I'm in the process of fermenting a vanilla porter. I am planning to use rum soaked vanilla bean(s) in the 2nd fermenter to give the vanilla flavor. A couple quick questions...
1.) Should I use 1 or 2 beans?
2.) Should I split the vanilla beans before adding them?
3.) If splitting, should I add them in a nylon mesh bag (just thinking about the little specs of vanilla getting in the final product)?
4.) Should I add the rum that I soak the vanilla beans in as well?
5.) I'm thinking this soaking process will give me the right flavor in about 3-5 days... sound about right?
1 Whole bean. You could chop it up into 4 pieces or so and that would utilize the bean better. I would not worry about pieces of bean if there are 1-4. Keep the rum for a vanilla rum and coke... pretty damn good. Hope this helps.
I've done a vanilla coffee porter with 2 beans. It had a LOT of vanilla after just 10 days (if I remember). If you have more time, you could only use one and occasionally taste until it's at the right level. I'd guess you'll want at least 5-7 days with one bean but it could be up to 2 weeks. If I had one complaint about my beer, it's that the vanilla was such a dominant flavor. It was really tasty and not gross or overpowering - but it was the main flavor. I've toned down my opinions about "flavored" beers to where I just like the additions to baaaaarely be noticeable.
I split my beans and put them directly into the beer, no bag.
Rum sounds tasty but I'd do a taste test with small amounts of beer. I'm a fan of having restraint and not turning beers into experiments on a whim.
I used 1 bean per 5 gallons and it was good but it did sit for close to 3 weeks. If I were to do it again I would put 2 beans in and less time. Also I split the beans scraped out the goodness than put everything into the fermenter.
cool, thanks for the help guys. I just transferred my porter to the secondary fermenter and it tastes awesome so I'm probably just gonna try to get some very suttle flavor. 1 bean for a week or so sounds good... I'll taste test as I go. Thanks again.