Cacao Nibs are a great way to introduce rich chocolate flavor into any beer. Impress your friends with a unique tasting experience!
Cacao nibs (also referred to as cocoa nibs) are the key ingredient in chocolate. They are crushed and roasted seeds from the cacao plant. 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 cacao nibs like you would a dry hop, by adding the cacao 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!)