From the dark everlasting. to New Limited Release When All Goes Black My Shadow Seeks Me, We Thought We Should Answer the Question On Everyone’s Mind: What is Black Coconut?
We first began experimenting with the process of creating black coconut in late 2018 using a rice cooker in Brewmaster Jason Pellett’s home for a few small trials. We were looking for a way to infuse the flavors we loved from traditionally toasted coconut into a rich, thick stout that already had potent flavor. As far as we know this is an ingredient that originated at Orpheus Brewing, but was conceptually based on the process behind black garlic.
The premise of the “black process” is to keep the temperature low and slow, with high humidity. This process occurs even though 135° is too low of a temperature for Maillard reactions as, over the course of several weeks, most of the individual molecules will spend some time at a high enough energy for the reaction to take place. That also means that every single celled organism will also spend some time significantly hotter.
Once able to control humidity and temperature in our proofing cabinet we began to see a darkening of the coconut shells. After trials we found this method gave the coconut richer, toasted flavors with those additions of caramel, flan, and fresh baked goods. When we began to smell cookies and baking spices waft through the air of the brewery, we knew it was ready.