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Old 12-30-2008, 02:47 AM   #1
Deacon1856
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Default Extract TWANG in my All-Grain...ugh

If there's one thing I can say about this hobby of ours, it's that to brew is to learn. Well friends, I have learned about extract twang.

I brewed a Rogue Hazelnut clone a couple of weeks ago. Everything went ok except for the fact that my cousin (non-homebrewer of course) came over during my mash and started the 20 question routine. He's my best friend and best man in my wedding, so I wanted him to try and understand my obsession. Long story short - I forgot to put my immersion chiller in the boil at 15. I put it in at flame-out. It had been sitting in Star-San for a couple of hours so I'm pretty sure it was ok...just one of those things that works on my psyche.

I digress..

Fast forward 3 weeks when I'm putting it into the keg. Now instead of putting in the 1/8 oz of hazelnut extract the recipe calls for, I decide to put in 1 oz of pure vanilla extract. Because seriously...who are they? Who knows better than me?? Sure I got the recipe second hand from THE GUY WHO DESIGNED IT BUT WHAT COULD HE POSSIBLY KNOW THAT I DONT??

I'll tell you what he knows. 1 oz of ANY extract would be too much in this beer. It is a VANILLA BOMB. I love vanilla. It's my favorite scent. It is NOT, however, my favorite flavor in this beer. It's overpowering. It's like a sasquatch crawled into my mouth and took a giant vanilla-flavored ****e. And the aftertaste...OH THE AFTERTASTE. Extract. Twizzle-twangy-cover-your-eyes-awful. I keep hoping that it will recede a bit given some time, but I am unconvinced.

The ****e of it is that the beer would have been REALLY good without the vanilla. Maybe one of the best I've brewed thus-far. But one would find it almost impossible to look past the vanilla.

I've let two of my friends try it and they actually like it. Which is surprising because they are straight BMC all day long. I, on the other hand, am considering dumping it even though it would hurt my soul immensely to do so.

Just thought I'd share. Learn from me. 1 oz of vanilla in a brown ale is TOO TOO TOO TOO MUCH. I'm sure I didn't have to tell anyone that. It's probably common knowledge to everyone but me, but hey...if I ain't doing it the hard way I ain't doing it.

/vent

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Old 12-30-2008, 02:55 AM   #2
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eh it happens I put a little too much juniper in my nut brown ale and while it's good sometimes it's a little overpowering.

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Old 12-30-2008, 03:02 AM   #3
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If you can, hold on to it for a while. The vanilla should fade but it might take a month or two.

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Old 12-30-2008, 03:02 AM   #4
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I've never put my IC in at any time other than at flameout. There is PLENTY of heat to kill any creepycrawlies that might be hiding on that thing before it does its thang and gets the wort down to below 170. (This is the absolute highest temp that anything can survive for longer than one second. Above that and it is instant death.)

I will totally heed your warning on the excess vanilla though.

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Old 12-30-2008, 03:08 AM   #5
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I guess that's part of the fun of brewing. Fiddle. Mess. Do what you want. It IS America for now dammit. I think the only rational recourse is to let it simmer for a month or so. That probably means I'm going to need more kegs....how to hide them from the missus...

Good info about the flameout dontman. I never really thought about that, but you make much sense. Just-boiled wort is probably safe from all but the most deadly it-came-from-outer-space super bugs.

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Old 12-30-2008, 03:21 AM   #6
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I'll bet your beer tastes great on first sip and then by the end of the 12oz it gets a little too much?

The first time I tried a Sam Adams Cherry Wheat I loved it for about half a beer. By the time I cracked the second I was over SA Cherry Wheat.

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Old 12-30-2008, 03:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurmey View Post
If you can, hold on to it for a while. The vanilla should fade but it might take a month or two.
+1

I made a holiday ale in early oct that had a tea made with a vanilla bean. Three weeks after the bottling it tasted strongly of vanilla. This was so in the foreground that I couldn't pick up on anything else. Now it is hardly noticeable; A faint aftertaste that complements it nicely.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:53 AM   #8
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Good thing about kegging, pour a little in, not enough? Pour a little more! Sorry bout your 1oz mishap. I wish I'd gone more with the hazelnut on my chocolate porter but rather have a chocolate porter tiny hazelnut in the end, then too much. Lesson learned, great beer sacrificed, The bigger the pain, the more likely you won't let it happen again.

But on a serious note, it WILL eventually fade. Don't know how the rest of the brew will be by then but why dump! You only regret it for the rest of your life. I dumped a batch of Ed Haus that tasted like moldy basement back in june or july. I still kick myself. It might not have gotten better, but I had the storage room and spare bottles to wait it out. Who knows. I could be sipping on my favortie brew to date right now, instead I'm wiping my eyes over what could have been!

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Old 12-30-2008, 02:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon1856 View Post
Now instead of putting in the 1/8 oz of hazelnut extract the recipe calls for, I decide to put in 1 oz of pure vanilla extract. Because seriously...who are they? Who knows better than me?? Sure I got the recipe second hand from THE GUY WHO DESIGNED IT BUT WHAT COULD HE POSSIBLY KNOW THAT I DONT??
:-)

I recently took a perfectly good Young's Double Chocolate clone recipe and added 1oz vanilla to it because I read of many folks doing so. It's not overpowering, but I am not sure that it is adding anything good to the mix. Of course, it's still green so we will see.

There there was the time I hacked a Jamil recipe I'd never tried before because, you know, I know a lot more than Jamil. Gawd, I'm stupid.
That one has been bottled about 6mos and is still undrinkable. It was made just fine, but I jacked the recipe so bad that it's unrecognizable as beer.

I think these two experiences have taught be a lesson. I hope.
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:33 PM   #10
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Did you use synthetic Vanilla Extract or real Vanilla Extract? That may be a reason it didn't turn out as expected. I recently brewed up a Robust Porter and put an adjunct of 2 Vanilla beans in secondary, let it sit for 2 weeks. I tasted the beer on bottling day and I Fully expect it to taste like a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter clone. The reason I ask about the TYPE of extract you used was because I too almost just bought any old Vanilla extract off the shelf of the local grocery store, but my anal-ness took over and I asked the question, before I took the leap and just dumped 'er on it, to the brew gods. I received the very good information that not all extracts are created equal and that I should just go the natural route, to save any and all headaches and heartbreak, and just get the Real Beans.

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