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Old 04-11-2007, 07:25 AM   #11
May 2006
Posts: 192

2 beans split and scraped into a liter of decent quality vodka. Keep in the dark, shake well everyday, and after about a month you have a great homemade pure vanilla extract. Keep a small amount in the cabinet for cooking (I use a airline size liqour bottle) and put the rest of the vanilla away in the dark. Shake it every week or two and as the amount decreases, you can add more vodka and wait for the vanilla to build up its flavor again.

Secondary: Newcastle Clone
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:45 PM   #12
Jan 2010
Posts: 4

I've read vodka and or bourbon are acceptable for letting the vanilla bean soak in as a sort of tincture prior to adding it all into secondary fermentation.

Is there a main reason it has to be vodka? Im sure the vodka flavor wont come out in the beer however Im just curious if I could use a 3-4 oz of whiskey?

I'm brewing a strong ale today and might use some vanilla bean/oaked chips tincture for secondary fermentation.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-31-2010, 04:07 AM   #13
Jun 2010
Posts: 100
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts

As stated previously, I split, scrape and chop the bean to maximize contact (hence flavor extraction) in 60 mls of vodka. Alcohol is needed for maximum flavor extraction. It also will sanitize your bean to ensure no nasties get into your wort or beer.

Add to the 2ndary as the primary fermentation will scrub out a lot of the aroma from the bean.

Whiskey works as well but adds its own (minimal) flavor to the finished product.

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Old 01-19-2012, 04:34 AM   #14
Jan 2012
Dubuque, IA
Posts: 4

For my Farmhouse Ale's, I usually add fresh Madagascar vanilla beans in the secondary right after racking. A little goes a long way; usually two strips about three inches long is perfect for 5 gallons. Cut them in 1/2" pieces and pitch them into the carboy.

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:01 AM   #15
toast's Avatar
Oct 2011
Levittown, NY
Posts: 71

Would adding the vanilla bean to the boil do anything for flavor extraction as well?
"Top Floor Brew Works"
Primary1: Midnight Black Cascadian Dark Ale
Primary2: Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye Clone
Secondary1: Big Bourbon Brown Ale
Secondary2: Belgian Saison

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Old 01-28-2012, 05:06 AM   #16
Jan 2012
Iowa City, IA
Posts: 139
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Originally Posted by toast View Post
Would adding the vanilla bean to the boil do anything for flavor extraction as well?
I'm curious about this too. I think vanilla would be an amazing flavor into beer. This thread seems very helpful.

I imagine if you need alcohol to extract the flavor, adding at boil would be worthless. Though it could break up the bean for easier extraction in the fermenter....

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