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-   -   Vanilla Stout question (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/vanilla-stout-question-379156/)

ericbw 01-06-2013 07:59 PM

This is my second try with this stout recipe because the first batch seems to be infected. I noticed it at bottling time. It's a pretty basic dry stout recipe to which I'm adding vanilla.

I fermented 3 weeks in primary, then racked to secondary w/ vanilla beans for 2 weeks.

This time, to avoid contamination, I will soak the beans in vodka before adding. Question: is there any problem with simply adding the beans to the primary and NOT racking to secondary? Any thoughts?

Polboy 01-06-2013 08:11 PM

no problem at all, just wait for the active part of fermentation to end

ericbw 01-06-2013 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Polboy
no problem at all, just wait for the active part of fermentation to end

Thanks for the response. I know you're *supposed* to check to be sure the gravity stops moving, but my plan is to give it 3 or 4 weeks, then add the vanilla to the primary. I'll bottle after 2 weeks because the last batch tasted pretty strong at that point. Aside from being a bit sour, probably from the infection.

ericbw 03-18-2013 01:25 PM

Finally opened one of these yesterday. The vanilla was a little strong - I used two skinny beans, split and scraped, then soaked in about a half cup of vodka for a week. Next time, I would maybe use half the vanilla. Here's the rest of the recipe:

2 lbs Light DME
6 oz Roasted Barley
4 oz Crystal 80L
4 oz Chocolate Malt
2 oz Black Patent Malt

.75 oz East Kent Goldings at 60 minutes

WLP004 (Irish Ale)

Fermented at about 63 degrees for 5 weeks
Added vanilla/vodka and fermented 1 more week

Bottled and conditioned for ~3.5 weeks, then put in the fridge for 3 days.

It tastes good and is very smooth. It forms a head, but doesn't last long. I also think it needs a little more roast barley to compete with the vanilla.

I know Briess Golden Light DME has carapils in it, but for better head retention... a little wheat? Flaked barley?

sweed 03-18-2013 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ericbw (Post 5017847)
Finally opened one of these yesterday. The vanilla was a little strong - I used two skinny beans, split and scraped, then soaked in about a half cup of vodka for a week. Next time, I would maybe use half the vanilla. Here's the rest of the recipe:

2 lbs Light DME
6 oz Roasted Barley
4 oz Crystal 80L
4 oz Chocolate Malt
2 oz Black Patent Malt

.75 oz East Kent Goldings at 60 minutes

WLP004 (Irish Ale)

Fermented at about 63 degrees for 5 weeks
Added vanilla/vodka and fermented 1 more week

Bottled and conditioned for ~3.5 weeks, then put in the fridge for 3 days.

It tastes good and is very smooth. It forms a head, but doesn't last long. I also think it needs a little more roast barley to compete with the vanilla.

I know Briess Golden Light DME has carapils in it, but for better head retention... a little wheat? Flaked barley?

How big was this batch? I just bottles my imperial stout that was bulk aging on vanilla beans (6) for 2 months, and the vanilla isn't super strong. I think it gets to a point and then stops? My stout also had 2 cups of bourbon that was used to soak the vanilla beans in, so maybe that covered it up a little.

ericbw 03-18-2013 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sweed

How big was this batch? I just bottles my imperial stout that was bulk aging on vanilla beans (6) for 2 months, and the vanilla isn't super strong. I think it gets to a point and then stops? My stout also had 2 cups of bourbon that was used to soak the vanilla beans in, so maybe that covered it up a little.

I should have mentioned that. It's a 2.5 gallon batch. Do you taste the bourbon? I would think you'd have strong vanilla. This was pretty low gravity (1.043), so maybe your imperial version masks the vanilla, too?

Did you split your beans or cut them up?

Marc77 03-18-2013 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ericbw (Post 5019615)
I should have mentioned that. It's a 2.5 gallon batch. Do you taste the bourbon? I would think you'd have strong vanilla. This was pretty low gravity (1.043), so maybe your imperial version masks the vanilla, too?

Did you split your beans or cut them up?

I used this recipe for my vanilla stout (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/none...a-stout-96969/) and it turned out excellent. I had a lot of compliments. It was a 5 gallon batch though.

I split open the vanilla beans and put them into a growler that had a cup of bourbon and swirled it every day til I put it into my secondary. When I had my first beer it had so much vanilla flavor that it was almost over powering. I let it age for another 2 weeks and the vanilla had died down by then to a very...VERY good beer. If it's still over powering let it age for a while longer and give it another go.

ericbw 03-18-2013 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marc77

I used this recipe for my vanilla stout (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/none...a-stout-96969/) and it turned out excellent. I had a lot of compliments. It was a 5 gallon batch though.

I split open the vanilla beans and put them into a growler that had a cup of bourbon and swirled it every day til I put it into my secondary. When I had my first beer it had so much vanilla flavor that it was almost over powering. I let it age for another 2 weeks and the vanilla had died down by then to a very...VERY good beer. If it's still over powering let it age for a while longer and give it another go.

Isn't that a lot of black patent?

sweed 03-19-2013 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ericbw (Post 5019615)

I should have mentioned that. It's a 2.5 gallon batch. Do you taste the bourbon? I would think you'd have strong vanilla. This was pretty low gravity (1.043), so maybe your imperial version masks the vanilla, too?

Did you split your beans or cut them up?

Yes a little bourbon, which is what I wanted also. It'll be ready in the fall/ winter, but I'll test a few here and there. I spilt and scraped all the beans. Soaked then in the bourbon for a month while it was fermenting. It's at 13%, so it's a big beer!


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