I cut and scrape the beans and add them to the secondary like Denny does and, as hokerer suggests, I start tasting the beer from the secondary after about a week. I don't bother with teh vodka soak - I just spray the cutting board and knife with Star San before prepping the beans. I've only used vanilla beans in Denny's BVIP recipe (OG around 1.080-1.085) and both times I've brewed it I used two beans. In last year's batch, I racked after 14 days in the secondary. This year, the beans I got seemed to be fresher or more potent, and I racked after 11 days. YMMV in a 1.046 beer since there isn't as much alcohol to extract the vanilla flavor.