Friday, September 23, 2011

Ahh the Cacaonundrums of Life

So I was thinking about the winter months coming on and I decided to brew a Chocolate Porter. Most Chocolate Porters are only created with chocolate malts and dark malts but I love chocolate. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, all chocolate. We have an understanding, chocolate and I, I love chocolate and in return it makes me fat.

I didn't want to make a sugar bomb, a chocolate milkshake beer, even though I've a had one or two that were delicious.

I found myself cornering Chef again while he waited for the elevator.

"Hey Chef, got a second?" (Obviously, the elevator is not fast, but I can see there's a lot bouncing around in his head as we approach service)
"What's up?"
"I want to brew a Chocolate Porter and I wondered if I could buy a bit of chocolate from you."
"Well, how much?"
"Four ounces of cacao powder and four ounces of cacao nibs."
"Excellent choice, I have Valrhona powder and Cordillera nibs, but I couldn't charge you for such a small amount. Go tell Jean-Michelle I said it was ok."
Valrhona is famous, of course, and Cordillera is some Seriously High Quality shit.
Cacaonundrum 1
Then at line up he talked about these Tahitian vanilla beans that aren't dried and have this very intense bitter vanilla flavor and how beautiful they were and I knew.
Cacaonundrum 2
Kept in a travel chess board locked in a small room in the bowels of the restaurant.
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The plan: throw the powder in the boil and put the nibs (lightly heated up in the oven to get the oils activated) and the vanilla bean (sliced down the middle, seeds scraped but included and lightly heated up in the oven to get the oils activated) into the conditioning carboy (a dry hopping if you will).
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The all grain mashing went well, still made a mess. Threw in the powder and as the boil came on a beautiful crema covered the wort.
Cacaonundrum 4

That's a 6.5 gallon carboy and I wanted a whole lot more than that. I got to get my sculpture on.
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And look at that OG. 1.081 Sugars for days.
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Three carboys active.
Cacaonundrum 8
Bottling Tuco's Bitch in a few days. Cucurbita and Cacaonundrum in primaries. The boxes are just added protection from the fluorescents and such.

Time to brew more Pallidus. It's going fast.

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