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Old 03-05-2006, 03:39 PM   #1
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Default Vanilla Bean Question

Hey guys,

I'm making a vanilla porter. I transferred the beer to the secondary yesterday (tasted great ) and I added a vanilla bean. I followed the advice from the guy at the HBS and what I'd seen here. I slit the bean, scraped the black stuff on the inside, chopped the bean and made a strong tea by boiling it all in ~ 1/4 cup of water. I added that to the secondary and then racked the beer on top of it.

For those of you who have done this before, I've got a few questions. All the stuff from the vanilla bean just seems to just be floating on top of the beer (yeah I know - it's oil). I assume this is normal. Did you swirl the secondary occasionally to get it to mix? How did you make sure none of the bean solids got into the bottles - did you try to filter it somehow, or does it eventually fall to the bottom with the rest of the trub or get left behind when you rack to your bottling bucket?

I'm not sweating it - this beer's going to be great. I tried the same recipe someone else had made a few months ago. I was just wondering if I need to do anything out of the ordinary with the bean since this was the first time I've tried one.

Thanks and Cheers!

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Old 03-05-2006, 05:45 PM   #2
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I've never boiled the beans I've used...just split them and stuck 'em in the secondary. I didn't notice any solids and didn't swirl. I imagine everything you see will settle down and be unnoticeable when you bottle.

Edit: actually I should say that before doing anything I steam in a food steamer to sanitize them.

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Old 03-05-2006, 06:42 PM   #3
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I lightly score them with a sharp knife and put them in secondary. Remember, at secondary there should be enough alcohol to kill any nasties on the bean.

I think boiling it would take away the very flavor you are trying to obtain.

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Old 03-05-2006, 08:30 PM   #4
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I only boiled it for < 1 min. The guy at the HBS said this would help extract some of the flavor, not take it away. I thought the idea of making a strong tea with it sounded like a good idea.

Thanks for the feedback. We'll see how it turns out!

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Old 03-05-2006, 09:36 PM   #5
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Less than one min of boiling in a small amount of water will be fine!
The flavours will mingle if you just leave the vanilla bits undisturbed in secondary.

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Old 03-06-2006, 12:19 AM   #6
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I made a bourbon vanilla imperial porter with two beans put into the secondary. I split, scraped and chopped the beans and then added to the secondary. I didn't boil and neither did most of the guys trying this recipe on NB's forum. If you wanted to sterilize, soak in little vodka or whiskey and then add the bean to the secondary (with the whiskey if you want). On a side note there is a guy on ebay that is selling good beans at decent prices, or so it has been reported, I haven't bought from him yet but he is getting good reviews. The guy is the one with the recipe for the bourbon vanilla imperial porter on his site.

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Old 03-06-2006, 02:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbotrice
I made a bourbon vanilla imperial porter with two beans put into the secondary. I split, scraped and chopped the beans and then added to the secondary. I didn't boil and neither did most of the guys trying this recipe on NB's forum. If you wanted to sterilize, soak in little vodka or whiskey and then add the bean to the secondary (with the whiskey if you want). On a side note there is a guy on ebay that is selling good beans at decent prices, or so it has been reported, I haven't bought from him yet but he is getting good reviews. The guy is the one with the recipe for the bourbon vanilla imperial porter on his site.

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Yeah, I saw the ebay ad. I got 2 beans locally for ~ $5.

How'd yours turn out? It looked like it had A LOT of chocolate malt in that recipe. I did something similar, but with 1 bean and less chocolate malt.
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Old 03-06-2006, 06:54 AM   #8
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What's the link, I would love to order the beans, and also get the recipe for the bourbon vanilla imperial porter. The recipe sounds great!

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Old 03-06-2006, 01:50 PM   #9
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MESE%3AIT&rd=1

With shipping it comes out to $4 for 2 beans, basically what I found them for at a local vitamin/whole foods store in town.

Here's the recipe. I did basically the same thing, but with only 1/2 lb of Chocolate. 1 1/4 seemed like a lot to me. Oh, and I threw in the whole oz of Goldings at 10 min. Like I said earlier, I've tasted this before and it was GREAT!

64.7 11.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) America 1.036 2
8.8 1.50 lbs. Brown Malt Great Britain 1.032 70
14.7 2.50 lbs. Munich Malt(2-row) America 1.035 10
5.9 1.00 lbs. Crystal 120L America 1.034 120
2.9 0.50 lbs. Crystal 40L America 1.034 40
2.9 1.25 lbs. Chocolate Malt America 1.029 350

0.80 oz. Magnum Whole 14.60 32.0 60 min.
0.50 oz. Goldings - E.K. Whole 4.75 2.4 10 min.
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Old 03-06-2006, 02:24 PM   #10
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I took a slightly different angle on sanitizing the beans and the bean goo. I soaked the bean seeds, and the chunks of the outside of the bean, and soaked them in a little bit of Everclear for a couple minutes. Then I poured the whole mess into the secondary. I figured, if anything can live through that, I won't be able to kill it anyways.

I added three vanilla beans to mine, at different times. (one in the primary, and two in the secondary.) Didn't do anything to mix the beans in, I just let the peices float around and mingle. Then I was afraid there wasn't going to be enough vanilla-ey essence, so I added some pure vanilla extract just before bottling. (maybe a teaspoon.) The beer turned out great. I'm trying to pace myself so it will last a while.

I think its easier to get a good chocolate flavor in a porter than it is to get a vanilla flavor. Vanilla is kinda delicate in my opinion.

Good luck, and enjoy!

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