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Old 07-24-2013, 01:54 PM   #1
ZachY2072
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Default Vanilla Extract @ Bottling?

I brewed a stout and want to add a vanilla extract to it at bottling (since it has already aged about 1.5 weeks). So how much should I add? I don't want it too powerful, just noticeable.
Thanks!
-Zach

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Old 07-24-2013, 02:19 PM   #2
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I've never used vanilla extract, but I add anise extract to one of my winter brews. I add .25tsp to a 5 gallon batch and it's enough for me to notice it. I always err on the side of caution with additions like that, less is better than too much.

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Old 07-24-2013, 02:31 PM   #3
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I wish I took better notes when I first started out, but I made a vanilla porter and I'm pretty sure I added 2 oz in one 5 gal batch and 4 oz in another 5 gal batch. The low level was too low and you couldn't taste it. You could tell it was there in the batch with 4 oz.

Ideally what you'd do is take a portion of your batch and add some and scale up from that. The problem is the small levels we're dealing with and measuring them at home. The 4 oz in 5 gal is 0.63%, so if you took a 4 oz sample, you'd have to add 0.0248 oz of vanilla to it, which is impossible at home.

Another option is to just add some to the batch, stir gently and taste. Continue until the level is good.

I'm going to run into this in a couple weeks when I try to add maple flavor to a 1 gallon batch. Hope that helps.

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Old 07-24-2013, 10:29 PM   #4
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I've done a few raspberry beers and use 2oz for 5 gallon batch. Really good flavors at that amount.

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Old 07-24-2013, 10:35 PM   #5
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I've stuck to between 2-4 oz per 5 gallons. 2 if you want very mild or 4 for something a bit more nosey. Because Vanilla flavor is a softer flavor, you may need more than what a liquid fruit additive would be. As mtnagel said, add in 2 oz and gently stir. Take a sip and judge for yourself. There is no reason why that wouldn't work. Good luck.

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Old 07-25-2013, 05:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachY2072 View Post
I brewed a stout and want to add a vanilla extract to it at bottling (since it has already aged about 1.5 weeks). So how much should I add? I don't want it too powerful, just noticeable.
Thanks!
-Zach
Forget the extract stuff, go buy a Vanilla Bean or package and save the rest for another batch. Cut the bean into long strips, remove or Deseed the bean place into your secondary and let age for another2 weeks.

You can also get toasted French Oak not American Oak or French Oak and slowly toast it yourself, place french Oak into your secondary and allow to age more...Even if you put the extract in; shouldn't you let it age more than 10 days?? More like 1.5 months.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:25 AM   #7
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EBay the user vanillaproducts. Great quality and super reasonable prices. You can choose where your beans come from and the grade. I'm only plugging them because I used them for my vanilla coffee porter, and it turned out great, I don't work for them. I had a batch ruined by using imitation vanilla extract so whatever you do just avoid that and you should be fine.

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Old 07-26-2013, 11:18 AM   #8
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Ruined because it got infected or ruined because it tasted bad?

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Old 07-26-2013, 03:21 PM   #9
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Agreed on the amounts recommended above: I've used 2-3 oz in 5 gallon batches of porter with good results. The flavor will mellow over time so consider how long you plan to age the beer before drinking. If you are planning to drink early, err on the low side. To really do it right, invest in a high quality Madagascar Vanilla extract - available at Whole Foods or gourmet food shops as well as online.

Another option is to use whole vanilla beans (also available at Whole Foods). You can make a "tea" at bottling time by splitting the beans open, scraping out the seeds and chopping the beans, then pouring boiling water (or wort) over all of it (seeds and bean shells). Let it steep for 15 minutes or more, then strain and add to the bottling bucket. 2 beans is plenty.

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