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bernardsmith
11-24-2013, 08:46 PM
I am making a gallon of chocolate mead. The starting gravity ( 11/17/13) was 1.100 and I had boiled the water and added 8 oz of Hershey's chocolate powder. I allowed the mix to cool and added small quantities of honey I had warmed in their jars to a blender and then added the chocolate water and blended the mix then poured this into a primary. Added pectic enzyme , added nutrient and energizer after 12 hours and then pitched the yeast (QA23). When gravity got close to 1.000 I racked into a gallon carboy.
After about 4 or 5 days I see that the chocolate is now collecting towards the bottom of the carboy but the height is about 3 inches or more.
My question: will this chocolate compact or should I stir the chocolate back into suspension and allow the chocolate to drop out of suspension later. Thoughts?

Chevette Girl
11-24-2013, 10:25 PM
I used my cocoa powder in secondary, but I'd recommend you keep stirring it until you're ready to rack it then let it settle out for a week or two. And maybe try Fatbloke's trick of refrigerating the lees in a pop bottle to get more clear stuff off.

bernardsmith
11-24-2013, 10:37 PM
Thanks, Chevette Girl. This is very useful.

Chevette Girl
11-25-2013, 01:43 AM
I didn't find mine compacted all that well, and do keep an eye on your airlock, mine made thick foam :)

danr
11-25-2013, 02:47 AM
Bernard, I started a similar mead 6 months ago (Link (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21432&highlight=chocolate+vanilla)) based on Lord Rhys Chocolate Mead Recipe (http://www.washingtonwinemaker.com/blog/2008/03/25/lord-rhys-chocolate-mead-recipe/), and I have also had a lot of the cocoa powder settle to the bottom.

I have not tasted it for a while, but I am just letting it sit undisturbed for 1 year, and then I will rack it. I plan on backsweetening, then letting it sit for a second year.

I can not vouch for how this will work, but the Lord Rhys recipe seems to be pretty successful from what I have read. Let us know how yours works out.

Dan

bernardsmith
11-25-2013, 02:26 PM
I didn't find mine compacted all that well, and do keep an eye on your airlock, mine made thick foam :)

Mine also foamed but I removed about a cup of the mead from the carboy and after a few hours slowly topped it up in stages until the carboy is full (to about an inch from the bung and am having no foam in the airlock. I suspect the foam is caused by the CO2 pushing the cocoa up and being trapped under a blanket of cocoa. As the cocoa drops the CO2 is expelled more easily. And that might also be the cause of the poor compacting of the cocoa - (he said): the CO2 preventing the cocoa from dropping down under its own weight. Might it make sense to degas even at this early stage to see if this will help the cocoa clump more closely together?

Chevette Girl
11-25-2013, 07:10 PM
I suspect the foam is caused by the CO2 pushing the cocoa up and being trapped under a blanket of cocoa.

I'm pretty sure that's exactly it.

Mine was degassing at the time, and the cocoa did eventually settle out but it wasn't a compact layer and it felt like I lost a lot to lees. Be prepared to have to make up a fair bit of volume when it comes time to rack if you're doing this in a carboy!

bernardsmith
11-25-2013, 09:40 PM
I'm pretty sure that's exactly it.

Mine was degassing at the time, and the cocoa did eventually settle out but it wasn't a compact layer and it felt like I lost a lot to lees. Be prepared to have to make up a fair bit of volume when it comes time to rack if you're doing this in a carboy!

I think what I will do is wait a couple of months and see if the cocoa compacts by itself. At the end of that period I will then rack but I will then take the lees and pour them into a buchner funnel (a funnel filter attached to a vacuum ) and pull the liquid through the cocoa so collecting more of this liquid

Bee Serious
11-25-2013, 10:49 PM
Is there a point where one reaches diminishing returns with aging on cocoa powder? I only ask because I know that with roasted nibs, the longer you wait, the more flavor is extracted. I have heard from the beer guys that with cocoa powder, since it is processed, the extraction of the "magic enzyme" is faster. I don't know if that is true.

I am aging a chocolate mead right now - Cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and chiles! Plus 71b instead of d47 for something different. I am calling it "Beepocalypse". The first beepocalypse I made in 2012 - most. overrated. apocalypse. ever.

Chevette Girl
11-26-2013, 12:32 AM
I just checked my brewlog (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16468&page=3) and I left mine on cocoa powder from November 11 to Feb 14. Bernard, yours should be fine as long as that yeast doesn't mind being on the lees. Bee Serious, bee careful with 71B, it's known to get icky if you leave it more than about six weeks on the lees.

bernardsmith
11-26-2013, 09:51 AM
I just checked my brewlog (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16468&page=3) and I left mine on cocoa powder from November 11 to Feb 14. Bernard, yours should be fine as long as that yeast doesn't mind being on the lees. Bee Serious, bee careful with 71B, it's known to get icky if you leave it more than about six weeks on the lees.

I am using QA23. (it has only recently become available to home wine makers in my neck of the woods). Do you know how comfortable that yeast is on lees?

GntlKnigt1
11-27-2013, 03:07 AM
Well, I've been thinking about making this one....
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9177

Oh... the chocolate recipe is on the second page....
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9177&page=2

But I have also been wondering about making it with Hershey's syrup instead of cocoa powder (IF I could find it over here). Seems like it would dissolve easier and add less cloudiness.

bernardsmith
11-27-2013, 10:28 AM
Well, I've been thinking about making this one....
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9177

Oh... the chocolate recipe is on the second page....
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9177&page=2

But I have also been wondering about making it with Hershey's syrup instead of cocoa powder (IF I could find it over here). Seems like it would dissolve easier and add less cloudiness.

The chocolate syrup here contains polysorbate 60. I am not sure how that substance affects fermentation. I have some and I think it would likely be "cleaner" but I was nervous about adding anything with sorbate into the primary.

GntlKnigt1
11-27-2013, 10:52 AM
Good point. I looked it up and it seems pretty innocuous...... http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polysorbate


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bernardsmith
11-27-2013, 02:04 PM
I agree that entry makes the sorbate in poly sorbate look quite harmless. .. (gulp) . Good to know. (gulp).. but given the $$$ of honey these days.. do I take the chance? (gulp)

GntlKnigt1
11-27-2013, 05:58 PM
Keep gulping that mead and i could sell you the Brooklyn Bridge! Grin

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bernardsmith
11-27-2013, 06:41 PM
Keep gulping that mead and i could sell you the Brooklyn Bridge! Grin

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ha ha ha... I am an ex pat Scot and we (wee) Scots are very skeptical. VERY skeptical. If you told me that there was 24 hours in a day I would count them..
Have a wonderful , and safe, Thanksgiving.

GntlKnigt1
11-28-2013, 03:18 AM
ha ha ha... I am an ex pat Scot and we (wee) Scots are very skeptical. VERY skeptical. If you told me that there was 24 hours in a day I would count them..
Have a wonderful , and safe, Thanksgiving.

A Scot? Awesome !!! Visiting the castles in Scotland has been 'on my list' for about 15 years !!! I am a LOT closer to it now, but haven't quite made it yet. Can't wait.

WVMJack
11-28-2013, 07:11 AM
Bernard, which kind of Hersheys powder? We are doing a choco melomel right now using their special dark, we put in a lot, its a little on the bitter side right now but we plan on backsweetening with more honey when its done. We didnt cook the chocolate but that might be a better idea of how to get it into suspension better. If you have any optired I think that might help bind up some of the bitter agents, not sure but it seems it would from the product descriptions. We got the sludge to but it kind of packed down on its own, maybe the cooking made if fluffier? WVMJ


I am making a gallon of chocolate mead. The starting gravity ( 11/17/13) was 1.100 and I had boiled the water and added 8 oz of Hershey's chocolate powder. I allowed the mix to cool and added small quantities of honey I had warmed in their jars to a blender and then added the chocolate water and blended the mix then poured this into a primary. Added pectic enzyme , added nutrient and energizer after 12 hours and then pitched the yeast (QA23). When gravity got close to 1.000 I racked into a gallon carboy.
After about 4 or 5 days I see that the chocolate is now collecting towards the bottom of the carboy but the height is about 3 inches or more.
My question: will this chocolate compact or should I stir the chocolate back into suspension and allow the chocolate to drop out of suspension later. Thoughts?

Chevette Girl
11-29-2013, 02:39 AM
If you were concerned about the sorbate in hershey's syrup, just add after the bulk of the fermentation's done, the remaining yeast should be able to chew through the sugars even if it contained potassium sorbate, it won't stop live yeast, just stops 'em from making more.

bernardsmith
11-29-2013, 02:59 PM
Bernard, which kind of Hersheys powder? We are doing a choco melomel right now using their special dark, we put in a lot, its a little on the bitter side right now but we plan on backsweetening with more honey when its done. We didnt cook the chocolate but that might be a better idea of how to get it into suspension better. If you have any optired I think that might help bind up some of the bitter agents, not sure but it seems it would from the product descriptions. We got the sludge to but it kind of packed down on its own, maybe the cooking made if fluffier? WVMJ

Just regular cocoa powder. I started fermenting only a couple of weeks ago so it is very early days but a batch of papaya melomel that I started at the same time using the same yeast compacted the lees much better. But this may simply be an issue of time. I won't be racking again for about two months and it is possible the lees will compact on their own. Alternatively, my plan is to rack the mead from the lees and then pull the liquid from the lees though a buchner filter that I can easily rig using a funnel, coffee filters laid across a mesh plastic or wire sieve placed inside the funnel, a bung with two nipples or holes (one for the funnel and the other to hold a tube leading to a vacuum pump), the pump and a lastly a carboy to hold the drawn liquid .

GntlKnigt1
11-29-2013, 03:29 PM
All that? For a Scottish guy, you sure are casual! 'Grin' we need to talk about this.....over a single male scotch brewed there....with a splash of lapsong souchon tea....and see if we can work this out. Am sure we can bring peace to the Middle East.

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bernardsmith
11-30-2013, 08:35 PM
All that? For a Scottish guy, you sure are casual! 'Grin' we need to talk about this.....over a single male scotch brewed there....with a splash of lapsong souchon tea....and see if we can work this out. Am sure we can bring peace to the Middle East.

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I can go a nice glass of Talisker but I moved to the USA and became a citizen on 9/11 last year. I used to drink tea but these days my drink is french pressed coffee. As to peace in the m/east... I am optimistic but given the wars we have started or found ourselves in I am not sure that we have anything to teach anyone about living in peace... :confused: