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Old 02-10-2014, 05:03 PM   #1
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Default Irish Vanilla Stout

Hey Guys!

I am new to the forum and just started my first brew. I wanted to make a vanilla beer and was advised to cut up a vanilla bean and throw it into my wort in the last 15 minutes of the boil and let the vanilla bean fall into the fermentor during the pot-fermentor transfer. So I followed the recipe with the addition of the vanilla bean (its an extract recipe for an irish stout) and now its in the fermentor. I don't know if something bad happened though because my airlock isn't really bubbling. There are a few tiny bubbles in it but its not bubbling actively, the airlock just looks kinda fizzy. I am pretty sure the bucket is airtight but I am not sure if I should take that as a sign the yeast was bad or not? Also the recipe says let it ferment for 7-10 days or until bubbling has stopped, I have read online however, to leave it in the primary for up to 3 weeks so as to remove off flavors. Any advice or opinions?

Thanks,
Chris

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Old 02-10-2014, 05:07 PM   #2
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Need more info to help you....when? Gravity readings? Yeast type, starter or not? Batch size? temperature at pitch, temperature stored in?

There are so many variables.....give some details and I'm sure you can get some advice.

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Old 02-10-2014, 05:31 PM   #3
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Batch size 5 gallons, pitched at approximately 63 degrees Fahrenheit, its being stored at room temperature which is probably around 68 degrees or so in my apt. Not sure on the brand of yeast, all i know is that it was a brewers yeast in a green/yellow packet. I rehydrated it in a sanitized glass of lukewarm water for about 20 mins before pitching. The hydrometer reading I had was at 1.09 but we had never used a hydrometer before so idk how accurate that reading is.

This was all done on friday and its now monday so almost three days.

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Old 02-10-2014, 06:00 PM   #4
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you could always crack the lid and check to see if there is any krausen. 1.09 is pretty high gravity. What kit did you use? Most stout kits I have seen were around 5% ABV finishing, which puts the OG quite a bit lower than 1.09.

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Old 02-10-2014, 06:20 PM   #5
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6lbs LME and I used 1 pkg each of crushed crystal malt, crushed black malt , and crushed roasted barley. But I probably screwed up taking the OG because we really had no clue how to use the hydrometer. Idk if I wanna risk contamination by cracking the lid... maybe i can take the airlock out and look in the hole?

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Old 02-11-2014, 05:07 PM   #6
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you can crack the lid and check it out..if there is fermentation going, there is little risk to contaminating the batch. You could look through the airlock hole, but cracking the lid and just looking in there isn't much different and then you would get a good look. Also, depending on the type of grommet you have, you could risk it being pushed in the bucket by removing and reinstalling the airlock.

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Old 02-11-2014, 05:15 PM   #7
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Also, you're not likely to get a lot of vanilla flavor from doing it the way you did. A better option (still available) would be to get some cheap bourbon or vodka and split a couple vanilla beans, scrape the insides into a small jar and then cut up the bean husks into 1/4 inch chunks and dump them into the jar with the insides and then cover that with just enough vodka or bourbon to completely cover them. The more beans you use, the more vanilla you'll taste. Keep in mind that vanilla flavor fades very quickly.

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Old 02-12-2014, 05:21 AM   #8
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Thanks so much for the advice! I'll give that a shot and take a look inside for krausen when I do that

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Old 02-12-2014, 04:32 PM   #9
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Ok so I popped the top to take a look and it smelt like beer but there was very little krausen, just a little "gunk" stuck to the sides near the liquid surface, but no foam like Ive seen in other folks brews... think I should get more yeast and repitch?

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Old 02-12-2014, 05:46 PM   #10
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did you take a gravity reading? It could be finished. My first batch I made was a lemon coriander weiss and it nearly blew the lid off the bucket. the second was a honey weizen and it was the same starting gravity and same yeast used as the first batch, but it wasn't nowhere near as active as the first one.

Take a gravity reading and then decide if you will pitch more yeast, but if it has fermented, it is likely more yeast will not help.

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