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Mad Scientists Series #9: Cacao Husk Stout

Our inspiration for the forthcoming Mad Scientists Series creation is a little-known byproduct of the chocolate-making process: the husks. These fibrous shells of the cacao bean crack off the prized nib during roasting, when they are discarded or repurposed for agricultural purposes, such as composting. We’ve gone and repurposed them instead for flavoring a thick, chocolately stout.

And they came to us from trusted sources: Brooklyn’s own bean-to-bar chocolatiers the Mast Brothers. Since opening shortly after Sixpoint was founded, The Mast Brothers have enjoyed a long friendship with the brewery. The impetus for brewing with their cacao husks came after a successful trial-run for a beer that’ll be featured at this weekend’s Beer For Beasts, called Udderly Delicious. The Mast Brothers arrived at the brewery with bags of husks in tow to lend a hand with it. We’ve tweaked the recipe to create a fittingly dense, rich stout brewed with the husks for our Mad Scientists #9, which will become available on draft starting next week.

Do husks alone have much chocolate flavor? From the smell (and taste — yes, we’ve gone there) alone, the answer is overwhelmingly yes. We poured in 100 pounds of it into the mash, which included Chocolate, Crystal, Munich and Black malts, and mashed in at a high temperature to give the beer a more robust body. The wort was then lightly hopped with Magnum and Glacier hops. With a silky, black appearance and creamy head, the beer has a taste of unsweetened chocolate up front, with a typical stout-like roasty finish and kiss of hops. The thick and pleasant chocolate aroma reminds of bittersweet cocoa, or a trip to the Mast Brothers’ factory. 6.3% ABV.

“Working with Sixpoint isn’t just a collaboration for us, it’s a chance to hang with friends (who happen to be world-class brewers),” said Rick Mast, co-owner of Mast Brothers chocolate.

We’re looking forward to collaborating with more friends of the brewery for beers with unique ingredients again. For now, catch this one on draft at your local craft beer bar for the next several weeks.

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