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Old 07-08-2009, 02:13 PM   #1
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Default How long can mead sit on vanilla beans in secondary?

I have a basic mead going that I would like to rack to vanilla beans in secondary, as per the consensus in this forum. My question is: how long can it sit on those beans? Will any off flavors develop with too much time on the beans? Any input appreciated.

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Old 07-08-2009, 02:44 PM   #2
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I really don't think you'll have to worry about off flavors during a long secondary fermentation. I've kept vanilla beans in the secondary for several months without problems. Obviously, the longer you leave it in the more flavor you'll have - at least until all the flavor's been leeched out of the bean.

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Old 07-09-2009, 12:24 AM   #3
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I'm was really lazy with my Leap Year Mead and left them on the beans for 12 months. The aroma and flavor was incredible when I bottled it over Memorial day weekend.

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Old 07-09-2009, 04:40 AM   #4
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Though it doesn't matter how long, There is a saturation point where you don't need them in as you have all the flavor you can get out of it. That is usually when the beans sink to the bottom and dont float anymore. Or about 2 months. For making Vanilla Extract it takes 2 months for full saturation. I am making about 4 cups of extract now. About 3 weeks in.

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Old 07-09-2009, 04:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matrix4b View Post
Though it doesn't matter how long, There is a saturation point where you don't need them in as you have all the flavor you can get out of it. That is usually when the beans sink to the bottom and dont float anymore. Or about 2 months. For making Vanilla Extract it takes 2 months for full saturation. I am making about 4 cups of extract now. About 3 weeks in.
How do you make extract?
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:02 PM   #6
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I believe it was about 3 beans per cup of a neutral spirit...cheap vodka. I have seen some recipes that add a sweetener, but most are vodka and vanilla beans. I've got about 2 cups going now and my try more in the future.

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Old 07-09-2009, 08:26 PM   #7
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Default Depends on quantity.

How long you let your mead sit on the bean(s) depends on the quantity of mead, # of beans, quality of the beans, and of course your preference for taste.

As an example: I took a 1 gallon batch of sweet mead and added 1 whole Madagascar vanilla bean (split and scraped). Just 1 day later the vanilla flavor was way too overpowering for my taste. Call it a lesson learned.

It's not all bad though. I use that one gallon to add a little to other batches when I want a bit of vanilla taste.

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Old 07-11-2009, 12:44 AM   #8
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Goodcheese... Did you keep the vanilla mead? I have heard that vanilla flavor/aroma will mellow with age. Just wondering how it did in the long haul.

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Old 07-13-2009, 08:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosyslack View Post
Goodcheese... Did you keep the vanilla mead? I have heard that vanilla flavor/aroma will mellow with age. Just wondering how it did in the long haul.
Yes, but it's mellowed just a tiny bit... it's still way too strong by itself.

It works very well to blend with other batches. For example, I took a gallon of my blackberry mel and added about 1 cup of the vanilla mead, which gave the already super good blackberry a slight vanilla aftertaste. I've also blended it with my peach wine, for a nice vanilla peach hybrid.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:27 AM   #10
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Vanilla Extract:

1. Scrape and chop 6 vanilla beans. The husk in about 1 inch segments.
2. Put in an alchol base, 35-40% alc. 1 cup per 6 beans. This can be vodka, me I hate Vodka so cheap silver rum works for me. I like rum. Some people put it in burbon, vodka, or what not but it doesn't improve or hurt the chances if it is a higher alcholol content.
3. Shake container 1 a day for 2 weeks.
4. Store in a cool dark place until it is at least 2 months since you started it.
5. Strain the dregs out with a coffee filter or something else.
6. Reportedly you can use the same dregs again with one more batch of vodka.

Since vanilla extract keeps for decades and even gets a bit better as it ages you can make up big batches and give out as holiday gifts.

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