Baker: Chocolate and beer, a wonderful pair – BurlingtonFreePress.com

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Since today is Halloween, it feels apropos to write about how the worlds of candy and craft beer intersect in glorious ways when chocolate ends up in the brew.

Chocolate seems to have been finding its way into rich, luscious stouts for decades. It seems like the no-brainer, right? Take a viscous, thick, somewhat sweet beer that already has notes of dark chocolate from the darker-kilned malts used in the brewing process and chuck some actual chocolate in there.

The problem is that chocolate contains fat, in the form of cocoa butter, which would ruin a beer’s head-retention and cause other issues since fats solidify at cold temperatures. Deschutes Brewery (Bend, Ore.) found this out the hard way a few years back. Its annual anniversary imperial porter called Black Butte XXII was brewed with dark chocolate among other spices and fruits, but the chocolate never fully dissolved into the beer and formed a thick layer on the surface inside every bottle. The brewery said that although the beer tasted great, it wasn’t up to its quality standards and the much-anticipated release had to be canceled.

So how does chocolate end up in beer? Although I’m not an expert on the chemistry of brewing, I know that some brewers will use cocoa products that have the fats removed such as cocoa powder. According to BYO.com (Brew Your Own Magazine) baker’s chocolate can be used but it must be boiled long enough to “volatilize the oils, otherwise the beer will suffer from poor …read more

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