Cacao Nibs are a great way to introduce rich chocolate flavor into any beer. Impress your friends with a unique tasting experience!
Cacao nibs (crushed seeds from the Cacao plant) are the key ingredient in chocolate. While not technically chocolate themselves, they have a wonderful cocoa smell to them, and will provide a very subdued cocoa-like flavor to any beer.
You can use these nibs like you would a dry hop, by adding the nibs to your secondary fermenter or keg for a couple of weeks (4 ounces per 5 gallons is a great place to start), allowing the beer to draw out the subtle flavors and aromas of the cacao nibs. They can also be used in the boil or mash – wherever you would like to experiment with them. Adding the nibs pre-boil will impart some bitterness, so use a lot less than you would when adding them to a keg. (Recently, our friends at Stone Brewing Company made a stout using cacao nibs in the boil to actually replace some of the hops in the recipe!)