I'm a newbie to home brewing and want to add some vanilla to my second-ever batch of beer, so I'm reading through these forums on tips. I just want to mention that Amazon has some good deals on vanilla beans if you can't get good prices locally. I just ordered a 1/4 lb pack (~27 beans) for $19. It's technically sold by JR Mushrooms & Specialties. They also sell a 1 lb bag for $52 (so basically 50 cents / bean). It's Prime eligible so the shipping is free and it got here in 2 days. I'll happily throw up a link, but not sure if that's allowed on these forums. I plan to buy a lot of these kinds of ingredients from Amazon in the future due to the combination of speed (with Prime), ease, and cost.
Off Topic - does anyone know of a good LHBS in the Alexandria, VA area? (specifically near Old Town if possible). Please PM me if you do, so as to not hijack this thread. Thanks, and happy brewing!