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Old 06-26-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
d3track
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Default Vanilla beans

So I am going to try doing a secondary with vanilla beans for the oatmeal stout in primary.

In looking around, I'm not fully sure on the process, so thanks to everyone for helping to clarify if this is correct:

Spray beans & knife with starsan
Split beans lengthwise, scrape insides, and cut into 1" chunks
Add everything - pods & insides - to fermentor
Rack beer on top, age for 2-4 weeks

If I should do anything differently, I'm all ears n eyes

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Old 06-26-2012, 12:20 AM   #2
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I don't see anthing wrong with that process.

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Old 06-26-2012, 12:27 AM   #3
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When I've added vanilla beans to secondary, this is the process I followed...

1. Split pods lengthwise and scrape out beans into a small container, along with the pods cut into 1" lengths.
2. Add about 1 oz of vodka.
3. Place lid on container, shake it all up, and store out of sunlight.
4. Shake the container once per day for at least a week.
5. Pitch entire contents into secondary and rack beer over it. Leave for at least 2 weeks.

You're essentially making vanilla extract. The vodka will sanitize and will not be noticable in your brew.

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Old 06-26-2012, 12:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LLBeanJ View Post
When I've added vanilla beans to secondary, this is the process I followed...

1. Split pods lengthwise and scrape out beans into a small container, along with the pods cut into 1" lengths.
2. Add about 1 oz of vodka.
3. Place lid on container, shake it all up, and store out of sunlight.
4. Shake the container once per day for at least a week.
5. Pitch entire contents into secondary and rack beer over it. Leave for at least 2 weeks.

You're essentially making vanilla extract. The vodka will sanitize and will not be noticable in your brew.
That's pretty much what I was going to post. You can use other alcohols instead of vodka, just be aware that you'll get the flavor of the alcohol in the brew. Depending on what it is, it could be rather evident.

For the vodka, you want the cleanest you can get. At least three distillations and three or more filterings. The more of each, the cleaner it will be, the less flavor you'll get from the vodka. I actually picked up some Skyy vodka to make my extract. It's been in process for about four months now. In another month, or two, I'll filter and bottle it up.

Something else to keep in mind... You can get vanilla flavors from aging on/with oak.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:28 AM   #5
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I did the process using a couple of oz of good bourbon and two vanilla beans for a 5-gallon batch of a porter. It turned out AMAZING! I'm about to duplicate it for an imperial stout using 3 or possibly 4 vanilla beans.

1 - cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise
2 - scrape out all the gooey goodness
3 - cut beans into 1/2" to 1" pieces
4 - put in plastic container with 1 to 2 oz of good liquor (bourbon or vodka would be my first choice)
5 - shake the container a couple of times a day for at least a week
6 - dump the whole container, liquor and all, into the fermenter and leave it for at least a week
7 - cold crash for 2 to 3 days
8 - rack to keg or bottling bucket for packaging

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Old 06-26-2012, 01:33 AM   #6
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Randy Mosher suggests in Radical Brewing that quality of vodka is irrelevant for making extracts, that the extra dollars will only make you feel better about your choice. I've only done it once with Smirnoff, and it was OK, so I'm not much of a source myself. I think I'd use more than one bean next time, though.

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Old 06-26-2012, 01:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dynamobrewing View Post
Randy Mosher suggests in Radical Brewing that quality of vodka is irrelevant for making extracts, that the extra dollars will only make you feel better about your choice. I've only done it once with Smirnoff, and it was OK, so I'm not much of a source myself. I think I'd use more than one bean next time, though.
I was going with information I found on making vanilla extract, where you want the cleanest vodka you can get. Besides, Skyy vodka wasn't all that much. I looked at how it was processed, not the brand. For all I care it could be Uncle Yuri's brand that's distilled and filtered more, which I would get.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:42 AM   #8
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Ok, maybe I will stop n get vodka for the beans - is it bad luck to have a vodka tonic while racking?

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Old 06-26-2012, 03:03 AM   #9
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Ok, maybe I will stop n get vodka for the beans - is it bad luck to have a vodka tonic while racking?
Never bad luck.
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:12 AM   #10
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... is it bad luck to have a vodka tonic while racking?
Only if you have too many of them...
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
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Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
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Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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