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Old 11-20-2012, 01:14 AM   #1
Feb 2007
Posts: 64
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I have a pretty big imperial stout (1095) that I'm getting ready to rack soon on top of 3 oz of oak chips soaked in dark rum with 4 vanilla beans and I want to know if yall think I should sanitize this or if it's even necessary. my concern is if I sanitize (by pressure cooker) that a lot of flavor will be lost.

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Old 11-20-2012, 10:49 AM   #2
Jul 2009
Posts: 1,003
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I've heard people say you don't have to sanitize the vanilla beans, but I would. However, you don't need to use a pressure cooker. Split the beans lengthwise, scoop all the stuff out, and throw the whole lot of it into a small ball with some vodka (or your rum, if you prefer). Give it about 12-24 hours, and dump that in with your oak chips.
Brody's Brew House
Primary: Spiced ale
Planned: Butternut squash & gala apple harvest ale; brown ale or porter; barley wine
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In the fridge: Dogfish 60 minute; Imperial Stout

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Old 11-20-2012, 01:05 PM   #3
br1dge's Avatar
Dec 2010
Roswell, GA
Posts: 291
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Agree. . Use rum or vodka or bourbon ( just enough to submerge the beans) I don't know why it would take more than 2-3 minutes though, stir them up real good, and they should be sanitize

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Old 11-21-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
Jan 2012
Rockford, IL
Posts: 101
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Yup, the rum soak will kill any bugs on the beans and the oak. You just need the same contact time that you would have with hand sanitizer (2-3 minutes). However, the rum will help to extract some of the flavor compounds form the beans.
You might want to think about reducing the beans some- most of the people doing big stouts are using 1 -2 beans in them. Using 4 beans might give you an overwhelming vanilla flavor. The good thing about vanilla is that if you do get it too strong you can just leave it bottled for a few months more and the flavor will fade some.

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