Author Topic: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn  (Read 29029 times)

Offline ibru

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2011, 08:10:15 AM »
Denny (expert)
The recipe for your Bourbon Vanilla Porter calls for the vanilla beans to be scraped. Why and what do you do with the "scrapings"?

I put the scrapings and the hulls into the beer. It's a month old and starting to taste pretty good....

Offline denny

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2011, 08:29:31 AM »
Denny (expert)
The recipe for your Bourbon Vanilla Porter calls for the vanilla beans to be scraped. Why and what do you do with the "scrapings"?

I put the scrapings and the hulls into the beer. It's a month old and starting to taste pretty good....

You did the right thing!  I guess I just assumed people are familiar with how to use vanilla beans in cooking, but I've found that that's not always true.  Most of the flavor in vanilla beans comes from the "gunk" inside them.  By splitting them lengthwise and scraping that out, you get the greatest effect from them.  But, as you point out, the pod itself has flavor and should be used, also.  Those suckers are expensive and you don't want to waste anything!
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Offline garyg

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2011, 09:46:56 AM »
Denny's Ask The Experts Q & A is now posted: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/lets-brew/ask-the-experts.

Thanks Denny!
Gary Glass
American Homebrewers Association Director
Boulder, Colorado

Offline punatic

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2011, 11:34:52 AM »
But, as you point out, the pod itself has flavor and should be used, also.  Those suckers are expensive and you don't want to waste anything!

They grow on trees around here (actually the orchids that produce the pods grow on trees around here).   :D

I put my spent vanilla pods into a bowl of sugar.  After a week or two you have vanilla-sugar.  (Thank you for the idea Chef Emeril).
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2011, 11:50:02 AM »
But, as you point out, the pod itself has flavor and should be used, also.  Those suckers are expensive and you don't want to waste anything!

They grow on trees around here (actually the orchids that produce the pods grow on trees around here).   :D

I put my spent vanilla pods into a bowl of sugar.  After a week or two you have vanilla-sugar.  (Thank you for the idea Chef Emeril).

Can you harvest and cure those pods Carl? I have wanted to grow and harvest vanilla for years but have not lived in a climate where it is practical or even been able to find an ochid to try and grow indoors. From what I understand it's actually a pretty easy orchid to grow as these things go. The curing process is long and laborious but so is brewing so...
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Offline denny

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2011, 12:08:39 PM »
But, as you point out, the pod itself has flavor and should be used, also.  Those suckers are expensive and you don't want to waste anything!

They grow on trees around here (actually the orchids that produce the pods grow on trees around here).   :D

I put my spent vanilla pods into a bowl of sugar.  After a week or two you have vanilla-sugar.  (Thank you for the idea Chef Emeril).

Carl, have you been here?  www.hawaiianvanilla.com  My sister and her husband sometimes work there doing tours and marketing.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2011, 01:45:29 PM »
I have wanted to grow and harvest vanilla for years but have not lived in a climate where it is practical or even been able to find an ochid to try and grow indoors. From what I understand it's actually a pretty easy orchid to grow as these things go. The curing process is long and laborious but so is brewing so...

You do have your work cut out for you--the flowers bloom in the am and just last for a day. 
They must be hand-pollinated (toothpick or bevelled bamboo).
The tiny black seeds are flavorless--the flavor comes from the remainder of the fruit (pod and pith).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2011, 02:09:06 PM »
I have wanted to grow and harvest vanilla for years but have not lived in a climate where it is practical or even been able to find an ochid to try and grow indoors. From what I understand it's actually a pretty easy orchid to grow as these things go. The curing process is long and laborious but so is brewing so...

You do have your work cut out for you--the flowers bloom in the am and just last for a day. 
They must be hand-pollinated (toothpick or bevelled bamboo).
The tiny black seeds are flavorless--the flavor comes from the remainder of the fruit (pod and pith).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla

Not only are the seeds flavourless but at harvest time the whole pod is more or less flavourless. it takes a verly long involved curing process to make it into Vanilla. Traditionally it is sweated and 'fermented' thorugh a process of exposing it to hot sun during the day and then covering with blankets at night. can take weeks.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2011, 02:56:29 PM »
Not only are the seeds flavourless but at harvest time the whole pod is more or less flavourless. it takes a verly long involved curing process to make it into Vanilla. Traditionally it is sweated and 'fermented' thorugh a process of exposing it to hot sun during the day and then covering with blankets at night. can take weeks.
And yet i suspect most of us would try it if we had some growing in our yards and had the right climate for it :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2011, 04:43:19 PM »
Not only are the seeds flavourless but at harvest time the whole pod is more or less flavourless. it takes a verly long involved curing process to make it into Vanilla. Traditionally it is sweated and 'fermented' thorugh a process of exposing it to hot sun during the day and then covering with blankets at night. can take weeks.
And yet i suspect most of us would try it if we had some growing in our yards and had the right climate for it :)

yup. ludites! gotta do it all ourselves. I heard an interesting term the other day 'recombinant food' which describes 'recipes' made up of other, already complete foodstuffs. Such as rice krispy treats and anything containing a can of mushroom soup.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2011, 12:52:18 AM »
My vanilla orchids are the free-range kind.  A friend who grows them commercially gave me some cuttings a few years ago.  I followed her advice and just laid them (one each) in the crotches of ohia trees, and they took off like wildfire.  No roots in soil.  Just natural compost that collects in the V formed by the branching trunks.  I have five growing.  Living here getting things to grow is not the problem.  Keeping things from growing out of control is a lot of work.  We have a saying, "In Hawaii you can plant a broom handle and grow a broom tree."

There are no natural pollenators here, so the tough part is pollenating the flowers by hand.  Actually, once you get the hang of it pollenating is not so hard.  It's catching the flowers at the right time for pollenation that is challenging.  One must remain vigilant.  The window for pollenation is only a few hours long.

Mort is correct.  The drying and flavor developing process takes several months.  Comparible to the time and effort put into brewing lambics, I would say.

Denny - I know of the Hawaiian Vanilla Company, but have not been to their farm.  I work with quite a few farmers on the Hamakua Coast.  My lab does bacterialogical testing for food safety certification. (total coliform - E. coli).  I bring home a lot of free exotic tropical produce.  People are experimenting with new crops since sugarcane has gone away.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2011, 05:16:09 AM »
My vanilla orchids are the free-range kind.  A friend who grows them commercially gave me some cuttings a few years ago.  I followed her advice and just laid them (one each) in the crotches of ohia trees, and they took off like wildfire.  No roots in soil.  Just natural compost that collects in the V formed by the branching trunks.  I have five growing.  Living here getting things to grow is not the problem.  Keeping things from growing out of control is a lot of work.  We have a saying, "In Hawaii you can plant a broom handle and grow a broom tree."

There are no natural pollenators here, so the tough part is pollenating the flowers by hand.  Actually, once you get the hang of it pollenating is not so hard.  It's catching the flowers at the right time for pollenation that is challenging.  One must remain vigilant.  The window for pollenation is only a few hours long.

Mort is correct.  The drying and flavor developing process takes several months.  Comparible to the time and effort put into brewing lambics, I would say.

Denny - I know of the Hawaiian Vanilla Company, but have not been to their farm.  I work with quite a few farmers on the Hamakua Coast.  My lab does bacterialogical testing for food safety certification. (total coliform - E. coli).  I bring home a lot of free exotic tropical produce.  People are experimenting with new crops since sugarcane has gone away.

What happened to the sugarcane?
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2011, 08:33:55 AM »
My vanilla orchids are the free-range kind.  A friend who grows them commercially gave me some cuttings a few years ago.  I followed her advice and just laid them (one each) in the crotches of ohia trees, and they took off like wildfire.  No roots in soil.  Just natural compost that collects in the V formed by the branching trunks.  I have five growing.  Living here getting things to grow is not the problem.  Keeping things from growing out of control is a lot of work.  We have a saying, "In Hawaii you can plant a broom handle and grow a broom tree."

There are no natural pollenators here, so the tough part is pollenating the flowers by hand.  Actually, once you get the hang of it pollenating is not so hard.  It's catching the flowers at the right time for pollenation that is challenging.  One must remain vigilant.  The window for pollenation is only a few hours long.

Mort is correct.  The drying and flavor developing process takes several months.  Comparible to the time and effort put into brewing lambics, I would say.

Denny - I know of the Hawaiian Vanilla Company, but have not been to their farm.  I work with quite a few farmers on the Hamakua Coast.  My lab does bacterialogical testing for food safety certification. (total coliform - E. coli).  I bring home a lot of free exotic tropical produce.  People are experimenting with new crops since sugarcane has gone away.

What happened to the sugarcane?

priced out of the market by cheaper south american sources. still a couple operations going on there though. When I was on maui you could smell the refineries once in a while.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2011, 09:39:46 AM »
What happened to the sugarcane?

Hawaiian cane growers lost their Federal subsidies.  Without that, producing sugar in the middle of the Pacific ocean was no longer competitive.

There is still one cane company operating in Maui.  I buy their turbinato sugar and evaporated cane juice.

The smell of cane processing is not a pleasant one.
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Offline rblack90

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Re: Ask The Experts: Denny Conn
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2012, 09:32:56 PM »
+1 for an Audio Engineer!