Author Topic: Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?  (Read 1926 times)

Offline erockrph

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Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?
« on: February 03, 2012, 01:06:32 PM »
I'm looking to brew a berry-flavored hefe (something in the vein of Leinenkugel), but with a bit of a twist. I was first thinking of adding some vanilla extract, but I know some yeast strains can have a bit of a vanilla characteristic. Does anyone have any suggestions on any strains that have a strong vanilla component? I'd be leaning toward a weizen or wit strain, but I'm willing to experiment. Also, is there a temperature range or any other fermentation variables that can enhance the vanilla (like under/overpitching)?

In going with the fruit/berry/sweetness combo I'm fine with banana and/or bubblegum flavors, but I'd prefer to keep the clove to a minimum. Thanks!
Eric B.

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Offline johnf

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Re: Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 03:24:55 PM »
If you want vanilla without other phenolics I would use a non-phenolic yeast and add vanilla.

Offline nateo

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Re: Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 04:53:09 PM »
What strains give vanilla flavors? I've never noticed that before.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 10:20:57 PM »
you might also try oak. it can give a nice vanilla flavour without being extracty
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Offline johnf

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Re: Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 11:46:41 PM »
What strains give vanilla flavors? I've never noticed that before.

I notice it a lot in German wheat beers bought bottled in the US (but not similar or identical beers draught in Germany). I'm not sure if it is the clove dropping out that makes the vanilla apparent or the vanilla isn't there to begin with and the result of a chemical reaction. I get it reliably in Aventinus.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2012, 07:18:09 AM »
What strains give vanilla flavors? I've never noticed that before.

Wyeast states that their Bavarian Wheat (3638) strain produces some vanilla phenolics:
http://www.wyeastlab.com/rw_yeaststrain_detail.cfm?ID=59

I think I may just end up using vanilla extract in the end since I plan on using extract for the berry flavors. I'll probably just give it a little extra time to bottle condition so the extract flavor mellows out a bit.

I never thought of trying oak in a hefe before, but that might be a nice counterpoint to a fruity ester profile. Maybe I'll do a test batch of this somewhere down the line.
Eric B.

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 07:38:11 AM »
WLP500 (chimay) fermented cool has some nice "vanillaish" characteristics. You could also add some vanilla beans, or just a quarter of a bean/pod. I think most would agree to go pod over extract.
Keith Y.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2012, 06:32:31 PM »
I don't think you can get true vanilla flavor from yeast.  What you really need is good pure vanilla extract from Mexico or the Caribbean, not the crap they sell us here in the USA.  Beans might be alright, but I've had the best success with Mexican extract.
Dave

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2012, 11:27:17 PM »
I don't think you can get true vanilla flavor from yeast.  What you really need is good pure vanilla extract from Mexico or the Caribbean, not the crap they sell us here in the USA.  Beans might be alright, but I've had the best success with Mexican extract.

you have to be careful with mexican vanilla extract and make sure it is pure vanilla extract because a lot of it is fortified with vanillin (sp?) which is not a huge problem but not the same as real vanilla extract. oak gives vanillin as well. I would imagine that any vanilla flavours from yeast are the same.

you can also make your own extract by getting high quality beans and soaking them (Split down the middle) in good vodka or really high proof white spirits (white lightening).
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 05:36:27 AM »
The extract suggestions make me wonder what would happen if you used a batch of vanilla priming sugar by dropping a vanilla bean in your priming sugar for a week or so before bottling...
Eric B.

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Way to maximize vanilla flavors from yeast?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2012, 06:24:17 AM »
Interesting idea!  I think it might work, but might turn out a little weak.  I'm really not sure.  You could try it and let us know!
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)