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Old 10-22-2012, 05:42 AM   #1
philc
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Default Adding Vanilla Question

Me and my buddy just brewed 5 gallons of a milk stout from brewer's best kit. We want to add some vanilla extract to the beer to give it a little extra flavor. What's the best way of doing this? Should we add vanilla beans? Do we add 1 tsp of extract to the primary? Secondary? bottling bucket?

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Old 10-22-2012, 09:31 AM   #2
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Use vanilla beans. Take two of them, split them length-wise, and scrape out the insides. Then put all of that into a little bit of vodka for a day to sanitize (I've heard some people say this is optional). Then dump the vodka, beans and all into your secondary for at least a week.

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Old 10-22-2012, 11:35 AM   #3
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I actually just brewed the same kit and adding vanilla to it. I read through a few threads and decided to cut open two beans, scrap out the insides and then cut up the beans and drop them into about an ounce of bourbon. I'll be dropping that into my secondary next weekend. I've read about people putting it into vodka, bourbon, etc as well as some people just cutting them open and dropping them in.

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Old 10-22-2012, 11:36 AM   #4
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I'd be careful on the "week" for the vanilla. Put it in and take a taste. Rack it off when you get the flavor you're going for. I had a beer that had two vanilla beans in it for two days, and it was almost too much. YMMV

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Old 10-22-2012, 06:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfess1 View Post
I'd be careful on the "week" for the vanilla. Put it in and take a taste. Rack it off when you get the flavor you're going for. I had a beer that had two vanilla beans in it for two days, and it was almost too much. YMMV
This

So many variables adding vanilla that it is easy to overpower your beer with it.

Just got done making 3bbls of a Vanilla Dry Stout that turned out just right. I used 30 vanilla beans split in a hop bag and added after fermentation for about 3 days and it is perfect to my taste buds and so far have gotten good customer response to it as well.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
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On a big stout 2 vanilla beans for 2 weeks will give it a nice flavor for 5 gallons of beer. I like to secondary on 2 vanilla beans and an Oak spiral for 2 weeks before bottling...awesome flavor!

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Old 10-22-2012, 11:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfess1 View Post
I'd be careful on the "week" for the vanilla. Put it in and take a taste. Rack it off when you get the flavor you're going for. I had a beer that had two vanilla beans in it for two days, and it was almost too much. YMMV
I did a vanilla porter in which I did precisely that, and it came out wonderfully -- just hints of vanilla.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hercher
Use vanilla beans. Take two of them, split them length-wise, and scrape out the insides. Then put all of that into a little bit of vodka for a day to sanitize (I've heard some people say this is optional). Then dump the vodka, beans and all into your secondary for at least a week.
The vanillin in the beans is soluble in ethanol, you're extracting it during that soak. Go look at a pure vanilla extract bottle, it says how much abv it is (something like 15% iirc).
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:39 PM   #9
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approximately how much vodka? Thanks so much everyone.

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Old 10-23-2012, 04:16 PM   #10
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enough to cover the bean

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