Tag Archives: chocolate mint

Chocolate Mint Brown (sorta)

So here you have it: the chocolate mint beer I made

It’s…alright. Let me tell you what’s going on here.

First, this is a brown and I really would have preferred that it resemble a porter or, to be honest, a stout. Unfortunately, I can’t quite seem to get the mouthfeel right. This beer is decent, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not quite where I was hoping it would be.

I may need to up the fermentables to get there, certainly using the correct grain bill all at once would help and I’ve also been told that oatmeal can provide the kind of mouthfeel I’m hoping to achieve. So there are some options: I may have to run this by some OBC members to see what they think.

Second, I don’t really notice the mint qualities. They seem faint in the aroma, like early morning lake fog, and at the end there’s a bit of a sheen, like gasoline on the water. I was hoping for something a little stronger. I’m told by others that there’s just enough mint in this beer and everything is fine so I guess it’s OK. I may need a broader sample size for feedback.

Finally, this beer is a touch overcarbonated. Darker beers are generally flatter and with the results from this beer, I think I can say with certainty that yes, the adding of bread yeast to the bottling syrup really does boost the carbonation. It’s a great trick and useful for many beers but not such a good idea for this style.

Brew date: 7.29.11

Steeping malts:
.24 lb 120 malt
.5 lb choco
.25 lb roasted barley
.25 lb dark munich

7 lb LME

.5 oz Hallertauer @
.5 oz UK Fuggles @ 60

Yeast: Wyeast 1768, English Bitter

OG: 1.052

FG: 1.018

TG: 1.024

ABV: 4.14%

Added 1 oz of Kafka II malt to 3 cups water, steeped and added to secondary on 8.10

Bottled 8/21

Mistakes have been made

I decided to try and re-make my chocolate mint stout because it’s summer and I have free mint growing in my back yard. Free is still a good price.

Unfortunately, I forgot to add any really dark malts in order to add some of the coffee flavors and prevent the beer from being too sweet. There’s been a run of sweetness in the brews I’ve made lately-not a bad thing-and while that’s OK, chocolate mint is…well, I am afraid of going overboard. The last beer didn’t have any really dark malts but it did have cocoa powder to help keep the sweetness down.

So, I have steeped about an ounce of Kafka II (note; I may be spelling that incorrectly) malt in about three cups of water, boiled it, and added the mixture to secondary. I realize that it’s not much but this interests me for several reasons:

First, it’s a chance to blend. I know, I know; I’m not blending beer exactly but I am blending concoctions and that’s interesting.

Second; I’m adding something that isn’t hops to secondary. Hops have an antiseptic element to them; yes, I’ve boiled the water and done what I need to do but the question still remains; did I screw this up?

It’s odd to say but screwing up actually seems interesting to me.

Third; it’s new. I haven’t done anything like this before. It always seemed that once wort was boiled and yeast added, that was it. I was stuck with whatever happened. However, talking to people who really know what they’re doing, I understand that this isn’t necessarily the case. Not that I can turn a bad beer into a great one but maybe I can tweak a solid beer and make it a little better.

So we shall see what happens.

So how’d that turn out?

chocolate mint stoutThe question in this case, referring the chocolate mint stout I made.

The answer is; pretty good. There’s a roasted, chocolate flavor with hints of coffee in the background. But surrounding the whole thing is mint. Undercurrent in the nose, rising as the brew warms but never overwhelming.

I’m not entirely surprised; my experience has been that flavors like this (cinnamon or coriander, for example) tend to fade rather quickly and it would appear that mint follows in these footsteps. Overkill is appropriate if there’s enough time for the flavors to fade out, I guess.

If there’s a flaw, it’s stylistic; despite my attempts to bring a smoother mouthfeel to this beer, it just didn’t work out. The color and density of the beer is much more a porter than a stout; most likely the product of not adding any other malts but chocolate. Clearly a little ways to go in my stout making processes and learning but considering this beer tastes pretty good, not a bad way to learn.

“But what made you think that’d be drinkable?”

This is what my Dad asked me, when I told him about the chocolate mint beer I was making.

Which is a reasonable question. Chocolate and mint have been longstanding collaborators in the edible world however (though generally as confection) and the results are generally positive. So in this case I’m hoping “Why wouldn’t it be drinkable?” is the better question. The answers will be coming but probably not for a week.

Steeping Malts
1.5 lb choc malt
.5 lb C40
.5 oz Munich

7 lb LME

1 oz Nugget @ 60
.75 oz Nugget @30
Mint @10 3 7/8th oz
1. Oz coco powder, 1 oz sugar

OG 1.061
TG: 1.019

Which gives me 5.45% ABV.

So first I want to thank Fuz for the inspiration for this brew. As for the extra details:

chocolate mint in carboyI used mint that was growing in my back yard; we have a bunch of it, the stuff never goes anywhere and its uses are seemingly limited in the general eating world. I also used a lot of mint because I am tired of adding things to my beers and not being able to taste them in the finished product. What’s the point? So I figure that nothing succeeds like overkill, damnitĀ  and really went for it this time.

I also kept the majority of the malts chocolate; the Munich and C-40 are there for body. Those malts were part of a stout I made earlier this year which had an excellent mouthfeel, so I’m hopeful that effect happens again. In the meantime, I wanted chocolate to be the flavor you got when drinking; the hops are there mostly as a nod to the idea that beer needs hops.

I just bottled this beer and here’s what I can tell you so far; the mint is very strong. At least in the nose. I am just a little worried that my overkill was…uh, overkillery and has wrecked the beer. On the flip side, the flavors of the beer don’t carry the mint much at all. So this may be a rare case when the beer is better out of the bottle than in the glass. Anyway, I’ll know more soon.