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Old 09-08-2013, 12:07 AM   #1
wildozarkwine
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Default Vanilla extract in mead

I have some traditional mead almost finished fermenting and would like to add some vanilla to a gallon. Around here vanilla beans are $9 for 2 beans, SHMBO is not willing to spend that much for them but she has some really high quality Mexican extract that she said I could use.
Any suggestions on how much I should use for 1US gal.? I know it is a matter of personal taste but I am looking for a starting point.

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Old 09-08-2013, 01:00 AM   #2
fatbloke
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Originally Posted by wildozarkwine View Post
I have some traditional mead almost finished fermenting and would like to add some vanilla to a gallon. Around here vanilla beans are $9 for 2 beans, SHMBO is not willing to spend that much for them but she has some really high quality Mexican extract that she said I could use.
Any suggestions on how much I should use for 1US gal.? I know it is a matter of personal taste but I am looking for a starting point.
$9 ? that's damned near £6...... the robbing b******s !

I got about 50 for that price off ebay......
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:44 PM   #3
gratus fermentatio
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You really will get a much better end product by using vanilla beans, sliced in half & scraped, use the pulp too. Here's a bargin:
http://www.beanilla.com/sale

With the beans, you get everything the bean has to offer & you can remove it when you think the proper flavour profile has been reached. With the extract, you get only what was extracted & if you accidentally add a bit too much, you can't take it out. It's your mead, make it the way you think is best; but you really can't go wrong using the vanilla bean(s) instead of the extract.
Regards, GF.

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Old 09-08-2013, 06:40 PM   #4
fatbloke
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You really will get a much better end product by using vanilla beans, sliced in half & scraped, use the pulp too. Here's a bargin:
http://www.beanilla.com/sale

With the beans, you get everything the bean has to offer & you can remove it when you think the proper flavour profile has been reached. With the extract, you get only what was extracted & if you accidentally add a bit too much, you can't take it out. It's your mead, make it the way you think is best; but you really can't go wrong using the vanilla bean(s) instead of the extract.
Regards, GF.
See, IMO, I don't see the need to scrape them. I just split along the length. The alcohol will get to the flavour elements plenty quick enough and there's little point in using a "cheffy" technique that's normal for ice creams, sauces, etc where the tiny black fleck's add to the character of such products.

The seeds are so small, they'd likely need filtering out to make sure that none got through from the various rackings etc.

But hey.... whatever eh ? If it works then run with it.......

That vanilla link is a lot cheaper then $9, but the ones I got off ebay were Madagascar vanilla, but grade B. Not the pretty ones, all nice and straight and of a uniform size. I used them for 2.25 litres of vanilla extract (95% alcohol), and I used 100 of them, just splitting them and putting them in to steep.

good, strong extract is the result, the vanilla being so strong as to be almost bitter unless it's been sweetened.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:08 PM   #5
Matrix4b
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For making mead or even home made vanilla extract use grade b beans. It doesn't need to be pretty. You are just going for flavor not looks.

I bought my last batch of beans off of Amazon.com by searching for vanilla beans bulk, grade b. Got some good burbon and tahitian beans. The tahitians are less expensive but smaller. They both have a slightly different flavor. I combine them for a more full bodied vanilla. I make it 6 beans to 1 cup of rum for extract, which you can use the beans twice for. But I bought about 3/4 pound of beans for under $40. That's over 90 beans. And I still have about most of it from over 8 cups of extract made. I make it for my wife's cooking and as gifts to friends. Rum or vodka the cheapest you can fine (about 35-40% ABV).

But for a good vanilla flavor, I would use about 8 in a 5 gal batch and leave them in for at least 2-3 months. It takes 2 months for extract using 35% ABV, your mead secondary should be about 10-12% ABV. So that's why the time frame.

Hope this helps.

Matrix

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