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Old 02-11-2013, 12:32 AM   #1
Jul 2012
Posts: 26
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Hey all,

I've got an imperial stout in the throws of primary fermentation. The plan is to transfer to secondary with some vanilla beans. I've seen many a person on the boards recommend vodka as the best way to sanitize and extract the flavors fromnthe beans. Problem is that I'm cheap and don't want to buy vodka if I don't have to. I've got a fifth of Crown Royal sitting in the ol' cabinet, and' while I realize the it's somewhat high end, it's still cheaper than going out to buy a pint of Mohawk for no reason. Short story long, what do people think of using Crown for the vanilla bean secondary adventure?


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Old 02-11-2013, 03:48 AM   #2
Dec 2012
Posts: 2

I just finished two vanilla 80/- scottish ales. I read that you could use vodka but also read that it was not necessary. I cut the beans lengthwise and threw them into the secondary as-is. Wonderful results! The alcohol in the beer after primary was able to kill any bacteria. Best of luck!

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Old 02-11-2013, 03:59 AM   #3
Apr 2009
middle of nowhere
Posts: 1,910
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I would choose whiskey over vodka any day of the week.
............Alright Brain, you don't like me, and I don't like you. But lets just do this, and I can get back to killing you with beer......~Homer

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Old 02-11-2013, 01:55 PM   #4
Apr 2012
Posts: 760
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i use jameson or makers mark everytime I use vanilla beans. it really does not impart much flavor into your beer (using about 3/4cup of whiskey to soak my beans)

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Old 02-11-2013, 06:08 PM   #5
Sep 2009
Posts: 440
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I'll echo the sentiments expressed above. It is not necessary to soak the beans in anything. Just cut them lengthwise, and scrap the seeds (then add everything, seeds and all). If you want to add some whiskey, that can go well with the beer, and then soaking the beans before adding them is a perfectly fine thing to do.

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Old 02-11-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
RIC0's Avatar
Oct 2012
On my Wifes $hitlist in Indiana
Posts: 499
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I pulled a vanilla bean out of a jar that was new from the store. Sprayed with sanitizer, put it on a cutting board, cut it down the middle and tossed it in the secondary as is. No soaking in battery acid, vodka, moonshine, pee or anything else. I made sure my hands were washed. Put your bean(s) in the freezer for a day that will kill off the bacteria as well if there is any.

Maybe I took a chance but the beer is in my fridge and it's delicious.
*** Possum Trot Brewery ***

Beer Primary - Butthead Belgian
Beer Secondary - Belgian Tripel

Bottled - Big Breakfast Stout - Belgian IPA - Butthead Belgian White - Redneck Red - Moose Drool - Dirty Dubbel

Mead Primary - Nuttin
Bottled - Strawberry Trainwreck - Orange Spice - Blueberry Trainwreck

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Old 02-12-2013, 01:47 AM   #7
Nov 2012
, Wisconsin
Posts: 11
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What kind of Vanilla beans did you use, just out of curiosity? I've done both methods (soaking in vodka, throwing in plain) and have had good results with both. On another point, save your vanilla beans when you are done! They will still have a ton of flavor and aroma left over even after you soak them in beer for a few months, I usually take them and throw them into whatever bottle of bourbon I have lying around to inpart a mild vanilla flavor

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Old 02-19-2013, 12:17 AM   #8
Herky21's Avatar
Jan 2012
Des Moines, IA
Posts: 307
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I used Jamaican Rum once and it turned out well. From what I've read, I would suggest not adding the excess alcohol, but only the vanilla bean, unless you want a lot of bourbon flavor.
Beer. It's what's for Dinner.

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Old 02-19-2013, 02:32 AM   #9
Feb 2013
Wichita, Kansaa
Posts: 10
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts

I have brewed several batches of vanilla Porter, and just split the beans down the middle then added to the secondary. I left in it in the secondary for a month, all three batches have turned out great. Good luck!

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Old 02-19-2013, 03:31 AM   #10
Dec 2012
Posts: 65

I took 4 vanilla beans cut length wise, scraped them then added to 2 cups of makers and let sit for 4 weeks. I strained and tossed the liquid into the secondary. The flavor was awesome with a hint of smokeyness from the makers. I haven't tried vodka but I'm a bourbon fan myself

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