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Old 10-19-2012, 04:39 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Timmyg316 View Post
I noticed a lot of the recipes people are using vanilla in are dark beers like porter and stout. Does anyone have any ideas for a lighter color beer?
There's a brewery in San Francisco that makes a _delicious_ vanilla cream ale. I've only got about six beers under my brewing belt, and my attempt at a vanilla cream ale is one of them. I used light oak spirals and vanilla beans, and soaked them in Velvet Falernum rather than vodka. (Unfortunately I think it fermented at too high a temp as it came out slightly odd -- but still totally tasty!)

For my Christmas gifts this year I'm making three beers, and two of them will be using vanilla beans (a spiced ale and a vanilla wheat).
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:09 AM   #42
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I'm currently making a vanilla cream stout with 6 oz lactose. I'll boil the cream stout in the normal fashion, add 8 oz of cocoa powder and 2 beans (scraped, split) and all added with 15 minutes to go. That will spend about 10 days in primary and on transfer to secondary ill add 2 more beans, split and scraped, to secondary for usually 3 weeks. I also add an oak spiral, medium toast(soaked in bourbon to sterilize) to secondary as well. The end result will blow your mind! Do I taste cocoa, or is it vanilla, or is it oak... Very complex and über tasty! Never lasts long enough to see what extended aging will do

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Old 10-21-2012, 11:37 PM   #43
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Vanilla gets used in my porters and browns if I feel froggy.

Stouts that need vanilla will get aged on oak for more complex flavors.

Easiest way to use it, is to cut it in 1/2 inch slivers after you have split the bean down the middle. Scrape the caviar from the bean, and put it all in vodka. Sometimes I'll use bourbon to really bring it all out if bourbon will work in my recipe.

Dump it all in the secondary after about a week or 4.

Gets a nice subtle, clean vanilla flavor that you know is not extract.

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Old 10-25-2012, 04:01 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by FATC1TY
Vanilla gets used in my porters and browns if I feel froggy.

Stouts that need vanilla will get aged on oak for more complex flavors.

Easiest way to use it, is to cut it in 1/2 inch slivers after you have split the bean down the middle. Scrape the caviar from the bean, and put it all in vodka. Sometimes I'll use bourbon to really bring it all out if bourbon will work in my recipe.

Dump it all in the secondary after about a week or 4.

Gets a nice subtle, clean vanilla flavor that you know is not extract.
How much bourbon will you use?
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:13 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by JayInJersey
I have to ask...where are you all sourcing your beans?

My LHBS doesn't have them...and neither does my regular online shop.
Natural food stores have them, you should also be able to find them in your common grocery store in the spices section. Little more costly this way though. (2 for $15)
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:04 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by hopmomma

Natural food stores have them, you should also be able to find them in your common grocery store in the spices section. Little more costly this way though. (2 for $15)
I found them at an organic food store 2 for $10. I later saw them at a local home brew shop for 1.99. Per bean. The ones at the homebrew shop were much smaller and looked pretty dried out though...
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:05 PM   #47
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I am going to go along with secondary and scraped. I've done vanilla beans three times, always in liquor. Has worked really well for me. I am usually spending around 2 dollars a bean.

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Old 10-29-2012, 10:53 AM   #48
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I used 1/4 of a bean in my Irish red. It makes the creamyness really stand out.

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Old 10-29-2012, 06:04 PM   #49
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Vanilla beans. Natural food, herbal and nutritional stores will usually carry them in bulk. Here is another online source. http://www.chefdepot.net/spices.htm. I just bought half pound. The more you buy the cheaper the bean. I will also use them in root beer, cream soda, and I plan to do a few bottles of homemade vanilla extract for me and for gifts.

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Old 10-29-2012, 08:41 PM   #50
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I have a history in food prep. Vanilla bean flavor is best extracted either via spirits or by heat. Vanilla extract is basically just split and scraped vanilla beans soaked in cheap flavorless grain alcohol. When vanilla beans are used in something like ice cream or creme brulee, they are generally split and scraped and steeped in HOT milk or cream to transfer the flavor. If I were to add vanilla to a recipe, I'd get a small (pint?) jar and throw a few (several?)whole vanilla beans in there with something like bourbon (more flavor than vodka and compliments many beers) After several weeks, pull the beans out, snip the end off, and squeeze out caviar like a toothpaste tube into the secondary. Then toss in the empty beans and your booze. Rack on top of the vanilla mixture.

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