Originally Posted by rooner86
I am very new to brewing (2 batches both "kits") and my friends and I are looking to do a slightly more complex recipe like this but perhaps with a slight vanilla flavor. when would be the best times to add the orange zest and/or vanilla beans? And where are the best places to order the hops or powdered malts? Unfortunately we don't have any brewmaking stores around here to ask and have to order any of our hops and malts online.
While I question your intent to add vanilla to this recipe, I'll still help you out. If you are set on giving this some vanilla flavor, I would do it in the secondary fermenter. Take 2 whole beans and slice them open lengthwise. Try to expose as much of the insides as possible, and toss them in the secondary. Rack your beer on them, and taste it periodically to tell when the right amount of vanilla flavor is present.
As for the Orange zest, I add mine at flameout. Make sure you don't get any of the white pith; you just want the outer peel.
As far as buying ingredients, that will depend. Check out Midwest Supplies, Northern Brewer, and Austin Homebrew Supply for starters. If you find yourself brewing a lot more in the future, you might want to consider buying hops in bulk from places like Hops Direct, or Wholesale Hops.