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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Best use of Vanilla beans
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:40 PM   #1
Shaggyt
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Default Best use of Vanilla beans

I have porter on tap for my next brew session and I just picked up two vanilla beans to add. My problem now is when to add them to the wort/beer.

Whereas most of the posts here discuss vanilla beans added to the secondary, my LBHS advised me to add them towards the end of the boil, around 5-10 minutes. The guy also stated to split the beans open and scrape out the innards, adding them to the boil.

So now I have two questions:

1. When to add the beans? Boil or sceondary?
2. Do I add them whole or split & scrape?


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Old 02-18-2010, 01:16 PM   #2
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Im currently drinking a kegged vanilla porter. Its one of the nicest beers Ive made. The vanilla has come through nicely without being too strong. Even SWMBO and her mates like it.
I used 3 vanilla beans which I sliced in half (lengthways) and then cut into 1" sections which I soaked in vodka for 24hrs (just enough vodka to cover the vanilla). I then poured the entire lot into the secondary for about two weeks before kegging.


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Old 02-18-2010, 02:32 PM   #3
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I, too, do the scrape split and chop. The flavor really comes from the seeds inside the pod.

I add beans to secondary. Pretty sure that the flavors are best extracted by alcohol
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:07 PM   #4
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For a 5 gal batch I split one bean, cut into quarters, into carboy for 1 week of secondary. I am trying to keep a few bottles for aging to see what the vanilla is like @ 6 / 12 / 18 months.
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRabidKumquat View Post
I add beans to secondary. Pretty sure that the flavors are best extracted by alcohol
This was my understanding as well. Looks like the secondary is where it's at.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:06 PM   #6
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+1 to secondary. I slice it the long way, scrape out the insides and cut into quarters. In my experience, one been is enough for a pretty big beer with a 5 gallon batch. I secondary for a week with the vanilla bean, then keg.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:11 PM   #7
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Hey 619, whats with the scrapping? Is that bad stuff in there?
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:40 PM   #8
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I have to ask...where are you all sourcing your beans?

My LHBS doesn't have them...and neither does my regular online shop.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:53 PM   #9
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Jay-

Grocery store, look in the area with the the spices...about $14 for 2 beans
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:53 PM   #10
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Nah, nothing bad. I just scrape to get it all out so everything gets exposed to the beer. Forget where i heard about that, probably somewhere on here though.

Jay, most supermarkets will have them. I buy mine at Henry's, and get the Madagascar ones. Kinda pricey at about $10 for 2 beens, but worth it IMO.


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