John Palmer’s Mexican Mocha Stout version

I usually don’t like tasting chocolate and coffee beer in competitions, but that’s not because I don’t like the taste, because I do, but it’s because it’s not tasteless.

The problem is that coffee and chocolate beer do not usually have a long shelf life because they contain oils that oxidize quickly and eliminate the taste like old coffee or oxidized chocolate. Despite this statement of torment, I have tasted chocolate and coffee beer many times over the years, given medals and actually bought both so it is really possible to drink them with strong flavors.

The secret of cooking with spices is not to boil them. Boiled spices taste very strong, especially wood spices like cinnamon and cloves. In general, spices respond best to hot standing in wort, just like the addition of whirlpool hops. Warmer or warmer temperatures help to release the oils that give these additives their specific flavors, and the pH of the wort usually prevents hardness and bitterness.

When spices are added, there is a general trade-off between temperature, taste and aroma: warmer temperatures release more flavor and cooler temperatures release less but retain more aroma. When you think about it, it sounds like a trade-off between whirlwind hopping and dry hopping – and that’s why. Hops, however, are basically a spice we add to beer.

More is more

Most spices should be used in small quantities, usually about 5 to 10 grams for a 20 liter batch size. Delicate or highly volatile spices like vanilla should be added after fermentation. But coffee and chocolate are exceptions. These flavors should be used on very high levels, such as 50 to 250 grams per 20 liters, to get a good taste depth.

As I said at the beginning, the problem with both coffee and chocolate is oil. For coffee, the general solution is to keep the coarsely ground beans, either at room temperature (about 12 hours) or in the refrigerator (about 24 hours). Of course, you don’t just want to put coffee grounds directly into the fermenter. It is best to put coarse ground coffee in a pot and then strain it after standing and gently boil the coffee till the end of fermentation.

Opinions vary as to how much coffee should be concentrated. The specific gravity of a typical cup of coffee is approximately 1.005 to 1.010, and it is usually drunk at a concentration of approximately 16: 1 from the weight of water to the weight of coffee. At low ratios, such as 8: 1, the specific gravity can be approximately 1.012 to 1.016, depending on the grinding. In general, you are trying to get the maximum taste of coffee with the least amount of coffee. A typical cold mix ratio of 8: 1 works well, but do you really want to add 2 liters of coffee to your mix? A low ratio of 4: 1 or 6: 1 can reduce the volume.

A common non-flavored coffee beer is 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine, which smells like green peppers or mashed green peas. This chemical is not dangerous, but it can affect the aroma of your beer, and it can be frustrating if it is unwanted. This pyrazine compound is thought to be formed by enzymatic reactions in growing beans, and therefore depends on the type of coffee and the climate. It is said that the mixture is not particularly affected by roasting. So, you can drink coffee to find this mixture and smell it before you add it to your beer.

Tasty Beach food How
enough 20-25 grams per liter 6: 1-8: 1 w / w Water: Coffee
Cocoa powder 10-20 grams per liter Add to boiling (10-15 minutes)

Chocolate is a very popular seasoning but there are a few things to know. First of all, the fats that are naturally part of cocoa beans will oxidize and the beer will taste bad, so the less of them, the better. Cocoa nibs are popular among brewers for adding chocolate flavor because they are “minimally processed” and taste good. The problem is that they still have a lot of fat: “minimally processed” is one of those industrial buzzwords that makes you think it’s somewhat better or higher quality. Yes, but there’s a reason we process cocoa nibs into cocoa powder – to get rid of fat and improve flavor stability. High quality cocoa powder is mainly concentrated cocoa nibs, which is thickened by pressing. “Natural” cocoa powder has a lower pH (~ 5.1) and more reddish color than Dutch process cocoa powder (~ 7 pH). The difference between these types is important when using baking and baking soda or baking powder for yeast (natural for baking soda, Dutch for baking powder). But the ripening doesn’t matter. It is unlikely that you are adding enough to affect the pH of the wort. Cocoa powder does not dissolve in wort, it becomes a suspension, and if we are lucky, a colloid. Add it at the end of boiling so that it spreads over the whole wort for about 10 to 15 minutes. Cocoa powder is an exception to the “do not boil” principle, but long boils spoil the taste. Chocolate syrup is also a good option and can’t run out like cocoa powder. But be sure to check the labels for unnecessary and unwanted hydrogenated oils and emulsifiers.

Here’s a recipe for sweet Mexican coffee, inspired by Cafe de Ola:

  • Mash all the grains at 67 degree centigrade for 60 minutes.
  • Sparse and transfer to kettle, set target of 26.5 liters at 1.057, and boil.
  • Once boiled, add 30 grams of sentinel hops for 60 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes of boiling, add 200 grams of natural cocoa powder.
  • At 60 minutes, light a fire and add the coffee and cinnamon sticks, then let stand for 15 minutes.
  • Transfer to a fermenter and cool to 18 degrees Celsius, then add the yeast.
  • Maintain boiling temperature at 18 C.
  • Once the FG is stable, the condition of the keg or bottle.
  • Drink this beer fresh to get the most out of the aroma of coffee and chocolate.
  • Squeeze with special grains (expected data)

    OG: 1,066
    FG: 1.018
    ABV: 6.7%
    Mother: 32
    Volume: 23 liters


    3.5 kg yellow extract
    500 grams of crystal (80L) malt
    500 grams of flaked barley
    500 grams roasted barley
    200 grams of natural cocoa powder
    200 grams thick ground dark roast coffee
    30 gram centipede hop pellets
    10 grams salon cinnamon stick
    Favorite English to Yeast


    1. Place cracked grains in 5L 67 ° C water for 30 minutes, then remove.
    2. When boiling, slowly dissolve the extract in 5 liters of water with 5 liters of wort from the mini mesh.
    3. After boiling, add 30 grams of North Down Hops for 60 minutes.
    4. After 15 minutes of boiling, add 200 grams of natural cocoa powder.
    5. At 60 minutes, light a fire and add the coffee and cinnamon sticks, then let stand for 15 minutes.
    6. Transfer the vessel to an ice bath to cool the wort or otherwise cool, then add to the fermenter. Be very careful if the whole vessel is moved to an ice bath.
    7. Top up with cold fresh filtered water to reach 23L, check the temperature regularly to make sure you have reached 18 degrees Celsius.
    8. Check that your temperature is 18 degrees Celsius, then add yeast.
    9. Maintain boiling temperature at 18 C.
    10. Once the FG is stable, the condition of the keg or bottle.
    11. Drink this beer fresh to get the most out of the aroma of coffee and chocolate.

    John Palmer is the author of the best-selling domestic wine book. How to cook In every issue of Beer & Brewer In the magazine he dives deep into a particular aspect of brewing better beer and regularly offers his own recipe. Subscribe to our magazine here.

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