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Old 02-11-2013, 05:56 PM   #1
lakedawgs
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Default Barrel aging and vanilla beans, bad for the barrel?

We have a bourbon barrel in my basement working on a big RIS right now. We are thinking down the road at future brews.

Thinking about doing Denny's Vanilla Porter and was wondering if tossing a handful of vanilla beans in the barrel would impart any vanilla flavor to the barrel once done? Might be better off to put the vanilla in the secondary before introducing it to the barrel.

Anyone have experience using vanilla beans in a bourbon barrel?
Thanks
Lakedawgs

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Old 09-23-2013, 03:59 AM   #2
Jablestein
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Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you wouldn't do the vanilla in primary in a carboy and transfer to a barrel to get the flavors you're looking for there? Or are you just worried about getting any vanilla flavor in the barrel in general?

If I had a time machine I could probably be of more help here since I literally just finished bottling a vanilla bourbon porter that's been sitting in the barrel for the past week. I initially had it in primary for three weeks with two beans, and opted to add a third when transferring into secondary in the barrel. I'm pretty happy with the initial tasting notes, but there's still a ways to go.

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Old 09-23-2013, 04:40 PM   #3
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About 20 gallons had vanilla in secondary but about 35 gallons did not. We ended up cutting and scraping 11 vanilla beans, soaking in bourbon and adding to barrel about a week after we filled it. That was about 3 weeks ago and everything looks good. Figure 4 months plus in the barrel and it should be very nice.

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