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Cacao Beans

edited October 2015 in Recipes

So i was in the HB shop today getting some ingredients for a Negro Modelo I'm gonna try to make my first beer. And we got chatting about flavours and I mentioned it would be cool to get a chocolate tone in a nice rum or vodka and he hands me a jar of cracked Cacao Beans that a customer used to make a double chocolate stout and said gives these a go Ive had them 6 months and don't know what to do with them. I thank him and head home to google but can't really see anything obvious so……

Who's used them before and what can i do with them??? Ive got about 200gms i was thinking Steep them in vodka or drop some into on of my jars of rum, would the be any good through a gin basket?? Ill keep searching the inter web but feel free to point me in a useful direction

Cheers Johnboy


  • edited October 2015

    That's a cool surprise, macerating will work just fine, but the gin basket approach is more interesting. I never did it, but always wondered if the nibs would cause clouding issues, due to the fat content, which might be reduced somewhat by running through the basket. I believe there are a few gins that use nibs or the cocoa bean shells in the basket.

    Or, grind it up and run it in a fermentation, cocoa beans have some crazy fats in them, you might get some oddball esters.

  • interesting how flavoursome are they ?? i.e. how much to put in basket or a wash i don't have much so wanted to try a few ways in small amounts then if good buy a larger quantity.

  • Try it and post up the results, the information on a bad result is just as important to everyone as the information on a good result. :)

  • what abv would you macerate at??

  • I have tried 100 and 160 with several things and like 160 much better...

  • Do you think 20gms in 500ml would be a good starting point?? I can't find anything on google except mars bars into vodka

  • edited October 2015

    I'd start with 1/4 of that if it was me. You can always add more and it's easier than taking some out.

    Wew have Carob trees growing here everywhere. I always intended to do a Jaffa spirit but never got around to it.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • I can chime in on this one!

    @Johnboy, haven't used cacao beans, but Kill Devil does a Coffee shine (named Rise & Shine ) ~O). I steep WHOLE beans about a 1/4lb in 90proof for, after much R&D haha, I found the flavour and color come out more equally at bottle proof.

    @CothermanDistilling I found the coffee beans to be more water soluble than alcohol soluble, so the color would come out much faster and the flavour wasn't so powerful as to mask the shine. Bottle proofing also acts as a control in the flavour experiment so that being said, the only factor to worry about is steeping time. Using cracked, I would watch it carefully, as in 4 hours.

    @grim there is zero clouding but there is fine particulate that can be removed.

    This my commercial result. I love the gold color, it is much more appealing and doesn't look like a Kahlua knockoff


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  • Try doing a search on the AHA forum. I remember several long threads about processing and using them in beer over there.

    I'm more like I am now than I was before.

  • I've macerated and then redistilled. The flavor comes through without the oiliness.

  • @jbierling said: I've macerated and then redistilled. The flavor comes through without the oiliness.

    Can you talk about that a bit more please? How much of the coffee is dampered back after re-distillation?

    Or,,,how coffee forward is the finish product after distillation?

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • I'd have to double check/find my notes but I believe the maceration was high proof vodka - enough to just cover the cacao. I figured I could always dilute if the flavor was too strong. The maceration got cloudy so I redistilled and I'd say maybe 90% of the flavor came through.

    This was cocao/chocolate beans though, not coffee.

  • And did you use that product as an essence mate, to dilute with neutral?

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Nice. A great libation for the holiday season.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • @Jbeirling that sounds like a pretty simple procedure I don't have a lot of cacao to play with what were the quantities you used to mak a full bottle of finished spirit?

  • edited October 2015

    After 4hrs


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  • Slight flavour see what it's like by morning

  • edited October 2015

    Hint of chocolate after 18hrs slightly bitter will pull off nibs and see what it's like after a couple days


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