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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: stagheadstout on December 09, 2009, 08:30:33 PM

Title: Vanilla Bean
Post by: stagheadstout on December 09, 2009, 08:30:33 PM
How much should I use in a stout with a 1.046 OG? I know, it's tough to answer because you don't know how much I want. I don't want it as powerful as Creme Brulee, but just enough to recognize. I want the stout to shine but the vanilla to compliment. If someone has to be told to look for it, it ain't enough.

Midwest Supplies sells it in three whole bean packages. Do these get boiled or thrown into secondary? How to sanitize? Do they go in whole?

Thanks all.

SHS
Title: Re: Vanilla Bean
Post by: Hokerer on December 09, 2009, 08:53:44 PM
Tough call...  one would probably be enough for a 1.046 brew but the fact that it's a stout (with the resulting strong roast flavors) might push it to two beans.

In any case, it seems standard procedure is to split the beans, cut them up, add a little vodka to sanitize, and then dump the whole mess in the secondary.  You can start taste testing after a week or so and bottle/keg once you get the flavor you're looking for.  Also be aware that the vanilla will fade over time so you might want to start out a little strong.
Title: Re: Vanilla Bean
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 09:11:09 PM
The amount of vanilla has more to do with subjective tastes than the OG of the beer.  What I do is split the bean lengthwise and scrape out all the "gunk" in the middle.  Chop the pod into 2-3 in. long pieces and put the pod and "gunk" into secondary and rack the beer on top.  I've tried soaking in vodka and didn't care for the taste, nor did I find it necessary in terms of sanitation.
Title: Re: Vanilla Bean
Post by: bluesman on December 09, 2009, 10:00:15 PM
I bought my vanilla beans from Penzey's, three per tube for about $7-8. I follow Denny's regimen and it works well for me.
Title: Re: Vanilla Bean
Post by: tom on December 09, 2009, 10:59:07 PM
The amount of vanilla has more to do with subjective tastes than the OG of the beer.  What I do is split the bean lengthwise and scrape out all the "gunk" in the middle.  Chop the pod into 2-3 in. long pieces and put the pod and "gunk" into secondary and rack the beer on top.  I've tried soaking in vodka and didn't care for the taste, nor did I find it necessary in terms of sanitation.
Denny, why do you scrape it out?
Title: Re: Vanilla Bean
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 11:03:12 PM
Denny, why do you scrape it out?

Because all the good stuff is in the gunk (seeds) and I want it exposed to the beer.  I use the same scraping procedure when I cook with vanilla beans.
Title: Re: Vanilla Bean
Post by: babalu87 on December 10, 2009, 03:10:19 AM
Atlantic Spice has GREAT Vanilla beans

Title: Re: Vanilla Bean
Post by: dbeechum on December 10, 2009, 04:00:52 AM
I've always been happy with the ones I get from http://www.organic-vanilla.com/. I bought like a 1/4 lb of each variety a few years back and vacu-packed them. Still great!
Title: Re: Vanilla Bean
Post by: yugamrap on December 15, 2009, 03:21:07 PM
I cut and scrape the beans and add them to the secondary like Denny does and, as hokerer suggests, I start tasting the beer from the secondary after about a week.  I don't bother with teh vodka soak - I just spray the cutting board and knife with Star San before prepping the beans.  I've only used vanilla beans in Denny's BVIP recipe (OG around 1.080-1.085) and both times I've brewed it I used two beans.  In last year's batch, I racked after 14 days in the secondary.  This year, the beans I got seemed to be fresher or more potent, and I racked after 11 days.  YMMV in a 1.046 beer since there isn't as much alcohol to extract the vanilla flavor.