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Old 06-04-2011, 11:40 PM   #1
themashedone
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Dec 2010
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I want to put 3 vanilla beans in my honey brown ale. I was told by some to just put them into secondary without sterilizing, i am a little worried about this in that i do not want a infection. I do not know how to sterilize the beans and i do not want to soak them in vodka. Any suggestions welcome.

 
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:00 AM   #2
themashedone
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anyone out there

 
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:15 AM   #3
Golddiggie
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Be aware that whatever you 'sanitize' the beans in will also contribute to the brew's flavor. I used bourbon to sanitize a bean on a batch. I used a bit more to rinse the jar the bean was in, adding only about 6oz total. You could REALLY taste the bourbon in the batch (5 gallons)...

Also, adding vanilla beans to the batch will do more to enhance other flavors. If you want to get actual vanilla flavor in the batch, you might need to use either more beans than makes sense, or you'll want to use something else. Age the batch on medium toast oak chips for 4-6 weeks, then let it bottle condition for another month or two, and you'll get vanilla flavors. I did with with just 3/4oz of chips (used boiling water to sanitize the chips before adding them to the brew). At <1.5 months you got the oak flavors. After two months, it transformed into vanilla. If you use more chips the time frame should be shortened. I pitched both the chips and the liquid in the jar (I boiled water in a tea pot, then poured enough to cover the chips into a sanitized jar, covered and let cool to a safe temp before pitching).

BTW, you need to give a thread more than 20 minutes before you start posting "anyone out there"... Eventually people will see it and post if they have ideas.
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:26 AM   #4
passedpawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
Be aware that whatever you 'sanitize' the beans in will also contribute to the brew's flavor. I used bourbon to sanitize a bean on a batch. I used a bit more to rinse the jar the bean was in, adding only about 6oz total. You could REALLY taste the bourbon in the batch (5 gallons)...

Also, adding vanilla beans to the batch will do more to enhance other flavors. If you want to get actual vanilla flavor in the batch, you might need to use either more beans than makes sense, or you'll want to use something else. Age the batch on medium toast oak chips for 4-6 weeks, then let it bottle condition for another month or two, and you'll get vanilla flavors. I did with with just 3/4oz of chips (used boiling water to sanitize the chips before adding them to the brew). At <1.5 months you got the oak flavors. After two months, it transformed into vanilla. If you use more chips the time frame should be shortened. I pitched both the chips and the liquid in the jar (I boiled water in a tea pot, then poured enough to cover the chips into a sanitized jar, covered and let cool to a safe temp before pitching).

BTW, you need to give a thread more than 20 minutes before you start posting "anyone out there"... Eventually people will see it and post if they have ideas.
OP didn't ask about oak chips

The safe bet is to split the bean lengthwise, drop in vodka, soak for a few days, and then pitch. The alcohol will kill any bacteria. Popular wisdom says vanilla oils are not soluble in water (only alcohol), but in practice the alcohol in your beer is plenty to extract the vanilla essence.

You could also just split the bean, put in a dish and microwave for a minute, let sit for 5, then add to carboy. This would kill the nasties as well.

Me, I just split and add to carboy. Have you seen my license plate? BTW, here are some insanely cheap beans:

http://www.vanillaproductsusa.com/servlet/StoreFront
http://www.beanilla.com/vanilla-bean...la-c-1_30.html

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Old 06-05-2011, 12:32 AM   #5
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passedpawn, I just posted what I've actually experienced when adding a bean to a brew. I had no idea that so much of the 'sanitizing liquid' would come through with it. Just making sure the person didn't add too much of whatever he/she uses to 'sanitize' the bean.

Hadn't heard about nuking a bean before.

IF the OP is looking to get more vanilla flavor, oak IS an option. It's something that could be considered by the OP. Since I wasn't sure if he/she knew about it, or not, I thought it would be a nice thing to mention.

So glad I left Florida ~14 years ago...
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K2: Epic mead
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:35 AM   #6
themashedone
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thanks alot for the help I think ill try just splitting and putting them in. and i appreciate all ideas it only makes one more knowledgeable.

 
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:42 AM   #7
passedpawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themashedone View Post
thanks alot for the help I think ill try just splitting and putting them in. and i appreciate all ideas it only makes one more knowledgeable.
Good luck. FYI, 1 bean = 2 tsp pure extract.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:13 AM   #8
C-Rider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
OP didn't ask about oak chips

The safe bet is to split the bean lengthwise, drop in vodka, soak for a few days, and then pitch. The alcohol will kill any bacteria. Popular wisdom says vanilla oils are not soluble in water (only alcohol), but in practice the alcohol in your beer is plenty to extract the vanilla essence.

You could also just split the bean, put in a dish and microwave for a minute, let sit for 5, then add to carboy. This would kill the nasties as well.

Me, I just split and add to carboy. Have you seen my license plate? BTW, here are some insanely cheap beans:

http://www.vanillaproductsusa.com/servlet/StoreFront
http://www.beanilla.com/vanilla-bean...la-c-1_30.html

Great license plate, one two many letters for a Hawaiian plate.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:21 AM   #9
jeepinjeepin
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A rum might have a nice flavor to go with the vanilla.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:45 AM   #10
unionrdr
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Yeah,the Captain Morgan's is real good for that smooth vanilla spice thing. It seems like the 100 proof bottle my son bought for vacation Has a bit bigger,smoother vanilla flavor. That & oak chips might be nice.
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