Newest Batch.

I bottled my latest batch of beer last night. Four gallons gave me about 36 bottles.

I really wanted to try my hand at a chocolate beer, but stouts are generally too dry for my taste, so I decided to go with a porter. And – you know me – I can’t leave anything simple, so I decided to make a Mexican dark chocolate porter. I bought about a pound of different styles of very ooh la la dark chocolates: Dagoba, Green&Black, some German labels, etc. and melted these into the wort along with about half a pound of lactose, for a hint of sweetness (the yeast will eat all the regular sugar you put in – that’s how you get the alcohol content – but they can’t digest lactose, so it stays sweet). Into the primary fermentation went some chiles (a very little bit!) and some more chocolate. During the secondary fermentation I added three vanilla beans and four cinnamon sticks.

My preliminary bottling taste was pleasant – not as sweet as I would have liked, but oh, so aromatically chocolate! Not even a hint of the chile, but you could taste the cinnamon and vanilla if you concentrated.

I have a ridiculous amount of fun thinking up brave new beers like this one, but I have even more fun creating the labels. Here’s my latest:

Mexican Chocolate Beer Label

Those are roasted cacao beans on the left, and the cacao fruit on the right.

Since it’s so dark – almost completely opaque! – Josh wanted me to call it Frida’s Eyebrow… You know, thick, black, and Mexican. -sigh- Cute idea, really, but I don’t think I have the guts to serve someone a drink named after an eyebrow. Blech. So instead, it’s Xochiquetzal‘s – pretentious name, I know, but she was the Aztec goddess of chocolate, and she was the one the Aztecs honored by drinking xocolatl, the bitter chocolate-chile drink that the Spaniards added sugar to, and later the Swiss added milk to…

Ok, enough history lessons! :) The beer will be ready to taste for the first time in 2-4 weeks, and I’ll keep you posted.

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