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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Vanilla Bean Addition
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:00 AM   #1
fretman124
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Default Vanilla Bean Addition

Gentle people,

I am going to brew a vanilla cream ale. I've got all the ingredients and have a question about the bean.

The recipe says add a 1/4 bean in the secondary. Having never done this before (my third brew...ever) I just though I'd make sure what I am about to do with the bean.

The bean is about 4 inches long. I picked the biggest bean I could find, but its a waaaay smaller bean than what I see on the cooking shows.

Do I split the bean prior to putting it in the brew? Do I split and gut the bean? Or do I just take a quarter of the bean and toss that in with no modification to the bean?

Actually, being that the bean is so small....I'm thinking of putting in half the bean. No?

Thanks for all your knowledge about the bean...............

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Old 04-05-2007, 01:57 PM   #2
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If I remember right, vanilla is not water soluable and needs alcohol to extract the flavoring, since beer has relatively low alcohol content I wouldn't think just putting the bean in the secondary would give a very pronounced flavor. If you soaked the bean in 3 or 4 oz of Vodka or Bourbon for a week and then added it to the sencondary I think you would get a stronger vanilla flavor.

I am not really sure on the preceeding statements as I have only used vanilla extract before. Hopefully some one with more experience will chime in.

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Old 04-05-2007, 04:13 PM   #3
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A friend used half a bean (3-4in) in a porter and it gave a very pronounced flavor. He just tossed it in there (the secondary) with out spliting it or any thing. hope this helps.

Cheers

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Old 04-05-2007, 04:38 PM   #4
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i have a cream ale already in the secondary.. do you think i could add it to my keg without any problems and let it sit for a while before tapping it? Or should i just toss it in the secondary now?

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Old 04-08-2007, 06:42 AM   #5
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Default Com on.....

Theres at least 10 thousand people here.....what do you know about the vanilla bean?!?

A bit more info please.............pretty please!

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Old 04-08-2007, 06:49 AM   #6
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Slit the bean down the middle and scrape out all the goodies. Chop everything up (the goodies and the bean) pretty fine and add it to your secondary fermenter. If you are afraid of to much vanilla flavor just add half then taste it after a week and add more if you like. Some vanilla flavor will die down after a few weeks in the bottle. I have had a vanilla porter that used 2 beans like this and it was a perfect vanilla flavor. Not to much, not to little. Hope this helps.

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Old 04-08-2007, 07:43 AM   #7
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I cut mine in half long ways. Scrape the insides out with the knife. Put it all in.

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Old 04-09-2007, 01:55 AM   #8
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I just brewed a Vanilla Weizen...
I spit the bean in half, length wise, and rolled it flat with a rolling pin.

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Old 04-09-2007, 09:48 AM   #9
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As an OLD cook, let me tell you the way a baker-candymaker would use the whole bean, if they were going to filter out the used chunks. (Like racking.)

Split the bean open, lengthwise. If you are going to put the whole bean in, you don't even need to scrape out the tiny seeds. Just split it open, and toss it in.

Now, if you want to make some Vanilla Sugar, scrape the seeds out of a larger piece, toss them in your secondary, and put the bean shell in a pound or 2 of regular white sugar, and leave it for a few months, sealed in a zip-lock bag. Absolutely great in coffee or hot chocolate!

steve

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Old 04-10-2007, 02:00 AM   #10
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Thank you for the info.

Any other good tricks (like the sugar one) to do with vanilla beans?

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