Author Topic: Strong Vanilla Notes  (Read 5815 times)

Offline 1vertical

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Strong Vanilla Notes
« on: June 04, 2012, 02:38:40 AM »
What is the best way that wood can suppliment your beverage
with vanilla overtones? Is it done using medium toast? Or how
would a person insure the inclusion of this quality?

Edit for clarity: Using wood as the vanilla delivery method.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 09:52:57 AM by 1vertical »
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Strong Vanilla Notes
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 09:17:51 AM »
I think if you're looking for "strong" vanilla notes, you want to add vanilla beans or extract.

For chips, I've used both medium and light, as well as some I toasted at home.

I definitely prefer the darker chips for getting more "oaky" flavor.  I find the light chips get lost in the stronger dark beers that I tend to put on oak.
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Strong Vanilla Notes
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2012, 09:51:59 AM »
I meant using the Oak vehicle Not the beans.  I have used beans and like those
but I was just wanting to get come wood character on the board so
folks could refer to it for guidance.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 09:53:55 AM by 1vertical »
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Strong Vanilla Notes
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 10:01:58 AM »
Right.  I thought you might have meant that.

I am not an expert, but in my limited experience medium roast gives much more of the oak flavor, which includes some vanilla tones.  I'm not sure if it increases as you go towards a char.  I doubt it, but it's possible.

Again, I'm using oak in darker beers so the impact of the flavor from the wood is less predominant.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Strong Vanilla Notes
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2012, 05:56:56 PM »
Check this out: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/data/1/Wood_Temps.jpg That's if you want to roast your own.

You'll get most of the vanilla flavors from heavy toast American oak. Hungarian has like half as much vanillin, and French less than that. French has the least vanilla, and a nice allspice/cinnamon/"spicy" flavor, Hungarian oak trends more towards tobacco/cocoa/light vanilla flavor. 

Yeast will metabolize vanillin during primary ferment, so I'll add oak in the primary if I want all the flavors it brings except vanilla. If you want vanilla, add after fermentation is well over.
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Strong Vanilla Notes
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 01:36:58 AM »
Thanks nateo, thats the stuff I was wanting to ponder. ::)
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Offline nateo

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Re: Strong Vanilla Notes
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 04:00:49 AM »
If you want a "wow, that's vanilla" character, you'll need to use real vanilla. Oak will give subtle notes of vanilla, but won't approach the "vanilla porter" level of vanilla intensity you'd get from beans. Charred American oak is the primary flavor in bourbon. But like in bourbon, there are a lot of other spicy/woody flavors happening, not just vanilla.

Oak in small amounts (1/2oz per 5 gallons) can increase structure and flavor stability without tasting obnoxiously like oak. I add some amount of oak to almost every beer I brew. Heavy toast American is especially nice with an IPA. I got the idea after drinking Great Divide's Rumble.

As far as what you're trying to do, for 5 gallons I'd recommend starting at 1oz for a few weeks and going from there. 2oz is quite a lot. As you increase the oak amount, the flavors don't seem to scale linearly. I find 1oz to be pretty balanced. As I  head toward 2oz, toasty/woody flavors seem to be increasing faster than the vanilla flavors. YMMV and so on.

I entered a BDS I over-oaked in a comp once. I used 2oz of med+ French oak chips, and about a 4 gallon batch, after racking losses. It was actually one of the better beers I've made, but so completely changed the character it was unrecognizable as a BDS to the judges. A few of the judges said it was more like a Chilean pinot noir.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Strong Vanilla Notes
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2012, 07:26:11 AM »
I've over-done it with Vanilla. It was a beer intended for Christmas gifts, so I not only had to dump a batch, but I had to buy a lot of damn gifts.

I "dry-beaned" with only one pod for ~ 4 days and it was too much. Gotta be careful with that stuff. Start with 1/4 of a bean and work your way up - just let it sit and taste fairly often.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Strong Vanilla Notes
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2012, 07:45:03 AM »
I've over-done it with Vanilla. It was a beer intended for Christmas gifts, so I not only had to dump a batch, but I had to buy a lot of damn gifts.

I "dry-beaned" with only one pod for ~ 4 days and it was too much. Gotta be careful with that stuff. Start with 1/4 of a bean and work your way up - just let it sit and taste fairly often.
Interesting, I recently made a BVIP and 'dry beaned' two five gallon portions.  For each I placed two sliced and "gunked" beans into ~60ml of absolut and let them sit for a week. This "tincture" was added to a secondary for two weeks prior to kegging. In this case I don't find the vanilla overpowering at all in fact somewhat subtle. There is a lot going on in a BVIP, I imagine the 375 ml of bourbon may tame the vanilla some.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Strong Vanilla Notes
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2012, 08:01:10 AM »
Yeah, mine was a smaller brown ale with spices and vanilla. The BVIP has enough gerth to handle more vanilla, bourbon, etc.

Still - its easy to overdo it with any spice if you're not careful.
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Offline 1vertical

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Re: Strong Vanilla Notes
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2012, 05:38:48 PM »
I've over-done it with Vanilla. It was a beer intended for Christmas gifts, so I not only had to dump a batch, but I had to buy a lot of damn gifts.

I "dry-beaned" with only one pod for ~ 4 days and it was too much. Gotta be careful with that stuff. Start with 1/4 of a bean and work your way up - just let it sit and taste fairly often.
Interesting, I recently made a BVIP and 'dry beaned' two five gallon portions.  For each I placed two sliced and "gunked" beans into ~60ml of absolut and let them sit for a week. This "tincture" was added to a secondary for two weeks prior to kegging. In this case I don't find the vanilla overpowering at all in fact somewhat subtle. There is a lot going on in a BVIP, I imagine the 375 ml of bourbon may tame the vanilla some.
That is my technology as well only i put 4 beans in 1500 ml bottle of absolute after soaking em for
a couple weeks to get the goody to go slack for ease of processing.  I wind up keeping the vanilla
absolute on hand to enjoy for a nightcap on a regular basis.  It makes a tasty Bounce!  prost
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Offline bluesman

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Strong Vanilla Notes
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2012, 06:30:59 PM »
For a noticeable vanilla flavor, I like to add the essence of the bean as well as the bean casing to the secondary. Fresh beans work well. I would like to try a tincture of bourbon or vodka and vanilla next time around.
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