Maximum Chocolate Malt

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New Member
Nov 9, 2023
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New member, first post. I’ve been a full mash brewer for nearly 40 years. Never used chocolate malt before. I’ve drunk Castle Eden (Whitbread) Porter in the distant past.”Brew Classic European Beers at Home” by Wheeler & Protz has a recipe with CM 15% Pale 85%. Has anyone tried this? If so what should I expect?
I am tempted to drop to CM 10% with Crystal 5%.
PS, To any doubters, West Hartlepool is in Europe.
Blackness as dark as my soul, rich Chocolate and coffee flavours, bitterness and probably a slew of people saying it can't be done.

I don't recall using solely Chocolate Malt at that percentage, but I've been close with Chocolate and Roasted Barley together. Guinness is 10% Roasted Barley and that often gets labelled as bland.
I did brew an RIS with 5% black, 5% CM and 10% brown malt. It works, but it needs long conditioning to remove the bitterness.
I've used 10% chocolate malt in dark beers before. You definitely get that strong bitter stout flavour at that percentage.

The latest brew I have fermenting at the moment only has any 5% chocolate malt in it and is much more of a dark ale/porter.
Careful selection of bittering hop and addition size, is important to offset the natural bitterness from lots of heavily roasted grains. I quite like Pacific Jade as a First Wort addition.
Thank you for your interest.
I mashed on the 11th November:
Pale Malt 6 Kg
Chocolate Malt 600g
Crystal Malt 500g
Boiled with leaf hops:
Fuggles 100g
Goldings 20g early 10g late.
Used a packet of Wilco Ale yeast( the firm had just gone bust).
Fermented for about 5 days then transferred to pressure vessel for 3 weeks in cool garage.
Bottled the beer which smelled & tasted very chocolatey.
However, after leaving a few bottles at a higher than usual 25degC to condition and the cacao powder effect has really diminished. The 1014 final sg sweetness is well balanced by the bitterness. Maybe 15% chocolate malt would not be too much.
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

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