experimental beers with a botanical twist

Mole Negro Stout

Hoja santa

Such a delight to discover a widely used Mexican herb, hoja santa or Mexican pepperleaf, that has nearly the same taste as sassafras! It helps me bridge the cultural gap between Pennsylvania, where I brewed this, and Oaxaca, whose mole negro recipe inspired this twist on chocolate stout.

My tasting notes at bottling: Delcious, but sassafras taste is way more dominant than it would have been in the mole sauce that inspired the spice and fruit/veg blend. Also, being a cowardly gringo, I seeded all the peppers, resulting in no hotness (the picante kind) whatsoever. Overall, an interesting take on a chocolate stout.

I’m indebted to Randy Mosher, in Radical Brewing (p. 183), for his tasting notes on chiles for brewing. Ancho: “Deep rich chocolatey flavor.” Guajillo: “Dark fruity chile with medium heat.” Pasilla: “Intense dried chile flavor; dark, winelike, raisiny.”

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5 gal 60 min 31.0 IBUs 37.9 SRM 1.058 1.014 5.7 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 7 lbs 60.87
Victory Malt 2 lbs 17.39
White Wheat Malt 1 lbs 8.7
Black (Patent) Malt 8 oz 4.35
Chocolate Malt 8 oz 4.35
Roasted Barley 8 oz 4.35

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Willamette 1.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 5
Bramling Cross 0.5 oz 20 min Boil Pellet 6.5

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Cacao Nibs 8.00 oz 0 min Secondary Flavor
sundried tomatoes 2.00 oz 0 min Secondary Flavor
ancho peppers 1.50 oz 0 min Secondary Flavor
raisins 1.50 oz 0 min Secondary Flavor
pasilla pepper 1.00 oz 0 min Secondary Flavor
guajillo peppers 0.50 oz 0 min Secondary Flavor
whole cloves 6.00 Items 0 min Secondary Spice
Mexican cinnamon stick 1.00 Items 0 min Secondary Spice
avocado (aguacate) leaves, dried 0.25 oz 0 min Secondary Spice
hoja santa (Piper auritum), dried 0.25 oz 0 min Secondary Spice

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
SafAle English Ale (S-04) DCL/Fermentis 73% 59°F - 75.2°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Mash In 152°F 60 min

Notes

Secondary duration was 12 days. I put all the secondary additions in a mesh bag, added enough beer from the primary to cover, brought it up to just shy of boiling temperature, and steeped for 20 minutes before cooling it down and adding eveything back into the beer.


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