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Old 01-20-2013, 02:35 PM   #1
pentiumone133
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Default Vanilla beer (non porter/stout)

Hey everyone. My other SWMBO (mom) has asked me to make her a vanilla beer of some kind. I asked if she wanted it to be a heavy or light beer and she requested that it be on the lighter side.

I've seen tons of recipes for vanilla stouts and porters, but havn't been able to find many for other styles. Off the top of my head I came up with the idea of perhaps making a cream ale and doing the whole vanilla bean/vodka thing in secondary.

Can anyone help me out? Does anyone have a recipe for a lighter vanilla beer that they are proud of? Thanks

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:08 PM   #2
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Why not buy a few singles from a good beer store and add a few drops of vanilla to each for tasting?

Off-hand, I would say have a look at pumpkin ale recipes. Take out spices and pumpkin, and there ya go! Generally, they're simple: base malt, crystal 60, and a toasted malt. Hops are minimal.

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:40 PM   #3
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IMO/E vanilla can be a pretty overpowering addition and that is one reason why it is typically added to darker, fuller beers.

I think if it were added to something lighter and less full it would prove to be just too much. I like the idea that Fran103 gave and was also thinking perhaps a little added to an Amber Ale might work as it is not too heavy, nor light but I would definitely go easy like half a bean in secondary for 3-5 days for just a hint of flavor.

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:44 PM   #4
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About 6 years ago, I made the "caramel cream ale" that is on this forum. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/caramel-cream-ale-2435/

To be fair, I absolutely hated it. To me, it tasted like cream soda (the soda pop) with beer added to it.

But some of the reviews are good, and it sounds like something your mom might like.

I gave mine to my friend, and she did drink it all eventually.

You could make it less sweet by not using so much lactose, and add it to taste at bottling. It was the cloying sweetness that I hated.

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Old 01-20-2013, 04:28 PM   #5
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I've made a Vanilla Pale/Cream Ale and Vanilla Kolsch. Both were hits of parties by the lighter drinking crowd. Lots of people will say "Vanilla doesn't belong in a Cream/Kolsch Ale!". Most recently I think Papazian did in the latest BYO mag. But F* that noise. Its not "to style" but can be pretty tasty.

2 Vanilla Beans in the last 15 minutes of the boil gives a nice hint of the flavoring. 3 pronounces it a bit more, and was very good. I'd suggest starting with 2 beans per 5G of finished product, added with 15 minutes left of the boil. Tweak your recipe from there.

A couple of recipes I've used:

Vanilla Ale
Boil Size: 13.29 gal
Post Boil Volume: 11.44 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 10.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 10.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.049 SG
Estimated Color: 5.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 15.1 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 82.5 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes
Ingredients:
------------
13 lbs 15.1 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
2 lbs 0.4 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM)
1 lbs 0.2 oz Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM)
1 lbs Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM)
0.51 oz Nugget [13.00 %] - First Wort 90.0 min
6.00 Items Vanilla Beans (Boil 15.0 mins)
0.94 oz Mt. Hood [4.00 %] - Boil 2.0 min
3.0 pkg Nottingham Ale Yeast (White Labs #WLP039 Yeast
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Dry Hop 14.0 Days


Vanilla Kolsch
Boil Size: 12.38 gal
Post Boil Volume: 11.13 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 10.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 10.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.052 SG
Estimated Color: 5.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 16.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 77.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 80.9 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Ingredients:
11 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
3 lbs 4.0 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM)
1 lbs Munich Malt (6.0 SRM)
1 lbs Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM)
8.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM)
8.0 oz Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM)
8.0 oz Corn, Flaked (1.3 SRM)
0.50 oz Nugget [13.30 %] - First Wort 60.0 min
4.00 Items Vanilla Beans (Boil 15.0 mins)
1.00 oz Cascade [6.30 %] - Boil 5.0 min
3.0 pkg German Ale/Kolsch (White Labs #WLP029)

The acid malt in the Kolsch was for water treatment - so handle your water as you would for a light beer. Next time I would cut that Acid Malt in half, or by 75%. pH of the mash for this one was 5.2, would prefer 5.35.

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Old 01-21-2013, 12:06 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input so far. Are there any malts that impart a vanilla like flavor? The more I look into this the more I find that vanilla extract and vanilla beans are very east to over-do. All three of the recipes posted seem like good starting points, thanks alot.

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Old 01-21-2013, 07:39 PM   #7
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You won't find a malt that will impart vanilla flavor.

You will need to use vanilla beans or vanilla extract.

This time of year Leinenkugel has a SnowDrift Vanilla Porter in most popular restaurants (AppleBees, Red Robin, etc...) (at least where I live they do)

To get an idea of what vanilla tastes like, go to one of these places. Sit at the bar. Have one. Smell. Taste. Drink.

I know you don't want a porter.

So try this Cream Ale:

For 5 gallons @ 75% efficiency:

OG: 1.049
FG: 1.011
ABV: 5.0
IBU: 17
SRM: 3.75

4lbs Belgian Pilsner
4lbs Belgian Pale Ale
1lbs Flaked Maize
.5lbs CaraPils
1oz Tettnanger 60 min.
1 Vial WLP080 Cream Ale Yeast

Mash @152F for 60mins.

Ferment/Condition for 4weeks in primary @ ~68F

Go to Penzeys buy 3 Madagascar Vanilla beans (or somehow acquire 3 vanilla beans).
With 1 week left to go in primary do the following:

1.) Make slit down the center of each bean
2.) Cut the beans into 1" lengths
3.) Place beans into fermentor
4.) Do not scrape the insides of the beans (unless you really like vanilla)!!

After the 4 weeks is up - rack to keg - or bottle condition with 2/3 cup corn sugar for 3 weeks @ 68F (Try priming with brown sugar for a sweet molasses vanilla after taste...)

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Old 01-22-2013, 12:47 PM   #8
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Snowdrift vanilla is actually a leine's brew and I think it is awesome. I think the amout of vanilla however in snowdrift would be too much for anything but a porter. I think sam adams makes one called snow day?

Thanks for the recipe. That was what I was beginning to develop myself, simple and concise. Doesnt cream ale usually contain some kind of corn?

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Old 01-22-2013, 12:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentiumone133 View Post
Snowdrift vanilla is actually a leine's brew and I think it is awesome. I think the amout of vanilla however in snowdrift would be too much for anything but a porter. I think sam adams makes one called snow day?

Thanks for the recipe. That was what I was beginning to develop myself, simple and concise. Doesnt cream ale usually contain some kind of corn?
Yes, cream ale typically has corn or rice in it, up to 40% of the grainbill total between sugar and corn or rice.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:48 PM   #10
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Wow. Just Wow. Thanks Yooper and PentiumOne133.

Can't believe I made two mistakes in a row.

Time to crank up Van Halens Humans Being.

My post should be fixed. Sometimes I'll use a little Flaked Barley in that Cream Ale recipe (and yes the original does have the maize in it, I was just typing it in at work from memory...)

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