2013-12-05 20.15.01As happens quite often, I found myself with grains I wanted to use up and time to brew a batch.

I had done several fruity and pale beers so fancied something a bit different for a change. Something fuller flavoured with some good chocolate notes. I don’t use chocolate malt often as my other half seems to be very sensitive to even small amounts of it and doesn’t like the taste. So this time it was a brew just for me.

Whilst you can get some good chocolate flavours from malt, I wanted to help round out the beer and make sure that there was some extra depth of chocolate flavour and aroma in this beer without it being a full on in your face chocolate ale. I had some cocoa nibs here to try and after reading around, it seemed that soaking them in vodka for 24 hours before pitching the nibs and vodka into secondary was the way to go. Some people like to roast the nibs before using them and some don’t. I didn’t want a roast flavour for this beer so decided to skip the roasting.


I’ve added the Beersmith recipe below, but couldn’t find any way to include the vodka in the recipe, so for the record, the nibs were soaked for 48 hours (because primary was a bit slow due to lower than expected temps) in around 200ml of Vodka and then the vodka and cocoa nibs poured into the secondary fermenter whilst transferring the beer from primary.

I’ve just tried this on the 5th of December and am really happy with the result. I just have to leave it alone until Christmas now to let it condition, but after the glass I just had which you can see in the picture above, leaving it alone till then is going to be a challenge.

Here is the Not a Porter Beersmith recipe




Sarah is an experienced home brewer, a qualified BJCP beer judge, organiser of the Welsh National Homebrew Competition and sometimes Brewtuber under her home brewery name, Daft Cat Brewing