Author Topic: Using Vanilla Beans  (Read 1425 times)

Offline joshaune

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Using Vanilla Beans
« on: March 09, 2016, 01:17:59 AM »
I am looking for some input using vanilla beans in a brew. I am wonder if the entire bean should be added or if (like in baking) only the flesh or inside of the bean should be scraped out and added to the boil. The desired out come is a slightly spicy pale ale with hints of vanilla.

Thanks for the input.
Fermenting:
Conditioning: Wild Rice American Stout
In Bottles: Irish Red Ale
In the works: Vanilla Pale Ale

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Using Vanilla Beans
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2016, 01:33:16 AM »
Here's what I do -  split a couple vanilla beans lengthwise, scrape out the contents and add with the bean pods to a fine mesh nylon bag. Add the bag to the fermenter after fermentation is done. Taste every day until the flavor is slightly more than you want (because vanilla flavor fades over time), then pull the bag and package. I also sometimes add the bag to a keg instead - same process. I wouldn't boil personally - you'll lose a lot of the delicate character.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Using Vanilla Beans
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2016, 01:56:02 AM »
Here's what I do -  split a couple vanilla beans lengthwise, scrape out the contents and add with the bean pods to a fine mesh nylon bag. Add the bag to the fermenter after fermentation is done. Taste every day until the flavor is slightly more than you want (because vanilla flavor fades over time), then pull the bag and package. I also sometimes add the bag to a keg instead - same process. I wouldn't boil personally - you'll lose a lot of the delicate character.
+1
Go sparingly, a little vanilla goes a long way:)

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Offline IMperry9

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Re: Using Vanilla Beans
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2016, 05:56:09 AM »
I did a Vanilla Amber Ale a while back and it came out awesome. I used three vanilla beans, chopped them into 1 inch pieces split them, placed in a nylon bag and added them to the secondary. Left them for about a week and had a strong vanilla flavor. After about two week when the vanilla flavor faded but the aroma was amazing. Adding to the secondary is the way to go.
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Offline lindak

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Re: Using Vanilla Beans
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2016, 06:00:42 AM »
I've had good results cutting a couple of vanilla beans into small pieces and steeping them in a cup of vodka for two weeks.   I strain out the beans and add the tincture when I keg. 

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Using Vanilla Beans
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2016, 02:58:07 PM »
There is no problem adding the exterior to the beer. In baking you want the vanilla evenly distributed in a batter and you don't want the inedible bean exterior hiding as a surprise in your food. In beer the flavor compounds extract into solution and the solids are left behind so there's no problem adding it all to the beer.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Using Vanilla Beans
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2016, 09:08:10 PM »
There is no problem adding the exterior to the beer. In baking you want the vanilla evenly distributed in a batter and you don't want the inedible bean exterior hiding as a surprise in your food. In beer the flavor compounds extract into solution and the solids are left behind so there's no problem adding it all to the beer.
I use the entire bean, but split it first so the interior gets exposed to the beer or mead.
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