A short movie describing the making of Scratch #54, Cocoa Porter. Our goal when playing with non-traditional ingredients is to find balance between the ingredient and the beer. For Scratch #54-2011 -- our third foray into cocoa -- we wanted to design a drinkable (under 6%), subtle and satisfying beer.
Starting with a base recipe for a mild porter, we added cocoa powder from Ghana and Ivory Coast to the brew kettle during final hop addition. The powder, made from "dutched nibs" typically used in baking, adds a slight bitterness and a rich chocolate aroma.
After fermentation, we aged #54 on Ghanaian vanilla beans and medium roast Ghanaian cocoa nibs for ten days.
The malt has a slight roast but is designed with a lighter body to let the cocoa flavors show through. The addition of lactose gives a smooth mouthfeel.
The vanilla emerges in the aftertaste and the beer reaches room temperature and hints of chocolate linger in the finish.