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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: neilrobinson on February 28, 2010, 03:15:05 PM

Title: Vanilla Beans
Post by: neilrobinson on February 28, 2010, 03:15:05 PM
      I was thinking of brewing a beer that at has a touch of vanilla to it. I was thinking I would add it during the second fermentation. However, I am not sure about how much I should add or the best route besides just dropping them in. If anyone has any suggestion on the use of vanilla in a beer, it would be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: Hokerer on February 28, 2010, 03:23:39 PM
Prolly the most famous vannila-bean-using example around these parts is Denny's Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter...

http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/BourbonVanillaImperialPorter (http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/BourbonVanillaImperialPorter)

...and from his instructions on using the beans...

"When primary fermentation is complete, split 2 nice fresh vanilla beans lengthwise.  Scrape out and reserve all the seeds and "gunk" in them.  Cut the pods into roughly 2-3" pieces and add the pods, seeds and "gunk" to a secondary fermenter.  Leave them there until you get the amount of vanilla flavor you like.  I usually start tasting at about a week and a half, and may leave them in until 2 weeks.  You may want to let them go a bit more than you think is necessary since the vanilla flavor fades with time."
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: bluesman on February 28, 2010, 04:38:48 PM
Prolly the most famous vannila-bean-using example around these parts is Denny's Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter...

http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/BourbonVanillaImperialPorter (http://wiki.homebrewersassociation.org/BourbonVanillaImperialPorter)

...and from his instructions on using the beans...

"When primary fermentation is complete, split 2 nice fresh vanilla beans lengthwise.  Scrape out and reserve all the seeds and "gunk" in them.  Cut the pods into roughly 2-3" pieces and add the pods, seeds and "gunk" to a secondary fermenter.  Leave them there until you get the amount of vanilla flavor you like.  I usually start tasting at about a week and a half, and may leave them in until 2 weeks.  You may want to let them go a bit more than you think is necessary since the vanilla flavor fades with time."


+1

put it in the secondary or in primary (when complete) as described. Works great. Penzey's has great vanilla beans.
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: dbeechum on February 28, 2010, 06:40:20 PM
Also on the topic of finding great beans, I've used these guys in the past and been very happy

http://www.organic-vanilla.com/
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: bcnihart on March 01, 2010, 07:40:55 PM
I made a five gallon batch of Vanilla Cream Stout that was very popular.  Split and scraped 2 beans into about 1/4 shot of vodka.  Let that sit overnight and dumped the whole thing into a 5 gallon batch in the secondary.  Aged the normal time and bottled.

Think I will go grab one right now.  MMMmmm...
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: gandelf on March 01, 2010, 10:21:49 PM
I use 3 beans cut and scraped for 14 days post fermentation. Try this
link for the freshest and plumpest beans I have found. Reasonable prices
and shipping to.

3 pack:
http://www.beanilla.com/bourbon-vanilla-beans-p-88.html
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: dhacker on March 02, 2010, 01:19:02 AM
+1 on Beanilla.

I used the Madagascar beans . . outstanding flavor, but two is PLENTY in a 5 gallon batch.

http://www.beanilla.com/madagascar-vanilla-beans-p-30.html
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: troy@uk on March 02, 2010, 05:30:26 AM
I also had this dilema of adding vanilla for the first time.  I was adding it to a breakfast stout.  The method that sounded the best to me from researching many web sites and recipies was to start with a quality bean (see other recommendations in thread), split the bean to expose the seeds, cut the bean(s) in 1-1.5" pieces and soak in a small jar with just enough QUALITY 80 proof Vodka to cover the bean(s) pieces.  Remember this will be in your beer so don't be tempted to use the cheap stuff many of us sanitize with!  The Vodka serves to sanitize the bean and to draw the goodness out of it just like when someone makes real vanilla extract. You can let this soak for up to 6 months or more, but 2-4 weeks is plenty for what we are doing, this plus the time in the 2ndry will bring out the best of the bean(s). Place the beans and vodka in the secondary and enjoy!  Sorry, but I have no help on quantity since that depends on what you want.
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: neilrobinson on March 03, 2010, 09:00:26 AM
Thanks guys...
    I have done a lot of research on the subject but I think you guys have provided the best, since I can tell it is from experience. I have a pretty good idea of what I am going to do now. Thank you again.
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: bluesman on March 03, 2010, 09:32:23 PM
+1 on Beanilla.

I used the Madagascar beans . . outstanding flavor, but two is PLENTY in a 5 gallon batch.

http://www.beanilla.com/madagascar-vanilla-beans-p-30.html

+1

Two is plenty (5 gallon batch) for my tastes as well but use good quality fresh beans.
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: gimmeales on March 04, 2010, 12:01:35 AM
Those experienced w/Vanilla - does it age out very quickly?  I threw about 1/3 of one dried up bean (soaked a few days in vodka) into a gallon of Imperial Porter along with some oak cubes and fresh ground nutmeg for about two weeks.  It was a Vanilla bomb a month ago when I bottled it (actually was perfect at a 50/50 blend with the un-spiced Porter).  I'm wondering if it will be drinkable on it's own, or if it will be a specialty 'mixer' beer.
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: dhacker on March 04, 2010, 01:03:47 AM
I don't have monumental experience, but I can say the vanilla hangs in there pretty good. certainly not like hops.
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: bluesman on March 04, 2010, 03:22:21 PM
but I can say the vanilla hangs in there pretty good. certainly not like hops.

+1

My experience is the same although I have been told it will slowly age out over time.

Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: denny on March 04, 2010, 05:03:39 PM
I find that within about 3 months the vanilla really starts to fade.
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: dhacker on March 04, 2010, 05:42:00 PM
Denny, I think yer taste buds are just plain worn out . . from hyperhopcemia.

 ;D
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: bluesman on March 04, 2010, 05:45:05 PM
Denny, I think yer taste buds are just plain worn out . . from hyperhopcemia.

 ;D

I was thinking the same thing.   ;D
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: denny on March 04, 2010, 05:52:53 PM
Denny, I think yer taste buds are just plain worn out . . from hyperhopcemia.

 ;D

Yeah, that's what chumley always accused me of!
Title: Re: Vanilla Beans
Post by: gimmeales on March 04, 2010, 05:56:58 PM
Thanks for the replies!  Guess I'll just have to taste them overtime (oh darn, beer to sample!).  I've got 4 750ml bottles, so will squirrel away one or two for a good awhile anyway.