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Old 05-05-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
rejart
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Default Soaking cocoa nibs and vanilla beans in vodka

I have a robust porter in primary that's just getting down towards FG. I'm planning on making it a chocolate vanilla flavor so I'm soaking 2oz of nibs and one vanilla bean in some vodka. This is for a 2.5G batch of beer.

My question is, what is the optimum soak time? I've been running some searches and it seems to vary wildly, with most saying 3 days to a week is best. Is there any danger of soaking them too long (off flavors, over extraction etc)? I'm definitely not going to add the mixture until the FG bottoms out, but I'm trying to time it to where I have the nibs/bean in the beer soon enough to impart flavor, but not too long. The plan is to bottle after 4 weeks in primary (it will have been going a week tomorrow).

I'm not planning on racking into a secondary fermenter, just adding the nibs/bean to the primary vessel.

If it makes any difference the OG was 1.060 and the estimated FG is 1.014 (right now it's at 1.016). Yeast is US-05.

Thanks for any info.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:54 AM   #2
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Update: After confirming that the porter had reached FG (it's been 1.016 for 3 days) I decided to add the nibs and vanilla that had been soaking in vodka for the last 3 days. The smell was amazing, and the sample I took was fan-friggin-tastic even without the flavoring. I'm planning on letting it sit for a couple more weeks, tasting periodically to check for the right level of chocolate flavor.

I'll let you folks know how it turns out.
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:10 AM   #3
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FWIW, I am making a coffee vanilla porter. Mine hasn't reached FG yet, but I plan to rack to a secondary, add cold brewed coffee and two vanilla beans the were soaked in bourbon for 3 days. I planned on a Two week secondary, but I am prepared to let it go 3 weeks if necessary.

I am making a 2.5 gallon batch as well. Were you happy with the vanilla flavor from 1 bean? Did you cut it up and scrape it out?
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:53 AM   #4
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What made you want to use vodka? Seems like that's what everyone uses. Is there a reason?
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:55 AM   #5
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Nevermind, didn't read scurry64's post before asking...
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:36 AM   #6
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I used vodka and soaked cinnamon sticks for roughly 48 hours in my first ever batch of EdWorts Apfelwein. Came out great. I used vodka because it's cheap and also relatively neutral in flavor compared to other liquors.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scurry64
FWIW, I am making a coffee vanilla porter. Mine hasn't reached FG yet, but I plan to rack to a secondary, add cold brewed coffee and two vanilla beans the were soaked in bourbon for 3 days. I planned on a Two week secondary, but I am prepared to let it go 3 weeks if necessary.

I am making a 2.5 gallon batch as well. Were you happy with the vanilla flavor from 1 bean? Did you cut it up and scrape it out?
I'm happy with the one bean, but you might want 2. I'm pretty much using the vanilla to accentuate the chocolate. 2 beans would stand out better. I just split it down the middle, scraped out the seeds and cut the bean in 2" pieces.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:41 PM   #8
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How'd this turn out??? I am prepping to make a batch in Aug. to let sit till Oct.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:32 AM   #9
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This sounds great. I'm taking notes on these type of flavor additions and hope to brew something soon.

Hope to hear more of your thoughts on the process and the flavor!
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