Video Tip: What to Know When Adding Cocoa Nibs

In this clip from his video course, Phase Three cofounder and head brewer Shaun Berns talks cocoa nibs—what type they prefer, what flavors they bring, how much to use, the possible benefits of longer extraction times, and more.

Shaun Berns Oct 5, 2022 - 2 min read

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In Lake Zurich, Illinois, northwest of Chicago, Phase Three Brewing has been delighting local drinkers with a variety of fun, flavor-forward styles, from hazy IPAs to barrel-aged stouts and smoothie-style seltzers. Many of those beers feature flavors driven by adjuncts, from fruit and coffee to coconut, cacao nibs, and more.

Despite the embrace of whimsical and indulgent flavors, the brewing of these beers at Phase Three follows a pragmatic, quality-first approach. In this 53-minute video course, cofounder and head brewer Shaun Berns lays out the details of the philosophy and processes he’s developed in his years brewing these beers at Phase Three and, previously, at nearby More Brewing in Villa Park.

In this course, Berns details the how and why on:

  • maintaining a quality-first mindset when brewing with adjuncts
  • types and quantities of coconut
  • cacao nibs, when to use them, and how much
  • using ground cinnamon instead of sticks
  • developing ideas on using bananas in beer
  • using unusual dessert additions, such as stroopwafels
  • using vanilla in a variety of beers
  • large fruit additions for beers and hard seltzers
  • types and forms of fruit additions
  • managing ABV and acidity in fruited beers
  • the quality-driven case for pasteurization
  • using a specially designed infusion vessel for flavor adjuncts

And much more.

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