Author Topic: Vanilla Extract  (Read 776 times)

Offline fmader

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Vanilla Extract
« on: October 19, 2013, 09:08:23 PM »
I'm planning a brew for a Christmas Spice/Winter Warmer. The base malt will be Maris Otter and specialties will be 60L English crystal. I want to make this beer have a multitude of flavors, but I want them all to be hints of the flavors. I want you to have to really search for the flavors. I'm going to hit it with hints of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. I am going to rack onto a 1/2 to 1 pound of tart cherries (haven't decided which) in the secondary. Again, I'm just looking for a hint of cherry flavor. But the big question I have is how much vanilla extract. I want to add vanilla to define the spice flavor as unique compared to my pumpkin ale. Though I'm not using nearly the amount of spices in this beer as my pumpkin beer, but they are essentially the same spices. So, how much vanilla extract to give a hint of vanilla flavor in a 5 gallon batch?
Frank

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Re: Vanilla Extract
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 07:06:59 AM »
One of the interesting things I have noticed about vanilla is that when it is used in beer (or baking), it adds a subtle sweetness before you get anything approaching a vanilla flavor. I don't know how present the vanilla flavor in your pumpkin beer is, but I think you might not want to reduce that, if you want the vanilla to be identifiable as vanilla.
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Offline fmader

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Re: Vanilla Extract
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 07:10:23 AM »
One of the interesting things I have noticed about vanilla is that when it is used in beer (or baking), it adds a subtle sweetness before you get anything approaching a vanilla flavor. I don't know how present the vanilla flavor in your pumpkin beer is, but I think you might not want to reduce that, if you want the vanilla to be identifiable as vanilla.

Sorry, might have been a little confusing. There is no vanilla in my pumpkin beer. I want to add it here so it can be more differentiated from my pumpkin. Ok, so how much do you add before you can taste it as vanilla?
Frank

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Re: Vanilla Extract
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 07:21:55 AM »
Well damn, that makes it more difficult. I usually just follow Denny's directions for the BVIP, without the B or the IP. 1 bean, scrape it and toss it in secondary, give it a week, taste until its good.
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Re: Vanilla Extract
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 07:46:29 AM »
Yep.  Good advice .  The vanilla in Denny's recipe is nice and subtle. Granted it's subtle in an imperial porter, but you have enough things going on in your holiday beer (cherries, other spice, etc.) that I would use Denny's BVIP for the vanilla addition.
Jon H.

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Re: Vanilla Extract
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 08:12:19 AM »
I add vanilla to my pumpkin beer, but I really don't want to taste vanilla--except for a subtle "I can't quite put my finger on it" flavor.  For me, the vanilla blends the spice flavors and gives the beer some creaminess.  Maybe the French "Je ne sais quoi" would be a better way of stating this.  However, the vanilla flavor doesn't mellow like the other spices.  Once it's there; it's there.  Tread carefully.  I add 3-4 teaspoons to 5 gallons of pumpkin beer, btw.
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Offline fmader

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Re: Vanilla Extract
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2013, 08:16:58 AM »
I add vanilla to my pumpkin beer, but I really don't want to taste vanilla--except for a subtle "I can't quite put my finger on it" flavor.  For me, the vanilla blends the spice flavors and gives the beer some creaminess.  Maybe the French "Je ne sais quoi" would be a better way of stating this.  However, the vanilla flavor doesn't mellow like the other spices.  Once it's there; it's there.  Tread carefully.  I add 3-4 teaspoons to 5 gallons of pumpkin beer, btw.

This is exactly what I want to do! Ok, another question... add it at the end of boil or into the secondary?
Frank

Offline erockrph

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Re: Vanilla Extract
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2013, 09:10:39 AM »
If you're using vanilla extract, then I'd just add it at packaging to taste. Since you're using a few other spices this will let you adjust the balance to your liking. I find that in low doses vanilla amplifies the sweet side of other flavors before it starts to show up on your own. Sounds like that's the sweet spot you're shooting for.
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Re: Vanilla Extract
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2013, 09:31:26 AM »
If you're using vanilla extract, then I'd just add it at packaging to taste. Since you're using a few other spices this will let you adjust the balance to your liking. I find that in low doses vanilla amplifies the sweet side of other flavors before it starts to show up on your own. Sounds like that's the sweet spot you're shooting for.

THIS^^^^

Pour four samples.  Dose each with a different, measured amount of vanilla.  Taste, decide which you like best, then scale that amount up to the batch size.  Remember, vanilla fades pretty quickly, so if you intend the beer to be around a while, add a bit more than you think you should.
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