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Batch 38 : Chocolate Milk Stout

The Red I’d made previously was an all-grain kit from Northern Brewer, which was mostly purchased so that I could buy this Chocolate Milk Stout kit, too.  So much easier to buy this pre-measured kit than to buy the Cocao Nibs, Lactose, and other ingredients piece by piece.  I’d been fascinated by this brew, not only because of the Lactose addition, but even more because of the Cocao Nibs used to give additional Chocolate flavor.

Ingredients: Chocolate Milk Stout

All-Grain Recipe

  • 8 lbs. – Pale Ale Malt
  • .75 lb. – Pale Chocolate Malt
  • .25 lb. – Extra Dark Crystal
  • .75 lb. – Carafa Type III
  • 1 lb. – Lactose (added to Boil)
  • 4 oz – Cocao Nibs (added to Secondary)

Hop Additions

  • .75 oz. – Cluster (7%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
  • .5 oz. – Cluster (7%) – added during boil, boiled 30 min


Additional Details / Notes

  • SG 1.063 / FG 1.020
  • 5.62% ABV | Color: 30.25 °SRM | 29.1 IBU’s
  • Brewed 12/11/11, Secondary 12/28/2011, Bottled 02/04/2011
  • Temps: ~152° Mash, ~63° in Primary, ~70° Secondary

Brewing the Stout

This beer came at a crazy time for me.  I ended up being away from home for almost the entire month of January, which meant I was able to start this brew normally, but it was going to age for a longer time than I’d usually age a beer, it also meant that the cocao nibs were going to get their full use, sitting in the secondary for a long time.

This was my first time using both the nibs and the lactose, and I was excited to see how both would work out.

The brew day went really standard, I pulled 6.5 gallons from my mash tun and let it boil 30 minutes before my first hop addition.  I’d added another 1/2 gallon around the time of my first hop addition because i wasn’t happy with where my gravity was reading (not really sure why).

Adding the Lactose was the most interesting part of the boil.  Not sure if I added it correctly, but it was kind of curdled milk-ish when it went in.  It simmered, and bubbled, and kind of smelled odd.  That went away, though, and everything seems to have gone alright.

As I left town for a month, the Cocao Nibs had a LONG time to sit.  Probably too long… but more is always better, right?

Drinking the CMS

First things first, I managed to NOT contaminate this batch.  This was in the middle of a bad run for me, and it wasn’t over yet, but this time around I managed to get things sanitized.  I’ve since managed to find the source of my pain, but we’ll get to that in a later post.

So how was it?  Really interesting…  I think a month was too long on the nibs.  The brew had a taste of baker’s chocolate, super dark chocolate bitter tasting.  It wasn’t horrible, but not really awesome, either.  I’m not completely sure, but I felt like the texture of the beer was a bit chalky from the lactose.  I may not have succeeded with my new ingredients, but I’d like to give them both a whirl again in the future.

Overall, this beer was good, not great.  I don’t think I’ll make it again, but it had nice elements.  As a regular stout it would have been totally fine.  Nice color, body, and flavor.  I didn’t always love this beer, but when I was in the right mood, it wasn’t bad.  It was a great ‘homebrew’ kind of beer.  One to show people, and talk about the chocolate and just be adventurous.


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