I brewed a vanilla porter and used 1 whole bean. I chopped it up, seeds and all, and put about an ounce of vodka over it. I let it soak for a week like this, then added the tincture to the primary after fermentation was winding down. I left it for 7 days in the primary. I got a lot of vanilla flavor. I think the vodka extracts every last drop of flavor from the bean and serves to sanitize it as well.