of spice to finish it off.” At 5% ABV, it sounds just right to me, and I am looking forward to enjoying it during the winter months as I am reading or watching the snow fall gently out the window under the streetlights.

The recipe for this beer is in neither of Brooklyn Brew Shop’s books; therefore, I am not totally sure of the grains that are used. I presume that it is based on Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Oatmeal Stout, with chocolate malt added to balance the chile pepper and cinnamon, but that would only be a guess. The total weight of the grains is approximately 2.5 pounds, necessitating 2.5 quarts of water for the mash.

This beer uses Northern Brewer Hops, with 0.22 ounce added at the start of the boil and the remaining 0.11 ounce added with 15 minutes left in the boil. Until today, I have never used these hops before, but they are described in good detail here:

http://brooklynbrewshop.com/themash/hop-of-the-month-norther n-brewer/

At the end of the boil, 2 small, dried red hot chile peppers and a cinnamon stick are added. These of course are the primary components of the “Mexican hot chocolate” profile. I am anxious to see how they play with the hops in developing this unique theme.

Since I don’t have the actual recipe for this ale, I was going to use Brooklyn Brew Shop’s “standard” yeast, which is a fast-acting, clean-fermenting, middle-of-the-road yeast that I am assuming is similar to S05, but that would only be a guess. At the last minute, however, I decided to use Nottingham, which seems to be a common yeast used in stouts.



The mash went completely without incident; I had no trouble keeping my temperatures within the 144-152-degree range. Because this is described as a fuller-bodied beer, I tried to keep the temperatures at the upper end of that range, with fair success. The sparge went similarly well; the grains drained easily and I appear to have captured all of the wort that I was supposed to get. The grains produced a wonderful, thick, dark wort that carries the promise of a seriously interesting beer.

I seemed to get a good hot break at the beginning of the 60-minute boil, and proceeded to add the hops as described above. When the boil was finished, I added the chile peppers and cinnamon stick as per the instructions.

I chilled down the wort to 70 degrees, then transferred it to my fermenter. I decided to run the worth first through a medium mesh filter on my funnel, then the fine mesh (twice) after that. This seemed to work pretty well, capturing a lot of hop and break material. I’ve done this before, and the beers seemed to be a little clearer in the end; also, it seems that my yield was a bit higher, which is very important when the batches are only a gallon to begin with. In this case, the mash and boil resulted in just a hair over a gallon; I added it to the fermenter in the hopes of accounting for some of the trub loss.

The Nottingham yeast that I had was expired, so I made a starter earlier during the mash to see if it was still any good. It wasn’t long before I had some healthy-looking growth, so I pitched the yeast into the wort. I then capped the fermenter and agitated the wort for a little over two minutes. After that, it was a simple matter of fitting the blow-off tube and tucking the fermenter away in my closet.

The wort looked great the next morning; it was a beautiful, dark, coffee colour and has a nice, interesting aroma from the combination of malts and Northern Brewer hops, which appear to be a great fit for this stout. At about 7 hours after pitching the yeast, I could see that fermentation was getting a great start.

Fermentation is in full swing today; after three days, I’ll swap the blow-off tube for an air-lock as the most active period of fermentation should be finished. I think that the Nottingham yeast will prove to be a good one for this beer. I am currently feeling pretty optimistic, and hope that the trend continues.

More as it happens, etc. &c….

Ron

Edited by TasunkaWitko
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2016 at 05:11
Here is the label that I came up with for this beer:



There is a bit of a story behind this label. When I set about looking through pictures for it, I decided that I wanted one that called up images of walking in the snow, because a cup of hot chocolate always seems to be best after being outside on a cold winter day.

My youngest son was with me as I was scrolling through some images; as this one passed by on the screen, he said, "That's going to be me in 50 or 60 years."

I took a second look, and sure enough: at the subject's feet was a faithful little dachshund that looks exactly like my son's dog, Duke. The two are inseparable best friends, and it gave the image a whole new meaning for me. I decided then and there to use it for this beer.

We're getting close to the point where I would normally put this beer to cold-crash before bottling, but temperatures where I have been fermenting are a little low, and we're a little busy this week cutting up deer...and hopefully hunting for more deer. I'll bottle this stout - and the two other beers I have going - at the first opportunity, and will try to do it before they are more than 4 weeks from BrewDay.

More as it happens, etc. &c....

Ron

Edited by TasunkaWitko
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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