Brewing with Chocolate

Posted to Uncategorized May 2, 2014 by dropinbrewing

So how do you make a beer infused with chocolate and vanilla? Why would you make it yellow and not brown? Who is that handsome young Mexican in the photograph? With over 30 years experience as a brewer I’d say I know a thing or two about the effect hops, malt, yeast and water have on beer flavor. Cacao nibs however are a different matter. How the chocolate flavor leaches out of the plant material and goes into solution is a function of time, temperature and stirring. When you stir ground up cacao into hot milk on a cold winter morning you taste the whole thing not just the chocolate flavor that dissolves out and into the milk. The other flavors that also reside in the nib can be extracted too, and those are oils and fats which can degrade and create off flavors. We ended up adding the cacao nibs, (grown in Ghana and Ecuador) three times to get the chocolate flavor to just the right level. The vanilla character came from using just 12 vanilla beans. We split them, halved them and boiled them in water in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes. We then poured the mixture into the tank and waited 10 days. The vanilla aroma came out just how we wanted. The last week the beer sat on the cacao nibs and the vanilla beans Mrs and Mrs Drop In went to Cabo San Lucas to wait for the beer to be ready.. I think that the levels of chocolate and vanilla are perfect in this beer. We like to make refreshing, drinkable beers to enjoy during the warmer weather, so this is brewed to be light and refreshing. When we do actually get some warm weather you’ll appreciate it… trust us. The beer is named for a favorite soccer player of ours (except when he scores against Chelsea) Javier Hernández Balcázar nicknamed Chicharito (Little pea). He will be starring for Mexico in this summer’s World Cup