Simonh82
I'm thinking about brewing a chocolate orange porter as a winter beer (not necessarily aiming to have it ready for Christmas).  My base recipe will have Maris Otter, dark Munich, medium and dark crystal and chocolate malt in it but I'm toying with different hop and adjunct additions.

In my mind, I'm thinking about it being a chocolate orange porter but I'm not sure if I should add actual chocolate, if so in what form, or if I should go for a chocolate essence, or maybe just try to get it from the grains.  Has anyone used cacoa nibs, or cocoa powder or any other form or actual chocolate?  Do you think the chocolate flavour would be enhanced by a lactose addition to increase sweetness, if so how much should I use?

I'm also wondering about how to get the orange flavour into beer.  I know dried orange peel at the end of the boil is traditional and I'm happy to try this but I also wondered about fresh orange zest as a sort of 'dry zest' addition.  Freshly grated zest has such a nice bright flavour, I'd love to get some of that into the beer.  I also thought about adding hops to back it up.  I've just kegged a beer which had 100g of Amarillo and it gives such a lovely tangerine aroma that I think would work really well in an orange beer but dark beers are usually pretty low on hop flavour/aroma so I'd love to know what people think about this as a possibility.

I have brewed very few dark beers so any hints would be appreciated.
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AdrianDBW
I had a Beer Story 'Clockwork Zest' porter last night which had the description of 'Take a dive into the utopian blend of chocolate malt, Madagascan cocoa nibs and very subtle oils of orange zest. Equatorial African coffee beans round off this Red Island inspired porter. Full of chocolatey flavour.'

It had a very bitter chocolate orangey flavour- like one of those dark chocolate oranges I guess. I enjoyed it, but due to the overwhelming amount of coffee flavour I was glad it was only a 330ml bottle- as I'd have struggled to drink too much more.

I've never made a chocolate orange porter, but I've made a Christmas ale with orange zest in- last time I zested 3 fresh oranges and chucked them in the last 10 mins of a 23L brew- the boil smelt amazing and it was still good at bottling- but when I came to drink it a couple of months later you couldn't really taste the orange at all.

I'm planning a Belgian-golden style beer next year with dried orange zest added at flame out, and potentially Amarillo and Apollo hops as a dry-hop- but I'll watch this topic to see how you get on to decide if I need to do something different! [rofl]
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Clibit
There's a northern English blokeness about me that struggles with adding 'daft stuff' to beers.  [rofl]  A sort of reinheitsgebot based on stubborn northern prejudice. ("It's not a piggin' cocktail!" [wink])

So I've never added cocoa or cacao nibs or such like to a beer. I've made beers that taste of chocolate with chocolate malt though. I wouldn't want beer to taste of actual chocolate, or of Terry's Chocolate Orange, personally though. You can just buy a chocolate orange for that! (Currently half price, only £1 at Tesco til Nov 27th!). If I was going to try something it would probably be cacao nibs.

As far as the orange goes, I made a stout with a mate, who is also very northern but is into Belgian beer in a big way, earlier this year, that we put bitter orange peel in, but the orange got lost in the roast flavours. So I'm not sure how you would go about getting the quantities right in order to get the right amount of orange flavour in a dark ale. Maybe you make a tea, or vodka tincture, and keep adding it at the bottling stage until you get the right amount of orange flavour?

Not much help, sorry! 


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GHW
Clibit wrote:
There's a northern English blokeness about me that struggles with adding 'daft stuff' to beers.  [rofl]  A sort of reinheitsgebot based on stubborn northern prejudice. ("It's not a piggin' cocktail!" [wink])

So I've never added cocoa or cacao nibs or such like to a beer. I've made beers that taste of chocolate with chocolate malt though. I wouldn't want beer to taste of actual chocolate, or of Terry's Chocolate Orange, personally though. You can just buy a chocolate orange for that! (Currently half price, only £1 at Tesco til Nov 27th!). If I was going to try something it would probably be cacao nibs.

As far as the orange goes, I made a stout with a mate, who is also very northern but is into Belgian beer in a big way, earlier this year, that we put bitter orange peel in, but the orange got lost in the roast flavours. So I'm not sure how you would go about getting the quantities right in order to get the right amount of orange flavour in a dark ale. Maybe you make a tea, or vodka tincture, and keep adding it at the bottling stage until you get the right amount of orange flavour?

Not much help, sorry! 




Lob a Terry’s in the FV.
Job done
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Simonh82
AdrianDBW wrote:
I had a Beer Story 'Clockwork Zest' porter last night which had the description of 'Take a dive into the utopian blend of chocolate malt, Madagascan cocoa nibs and very subtle oils of orange zest. Equatorial African coffee beans round off this Red Island inspired porter. Full of chocolatey flavour.'

It had a very bitter chocolate orangey flavour- like one of those dark chocolate oranges I guess. I enjoyed it, but due to the overwhelming amount of coffee flavour I was glad it was only a 330ml bottle- as I'd have struggled to drink too much more.

I've never made a chocolate orange porter, but I've made a Christmas ale with orange zest in- last time I zested 3 fresh oranges and chucked them in the last 10 mins of a 23L brew- the boil smelt amazing and it was still good at bottling- but when I came to drink it a couple of months later you couldn't really taste the orange at all.

I'm planning a Belgian-golden style beer next year with dried orange zest added at flame out, and potentially Amarillo and Apollo hops as a dry-hop- but I'll watch this topic to see how you get on to decide if I need to do something different! [rofl]


Thanks, this is useful info. I'm definitely not going for a coffee/dark roast flavour more smooth roast and chocolate flavours.

I'm just not sure about adding dry hops to this beer. Amarillo really does have that orange/tangerine flavour but I don't want the hops to clash with the malt. I think if I keep the bittering hops fairly restrained then hopefully it will work.
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Simonh82
Clibit wrote:
There's a northern English blokeness about me that struggles with adding 'daft stuff' to beers.  [rofl]  A sort of reinheitsgebot based on stubborn northern prejudice. ("It's not a piggin' cocktail!" [wink])

So I've never added cocoa or cacao nibs or such like to a beer. I've made beers that taste of chocolate with chocolate malt though. I wouldn't want beer to taste of actual chocolate, or of Terry's Chocolate Orange, personally though. You can just buy a chocolate orange for that! (Currently half price, only £1 at Tesco til Nov 27th!). If I was going to try something it would probably be cacao nibs.

As far as the orange goes, I made a stout with a mate, who is also very northern but is into Belgian beer in a big way, earlier this year, that we put bitter orange peel in, but the orange got lost in the roast flavours. So I'm not sure how you would go about getting the quantities right in order to get the right amount of orange flavour in a dark ale. Maybe you make a tea, or vodka tincture, and keep adding it at the bottling stage until you get the right amount of orange flavour?

Not much help, sorry! 




I made a porter last year that was very simple, just Maris Otter, medium crystal and chocolate malt. When I tasted the wort pre-boil before any hops were added it tasted like hot chocolate. Once all the sugars hVe fermented out and you add in the hop bitterness the chocolate flavour is much harder to pick out. Out brains associate chocolate with sweetness so without it it is very hard to make the connection. That's why I was toying with adding lactose.
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Simonh82
GHW wrote:


Lob a Terry’s in the FV.
Job done


That would certainly simplify things.
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Clibit
Simonh82 wrote:


I made a porter last year that was very simple, just Maris Otter, medium crystal and chocolate malt. When I tasted the wort pre-boil before any hops were added it tasted like hot chocolate. Once all the sugars hVe fermented out and you add in the hop bitterness the chocolate flavour is much harder to pick out. Out brains associate chocolate with sweetness so without it it is very hard to make the connection. That's why I was toying with adding lactose.


That's all logical. Maybe minimise the hops, and the bitterness. Use some sweet malts. 
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Pinto
Simon makes some excellent points - "chocolate" and confectionery chocolate are very different beasts due to the addition of sugar - so first ask yourself what charecter you're after. If it's sweet choc, something like lactose will be needed, perhaps even a touch of something like Stevia for the really sweet toothed.  If it's the earthy note you're after then adding cacao/nibs alone will get you there.  Steeped choc malt makes for an excellent smooth base to it, mashed will add more coffee touches
to the brew.

As to the orange, boiled peel adds the orange bitterness but drives off the volatile "orangyness" somewhat, whereas dry hopping on shredded peel will give you bright and Zingy 😉 mix and match as you see fit.

Finally, if it's lacking at bottling, DONT be afraid of using quality alcohol based chocolate /orange  essenceses - they can really make brews sing 😉
Beer is like porn - you can buy it easily enough, but its so much more fun to make it [wink]
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