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Old 12-24-2010, 05:36 PM   #1
MoPhunk
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Default Bourbon in secondary

So i am about a week from racking to secondary my None More Black Vanilla Stout and I was wondering how much bourbon to steep the vanilla beans in. I just want a hint of bourbon flavor. It is a 5 gallon batch and i was thinking 3-5 vanilla beans split and scraped and a half cup of bourbon. what is everyone's thoughts?

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Old 12-24-2010, 06:24 PM   #2
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With bourbon aging it with the beer wont do much. I would age it over the vanilla beans until the right vanilla flavor is achieved. At bottling add bourbon slowly to the beer in your bottling bucket while stirring it. Taste as you go when you get the right bourbon taste bottle it up.

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Old 12-25-2010, 07:20 AM   #3
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If I was going to add bourbon to the vanilla beans, I'd add just enough to the beans to cover them. Last time, for instance I put oak chips in a pint sized mason jar and put just enough bourbon in to cover the them. So I'd do the same. Put the scraped beans in a jar and cover them with 3-4oz of bourbon. INMHO you want the essence of bourbon, not bourbon flavored beer

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Old 12-25-2010, 07:30 AM   #4
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Personnally I enjoyed my Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter With 3 Vanilla Beans and 375ml of Jim Beam Black added to the secondary 3 weeks prior to bottling.

Edit: This was for a 5 gallon batch.

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Old 12-25-2010, 12:58 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the responses. I think I will do a half cup or just enough to cover the vanilla beans.

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Old 12-25-2010, 01:21 PM   #6
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If I may chime in, I agree that just covering the vanilla would be the best option. Too much bourbon in the secondary creates a "bourbon beer," and if you wanted that, you could just get some club soda and bourbon. Even a splash would be fine, in my opinion. There seems to be a fine line to adding just enough or too much hard liquor in a beer. Once its in, you can't take it out.

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Old 12-25-2010, 01:46 PM   #7
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I used two split vanilla beans aged in my Old Ale for six months and thought the vanilla flavoring was a tad too much. Depending on how long you plan on aging the brew, you could start with one in the secondary for a few months, take a sample, and add another one or two if the vanilla is too light. As others have stated, it is all about how up front you want that particular flavor. As for the bourbon, I used just enough to cover some dark oak cubes and wish I had used more, as I like the bourbon flavor. Again, it is all about balance, and which flavors you want to be more prominent. Good luck with it !

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Old 01-04-2011, 02:41 PM   #8
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I ended up steeping 2 vanilla beans and i healthy splash of bourbon with some boiling water and then added it to the carboy. I should be bottling on sunday.

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Old 01-04-2011, 08:48 PM   #9
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I just did a variation of the None More Black Vanilla Stout...added lactose and malto-dextrin...and I used 4 beans scraped and chopped soaked in about 2 oz. of Maker's Mark for 3 days before putting into secondary for a week...it's been in the keg now for 2 weeks and it's very good.

I've seen a lot of people say use only two beans, but I believe this is just personal preference. I think the 4 beans came out perfect.

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Old 01-04-2011, 09:10 PM   #10
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The only purpose of adding the bourbon to the secondary is to sanitize the beans first IMO. The bourbon doesnt really change the flavor of the beer so much as it just makes a blend. The bourbon could be added at bottling or at drinking time. That way you can add as little or much as you want and experiment to get exactly what you like. You can even do this with the vanilla if you use a good, pure extract.

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