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Old 10-30-2012, 03:32 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel
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.
Thanks so much for the ideas!
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:01 PM   #52
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Default Great advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel View Post
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.
Wonderful advice.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:54 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverfrontbrewer
Jay-

Grocery store, look in the area with the the spices...about $14 for 2 beans
Should be six at most. Sprouts sells em three each. Try ethnic markets for cheap spices
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:15 PM   #54
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I recently discovered that Costco is the place to go for buying vanilla beans. I can usually pick up 2 tubes that are sealed together for about $12. Each tube has five or six whole Madagascar vanilla beans in them.

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Old 11-02-2012, 12:00 AM   #55
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Slice the vanilla diagonally and soak in vodka. It will sanitize it but also allow some of the vanilla to secrete it's natural flavors.

Sassafras is also very good for porters.

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Old 11-02-2012, 06:14 PM   #56
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CRAP! I forgot to soak my vanilla beans, and I was planning to add them in secondary tomorrow. I assume overnight won't be enough time to get ze flavorz. What should I do?! Should I:

  • Not transfer to secondary for another week?
  • Boil the vanilla beans with some sugar or something to try and make a syrup?
  • Just plop sliced vanilla beans into secondary without soaking?
  • Soak the beans now and just add at bottling?
  • Bone out and just buy ready extract? (But I already bought all these nice beans?)
  • Give up and cry?

Help a brewer out!
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:20 AM   #57
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You can add them without soaking, but you can run the risk of possibly, but an unlikely infection, and it might take a bit longer to get the flavor out.

So, I'd suggest, splitting them length wise, scraping it, splashing a tiny bit of vodka to wash the caviar out and off your knife and putting it all in your beer. Let it sit and you'll be fine.

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Old 02-03-2013, 06:40 PM   #58
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My LHBS has brewer's best vanilla beans. 10 for $11. Great Deal. You should let your LHBS know so they can stock them.

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Old 02-04-2013, 07:02 PM   #59
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eBay has them pretty cheap as well. I actually got 1 oz(about 8 nice 6'+beans) at my LHBS for $7.50.

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Old 03-05-2013, 07:22 PM   #60
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I'm cheap so I'm considering using vanilla extract in a 1 gallon secondary from my Irish Stout to experiment. Any recommendations on the amount I should use?

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