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December Brewing Plans

Ok – enough making cider and mead. It’s time to get brewing beer again. Yay.

I am taking some time off of work in 2 weeks so I will hopefully have time to brew up a couple of beers before the end of the year.

First up is the Harvest Ale. I have all these homegrown hops in my freezer that are begging to be boiled in a kettle. Hops – they want what they want. The Harvest ale will be pretty straightforward and should be ready in January.

The second brew will be a sweet stout. With this one, I plan to have separate secondaries for different flavor combinations – chocolate, vanilla, cherry.

The plan is to ferment the full brew all at once and then rack it to separate secondary vessels and add particular flavorful ingredients to them like, uh, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and cherry puree.

I gotta start ordering stuff this week so I have it in time for my staycation or brewcation. I gotta remember to buy a new autosiphon because I broke mine a few brews ago and more PBW.

Ok – end of ramble. Brew on.


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  1. I’ve been seeing people using cacao nibs like crazy lately. Is this something new in the brewing world or was there a beer that used it recently? I’ve never used them and just a bit curious.

  2. I know Sam uses them in their Chocolate Bock. I started reading more about the subject and cocoa powder may be the way to go:


  3. So, I’m assuming that you get a different flavor profile out of them. Stronger? Or do you cold steep them?

  4. My thoughts were to crush them a bit and put them on the bottom of the secondary vessel and rack the finished sweet stout on top on them. Then, I would just leave them there for a while.

    I am guessing you’d get more bitterness – sharpness of a dark chocolate flavor.

    The other thing I am guessing is that other brewers are using the raw ingredient of chocolate because they think it’s superior to something that had been processed. In this case, maybe that is not true.

  5. Let me know how it goes, like I said I’ve heard of them but have never used them.

  6. Will do, Derek.

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