Author Topic: Vanilla Beans  (Read 3736 times)

Offline hmbrewing

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Vanilla Beans
« on: June 27, 2012, 09:43:37 AM »
Greetings! I'll be brewing Mr. Denny Conns Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter this weekend for a festival in October. I plan on adding the vanilla beans after primary fermentation is complete, but was thinking of adding them right to the primary bucket. Just looking to eliminate the step of transferring into a carboy. Any thoughts on this?
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Offline denny

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Re: Vanilla Beans
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 09:54:16 AM »
Should be OK, although I wouldn't recommend leaving it in the bucket for more than 4-5 weeks total.  I have to admit, though, that this is one of the few circumstances where I use a secondary.  Probably OK without it, but old habits die hard.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Vanilla Beans
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 09:54:48 AM »
I wouldn't do it as you suggest.  I think that active fermentation would dissipate most of the vanilla character you're hoping to capture and the beans would be mired down in the trub and yeast.

I had a very tasty version of the BVIP at NHC that i made using a tincture for the vanillla. Take two beans (per 5 gallons), split, scrape, quarter and place in 60 ml of vodka. Cover with cellophane and a rubber band and let set in a dark cupboard at room temp for a week.  Rack your beer to a secondary on top of the vanilla tincture vodka, beans, gunk and all. Ferment another week or two depending on how strong you like the flavors.  Good luck and enjoy, you won't regret trying this brew.
Thank you BEER!

Offline denny

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Re: Vanilla Beans
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2012, 09:57:55 AM »
I wouldn't do it as you suggest.  I think that active fermentation would dissipate most of the vanilla character you're hoping to capture and the beans would be mired down in the trub and yeast.

I had a very tasty version of the BVIP at NHC that i made using a tincture for the vanillla. Take two beans (per 5 gallons), split, scrape, quarter and place in 60 ml of vodka. Cover with cellophane and a rubber band and let set in a dark cupboard at room temp for a week.  Rack your beer to a secondary on top of the vanilla tincture vodka, beans, gunk and all. Ferment another week or two depending on how strong you like the flavors.  Good luck and enjoy, you won't regret trying this brew.

IMO, too much effort for no gain.  Just put 'em in the fermenter.  Primary (after fermentation) or secondary (my preference).
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline hmbrewing

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Re: Vanilla Beans
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 10:00:23 AM »
Denny! Thanks so much for the quick reply...I think I'll just do the sure thing and transfer to secondary. Plus, if I decide to leave it a couple extra weeks then I won't have to worry about it sitting on the primary yeast cake to long. Can't wait to brew this and thanks again for the reply!
I brew beer, I drink beer...it really is that simple

Offline Pinski

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Re: Vanilla Beans
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2012, 10:05:57 AM »
I wouldn't do it as you suggest.  I think that active fermentation would dissipate most of the vanilla character you're hoping to capture and the beans would be mired down in the trub and yeast.

I had a very tasty version of the BVIP at NHC that i made using a tincture for the vanillla. Take two beans (per 5 gallons), split, scrape, quarter and place in 60 ml of vodka. Cover with cellophane and a rubber band and let set in a dark cupboard at room temp for a week.  Rack your beer to a secondary on top of the vanilla tincture vodka, beans, gunk and all. Ferment another week or two depending on how strong you like the flavors.  Good luck and enjoy, you won't regret trying this brew.

IMO, too much effort for no gain.  Just put 'em in the fermenter.  Primary (after fermentation) or secondary (my preference).

Not to be argumentative, but it's really not that much effort to put the beans in a shot glass and pour a little vodka on them on brew day and set aside. I would say it may provide better vanilla extraction and also provide some degree of protection from infection from the beans.  That's some gain IMHO.
Thank you BEER!

Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Vanilla Beans
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2012, 10:30:34 AM »
I wouldn't do it as you suggest.  I think that active fermentation would dissipate most of the vanilla character you're hoping to capture and the beans would be mired down in the trub and yeast.

I had a very tasty version of the BVIP at NHC that i made using a tincture for the vanillla. Take two beans (per 5 gallons), split, scrape, quarter and place in 60 ml of vodka. Cover with cellophane and a rubber band and let set in a dark cupboard at room temp for a week.  Rack your beer to a secondary on top of the vanilla tincture vodka, beans, gunk and all. Ferment another week or two depending on how strong you like the flavors.  Good luck and enjoy, you won't regret trying this brew.

IMO, too much effort for no gain.  Just put 'em in the fermenter.  Primary (after fermentation) or secondary (my preference).

Not to be argumentative, but it's really not that much effort to put the beans in a shot glass and pour a little vodka on them on brew day and set aside. I would say it may provide better vanilla extraction and also provide some degree of protection from infection from the beans.  That's some gain IMHO.

I've done a couple of beers w/ vanilla beans and I do as Denny does w/ his and that is to scrape them out, chop the pods up and toss it all in.  I could be wrong, but the chance of infection is very small if you ad after active fermentation.  From what I gather from others, fermentation changes the pH and the alcohol produced helps thwart infection.  My basic vanilla porters came out great w/out any signs of infection.  I didn't use a secondary fermenter w/ this 1.052 beer.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 10:32:43 AM by thebigbaker »
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: Vanilla Beans
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2012, 10:58:55 AM »
I do like Pinski, but I soak the beans in Maker's Mark for a week then add it all to the beer a week or so before packaging.
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Offline denny

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Re: Vanilla Beans
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2012, 11:06:21 AM »
I wouldn't do it as you suggest.  I think that active fermentation would dissipate most of the vanilla character you're hoping to capture and the beans would be mired down in the trub and yeast.

I had a very tasty version of the BVIP at NHC that i made using a tincture for the vanillla. Take two beans (per 5 gallons), split, scrape, quarter and place in 60 ml of vodka. Cover with cellophane and a rubber band and let set in a dark cupboard at room temp for a week.  Rack your beer to a secondary on top of the vanilla tincture vodka, beans, gunk and all. Ferment another week or two depending on how strong you like the flavors.  Good luck and enjoy, you won't regret trying this brew.

IMO, too much effort for no gain.  Just put 'em in the fermenter.  Primary (after fermentation) or secondary (my preference).

Not to be argumentative, but it's really not that much effort to put the beans in a shot glass and pour a little vodka on them on brew day and set aside. I would say it may provide better vanilla extraction and also provide some degree of protection from infection from the beans.  That's some gain IMHO.

If you like it, do it.  I tried it and found no benefits myself.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Vanilla Beans
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2012, 12:32:11 PM »
I do like Pinski, but I soak the beans in Maker's Mark for a week then add it all to the beer a week or so before packaging.
I do it this way too, but I put the beans in the bourbon the day I brew the beer and pour just the liquid into the keg when the beer is racking from the fermentor.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Vanilla Beans
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2012, 10:11:24 PM »
I could go either way on this one.  There is variability among vanilla beans, and doing it as a tincture lets you add to taste.  On the other hand, I know Denny uses really nice flavorful beans so it's not like you should get too much flavor doing it his way no matter what beans you use.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline denny

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Re: Vanilla Beans
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2012, 08:25:18 AM »
While we're discussing it, the best beans I've ever found are from....

http://www.hawaiianvanilla.com/
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Pinski

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Re: Vanilla Beans
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2012, 08:36:09 AM »
Thanks for the link Denny, I'll definitely give their products a try.  I'm of the type that has a very high preference/tolerance for vanilla. 
Thank you BEER!