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Old 02-19-2010, 12:46 AM   #11
Feb 2009
Buford, GA
Posts: 462
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I get 2 beans for about 6 bucks at the local farmers market (way cheaper than grocery stores.. also have turbinado sugar for like 1.49 a lb i think, which is a deal)

I slit the bean long ways, then slice it into about 3 inch pieces and scrape out the insides. I soaked mine in Makers Mark for 2 weeks during the primary on a porter, then dumped them into the secondary. (ended up adding a total of 4 beans and like 2 cups of makers). I hear vodka will help extract the vanilla flavor w/o adding any additional flavors to your beer.... but i've never tried this method.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:57 PM   #12
Sep 2009
Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 156
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It sounds like a higher concentration of alcohol (makers mark or vodka) has better extraction of the vanilla flavors. Agreed on the scraping and cutting as well...create more surface area on the beans for better extraction.

$14 for 2 beans...highway robbery!!! I bought two for $2.99 at the LHBS. They had another variety for a dollar more. They unfortunately do not have vanilla beans listed on their website so I guess it must be an in store item only.

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Old 02-19-2010, 05:18 PM   #13
Dec 2009
Mt. Greenwood, Chicago
Posts: 58
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Originally Posted by JayInJersey View Post
I have to ask...where are you all sourcing your beans?


They seem kind of low on inventory right now, but I've bought from here a few different times. VERY well priced, especially after going into a grocery store and looking at the price of a single bean
I'll also stop in here for some things once in awhile, as it's a local shop, about a half hour away. It smells amazing about a half block away in the summer. They keep the door open on nice days and the aromas carried on the wind overtake the couple of restaurants nearby.

Also, just try searching on Ebay. It's how I've found a few different places to deal with for spices and honey for my meads.

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Old 02-20-2010, 08:21 PM   #14
Dec 2008
New York, NY
Posts: 324
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Those beans are $$. Anybody tried vanilla extract??

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Old 02-22-2010, 12:24 AM   #15
May 2008
Dallas, TX
Posts: 214 is an excellent place to get beans.

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Old 02-25-2010, 07:47 PM   #16
Jun 2008
College Station, TX
Posts: 136
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+1 to beanilla

To clarify, scraping doesn't mean throwing away what is scraped. You still use everything. Scraping the inside of the bean just allows better mixing of the beer and bean as someone above mentioned. When cooking with vanilla beans alot of times just the inside of the bean is scraped out and used and the bean husk is not, but there is plenty of vanilla flavor in both.
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Apu: “Such a product does not exist, sir! You must have dreamed it.”
Homer: “Oh. Well then just gimme a six-pack and a couple of bags of Skittles.”

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Old 02-25-2010, 08:05 PM   #17
Nov 2008
Kansas City
Posts: 3,654
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Originally Posted by wendelgee2 View Post
Those beans are $$. Anybody tried vanilla extract??
Yes, and I find Nielsen-Massey to be at least as good as beans, easier to use and easier to dial in.

Before I figured this out, I bought some really nice beans for a great price on Ebay. 4 for $10 or something like that. Forget that supplier.

In any case you are trying to get dissolved vanilla aromatics in alcohol, there are two factors:

1. The quality of the bean
2. The skill in extracting the aromatics

I figure Nielsen-Massey is better at #2 than me and I have every reason to believe that I can't easily beat them on #1 either.


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Old 02-25-2010, 09:08 PM   #18
Hegh's Avatar
Oct 2008
Schenectady, NY
Posts: 663
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For technique on scraping your vanilla beans, see this episode of Good Eats, starting at 1:41:

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Old 03-09-2010, 01:34 PM   #19
Mar 2010
Posts: 2

$14 for two beans is really expensive. We offer $28 for 1 lb (about 100 beans), including FeDex air charges. vPlease visit our website or to see how the vanilla beans are processed please visit our blog:

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Old 03-09-2010, 02:42 PM   #20
BrewSpook's Avatar
Dec 2008
Richmond, VA
Posts: 462
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I have a Penzey's down the street and I was able to pick up 3 beans on sale for around $5. I plan to use one for a coconut porter and the other two for some home made cream soda.
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