I've been working up some new recipes to pilot over the next few weeks and I've got a couple of interesting sources of inspiration.
First off, good friend Matthieu de Gottal has sourced some raw cacao beans for me. Matthieu makes the best whisky truffles which I can't recommend highly enough and after a chat at the pub one night we decided that raw (unroasted) cacao beans would be an interesting thing to play around with in a brew. These are the stage before cocoa nibs so I'm expecting a good bit of acidity along with the bitternes. I'm thinking either a fullish porter or a milk stout would be the best vehicle for these beauties.
And on the subject of Stout I was reading Ronald Pattinson's excellent "Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer" the other day and was struck by the 1805 Barclay Perkins Pale Stout recipe. It served to remind me that firstly that stout=strong in British beer parlance no dark, and secondly that I'd always fancied doing a pale sweetish beer which I guess would be a Pale Sweet Stout.
I think I'm going to revive the use of the word "Stout" to indicate strong in Egghead beers so I promise not to produce anything with "Imperial" in the description until I find an emperor to endorse it.