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  • Coconut, cocoa nibs, vanilla beans...

    Long story short, we hosted a homebrew comp and the winning beer is a double Porter containing all of the above adjuncts..

    We are a 7bbl operation and serve right from our 7bbl serving tanks. My thought was to dose the adjuncts in mesh bags into the fermenter but after scaling these ingredients up, the coconut alone is supposedly 63lbs - clearly that ain't gonna happen. Any ideas on ways to dose this stuff? My thought was to have blank 2# cap welded with a stainless hook to hang the bags from, but I'm unsure how much coconut I could actually pour into a bag and suspend in the tank. Also, any idea if I'll actually have to use anywhere near that amount or will much less (I'm hoping) do the trick. Same goes for vanilla beans at 2.64lbs and cocoa nibs at 11lbs... These were just scaled up from a 5gal batch fyi.

    Help me out.. We should have picked the citra ipa .. Ha.

  • #2
    These ingredients seem to be in line with my experience. The beans are slightly high and nibs slightly low for my preference but definitely not way out of line. The coconut is dependent on how/when you use it, as well as preference, but also not way off. I've had good luck with toasting it and hanging it in the tank as suggested. And, yes, it usually takes more than you'd expect. If you picked the recipe then you liked that amount, right?

    I wouldn't call any of those ingredients adjuncts though. Spices, not adjuncts.

    Comment


    • #3
      Why use bags? Why not just dump the stuff in to the fermenter through the dry hop port (hopefully you have one), then rack the beer to your serving tank leaving all the solids in the FV. It'll be a PITA to clean the FV, but at least the beer in the serving tank will be clean.

      And yeah, adjuncts are specifically unmalted grains/grain products like corn or rice used to derive fermentables. Don't know why or when people started calling spices and fruits "adjuncts".

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TonyT View Post
        Why use bags? Why not just dump the stuff in to the fermenter through the dry hop port (hopefully you have one), then rack the beer to your serving tank leaving all the solids in the FV. It'll be a PITA to clean the FV, but at least the beer in the serving tank will be clean.

        And yeah, adjuncts are specifically unmalted grains/grain products like corn or rice used to derive fermentables. Don't know why or when people started calling spices and fruits "adjuncts".
        Thanks for the info - I'll plead ignorance on the incorrect use of adjuncts - had no idea. I guess the thought with the bags, at least for everything but the coconut is that I could pull the bag when the ingredient imparted the amount of flavor I wanted, should I not have a brite/serving tank lined up. Clearly I won't have that option with coconut, as 60# of it isn't coming back out of the tank in a bag, that much is clear.

        Any idea on where to source that much coconut? You guys don't think it'll totally clog the racking arm?

        Comment


        • #5
          The first time I ever used cocoa nibs I decided to throw them straight in the ferm after yeast was pulled off. 11 pounds in a 7 BBL batch. To this day it still ranks as one of the worst things I have ever done as a brewer. The nibs created a plug in the bottom of the tank that took me 4 hours to clear. I couldn't dislodge it with CO2. Tried a piece of wire. No good. Eventually found a 1/4" rod that would jam it loose. Then it flowed for 5 seconds...and replugged. It did this 5-6 times before I finally got it out. Ever since then I use bags....

          The 60 pounds of coconut is a different matter as you say. I don't have any advice on that other than to say it will most likely clog up everything along with the nibs if put straight in...at least in my experience..
          Scott LaFollette
          Fifty West Brewing Company
          Cincinnati, Ohio

          Comment


          • #6
            I've been hearing much lower usage rates for coconut, we're currently fermenting a dark ale that I'm going to add coconut to and I was planning about 15 lbs in a 3bbl. I'm going to lightly toast mine in the oven and then use bags to infuse it, it's probably important to keep the bags from getting too packed. I'm going to weight the bags down with triclamp fittings and have it on a string to suspend it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Cap?

              FYI- once the bags are saturated with beer after racking, you may or may not be able to get the cap off.

              Also, the bags will have swollen enough that you will have to cut them off the string/wire/chain to pull them out through the manway- unless you have top manways.

              I would bag everything very loosely and hang them as you suggest. We did an imperial stout with 3 lbs/bbl of cocoa nibs and hung it with stainless steel chain and carabiners from a ring welded to our 6" dry hop port cap. I think it was 75 lbs in 6 bags and you could barely lift one after we emptied the tank.

              Comment


              • #8
                Coconut

                I've made a lot of coconut porter in my career, and that amount seems excessive. Most recently, my experience is this (8 bbl. batch size), using 2 to 2.5 lbs. per bbl. depending on intensity of aroma/flavor desired; toast the coconut lightly first, then into nylon mesh bags and secured in a brite tank prior to transfer from fermenter. Contact time is approximately 7 days, at which point it would be transferred to a serving tank for serving/kegging. Reasoning behind brite tank addition is mainly separating the beer from the yeast & other fermentation crud (as yeast absorbs lots of the flavor/aroma of coconut), with the added benefit of ease of adding/removing bags of coconut from the tank, and using much less coconut for the same/or more impact in finished beer. Trust me, I've tried nearly every method of coconut infusion (hundreds of batches) and this is the best all around method I've found. Good luck!

                p.s. I've had good luck with Nuts.com as a source. Make sure to get raw, unsweetened flakes.
                Last edited by infinitybrewer; 03-25-2015, 10:25 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I used 1# of vanilla beans in a 15 bbl batch great mouth feel but it wasn't as noticeable in nose as I wanted next time I will put in a 1.5#. I sanitized them in 180* water let it cool and put it in thru the top blow off opening.
                  Mike Eme
                  Brewmaster

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have used 8 oz. of vanilla beans in a porter, hanging it from the carb stone in the serving tank and it turned out great. It takes a couple of day s for the full flavor to come out but is worth it. Putting vanilla in the fermentor, I would worry about the aroma blowing off.

                    Jim Lieb

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions everyone. Brewday for this thing is next week, so we'll see how it goes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        in MASH?

                        Originally posted by infinitybrewer View Post
                        I've made a lot of coconut porter in my career, and that amount seems excessive. Most recently, my experience is this (8 bbl. batch size), using 2 to 2.5 lbs. per bbl. depending on intensity of aroma/flavor desired; toast the coconut lightly first, then into nylon mesh bags and secured in a brite tank prior to transfer from fermenter. Contact time is approximately 7 days, at which point it would be transferred to a serving tank for serving/kegging. Reasoning behind brite tank addition is mainly separating the beer from the yeast & other fermentation crud (as yeast absorbs lots of the flavor/aroma of coconut), with the added benefit of ease of adding/removing bags of coconut from the tank, and using much less coconut for the same/or more impact in finished beer. Trust me, I've tried nearly every method of coconut infusion (hundreds of batches) and this is the best all around method I've found. Good luck!

                        p.s. I've had good luck with Nuts.com as a source. Make sure to get raw, unsweetened flakes.
                        Hi Infinity,
                        Have you tried adding in Mash? any issues with Oil?
                        I am thinking of a coconut brown with dried coconut (toasted in oven) in the mash and then using a strainer in line for recirculation, packed with same flakes post fermentation and fining. We are concerned with the oil, as dried coconut when toasted releases too much oil.
                        Amit

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Amit View Post
                          Hi Infinity,
                          Have you tried adding in Mash? any issues with Oil?
                          I am thinking of a coconut brown with dried coconut (toasted in oven) in the mash and then using a strainer in line for recirculation, packed with same flakes post fermentation and fining. We are concerned with the oil, as dried coconut when toasted releases too much oil.
                          Amit
                          What type of strainer are you talking about here and where would it go?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ziggy13 View Post
                            What type of strainer are you talking about here and where would it go?
                            http://www.gwkent.com/bottom-entry-l...-strainer.html

                            Thinking of hooking it up in the circulation line with a pump.

                            Amit

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Amit View Post
                              http://www.gwkent.com/bottom-entry-l...-strainer.html

                              Thinking of hooking it up in the circulation line with a pump.

                              Amit

                              Very cool. I could see that being useful for multiple applications. $700 seems a tad bit pricey though.

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