Me in the Briess Pilot Brewery.

After learning I’d be making my first appearance at the AHA National Homebrewers Conference this year, there was only one logical place for me to prep for it. The Briess Pilot Brewery.

I was told Briess was featuring Dark Chocolate Malt, and could I brew a beer to serve at the Briess display in the Homebrew Expo.


Coming up with a recipe would be easy. Briess Dark Chocolate Malt is a nice, pretty unique malt. It’s remarkably smooth and rich coffee flavored, making it versatile considering it’s been roasted to 420ºL.  And there are plenty of styles it’s useful in, but I wanted a beer that would let its full flavor shine through but not overpower the beer.

So I brewed a Dark Chocolate Ale that starts with some upfront hop bitterness followed by full, rich roasted coffee flavor and background sweetness, compliments of the caramel malts. The hops and roasted malt balance to make a surprisingly easy-drinking yet full flavored beer.

I hope you stop by the Briess display in the Homebrew Expo to taste it, and get your free 8 oz sample of Dark Chocolate Malt  from me or other Briess staff who’ll be there (coincindentally that’s just enough for a 5-gal batch of this recipe).

Actually, you’ll fill your own malt sample at the Briess display, using the empty plastic baggie tucked inside your attendee bag. We’ll have plenty of 50-pounds bags of Dark Chocolate Malt and plenty of scoops. Not sure how that’s going to work, but count me in.

Dan’s Dark Chocolate Ale

  • Type: Ale
  • Recipe Type: All Grain
  • Recipe Contributed By: Dan Bies, Briess Technical Services Team
  • Original Gravity: 1.056
  • Final Gravity: 1.017
  • Alcohol by Volume: 5.2%
  • IBU: 23
  • Color: 50 SRM
5-Gal Batch1bbl BatchIngredient
9 lbs44 lbsBriess Pale Ale Malt
1 lb5 lbsBriess Barley Flakes
8 oz2.5 lbsBriess Dark Chocolate Malt
8 oz2.5 lbsBriess Caramel Malt 30L
8 oz2.5 lbsBriess Caramel Malt 60L
8 oz2.5 lbsBriess Caramel Malt 120L
1 oz6.2 ozUK Challenger (5.7AA)—60 minute boil
0.5 oz3.1 ozUK Challenger (5.7AA)—15 minute boil
  Wyeast 1275 Thames Valley Ale Yeast OR
  White Labs WLP023 Burton Ale Yeast