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Old 01-02-2009, 04:18 PM   #1
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Default My Vanilla Porter does not taste like Vanilla... Why?

I cracked open the first brew last night after 2 weeks in the bottle and I was less than impressed to say the least. At bottling time I stole a sample with the theif and poured it in a cup and the vanilla flavor was definitely there, not overpowering but a nice aftertaste compliment to the Porter. The beer sat on 2 vanilla beans prepared per everyones advice being split, scraped, and soaked in vodka for a little over 2 weeks.

When I cracked the bottle and had that first sip I was astounded at the complete lack of vanilla. Nothing, none. I am trying to figure out how this is even possible. Perhaps it needed to be stirred in to distribute the flavor more evenly??? I was dead certain this was going to be just like a Vanilla porter clone due to the taste on bottling day.

Ideas?


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Old 01-02-2009, 04:30 PM   #2
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I've only done a few brews with vanilla so take this for what it's worth: I have found that the vanilla flavor mellows a bit as the beer matures. I compensate by letting the flavor get a bit more intense than I want before I bottle.


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Old 01-02-2009, 06:37 PM   #3
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Well crap then... At least the beer is beer I guess. Thanks!
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:26 PM   #4
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Better to be too little vanilla than too much, right?
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:52 PM   #5
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Possibly when you sampled from the bottling bucket you had just added the priming sugar? Vanilla needs a little sweetness in the background. Try dissolving 1/3 tsp of sugar in a little water, then pour the porter. If that solves the problem, use about 1/2 cup of lactose in your next batch or more caramel 60L.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:03 PM   #6
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BELIEVE ME...too little vanilla is a good thing. Too much will kill a perfectly good brew.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:14 PM   #7
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Can you at least smell it? That's about all I expected from my Vanilla Porter. I had tried Breckenridge's vanilla porter, and all I got was vanilla aroma, no taste at all. The best vanilla porter I ever had was brewed by a local brewpub, and they pushed it with nitrogen which gave it a nice touch. (they also served a wheat beer with Nitrogen once, called it cream of wheat)
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:37 PM   #8
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I just finished drinking my keg of vanilla bourbon porter. When I first kegged, just after mixing in the bourbon, all I could taste was bourbon. I let it age at room temp for a month taking small samples every week. After a couple of weeks the vanilla became more prominent. The vanilla did mellow some with time. In my case, after some aging, all the flavors came together for a truly awesome beer. The vanilla came through up front, then the character of the bourbon ( but without the heat)then it finished with a slightly roasty taste. I used two whole vanilla beans in the secondary and I thought it was the perfect amount.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:44 PM   #9
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I had my porter (5 gal) sitting on top of 2.5 of split vanilla beans for 2 weeks in the secondary. It was overpowering at first but has mellowed quite nicely and is very enjoyable to drink. I didn't soak the vanilla beans in vodka, though, and also kegged/force-carbonated the porter. The vanilla smell comes through well and is definitely complements the chocolate malt well. Mmm. It's close enough to lunch here that I think I talked myself into one.

My wife actually prepared the beans. If I recall, she just split them and we through the beans & all the innards into the carboy before racking.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:28 PM   #10
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To answer a few things...

The sample I tasted before bottling was straight from the carboy. It was prominent and I got very excited that I had created a Breckenridge clone. So no sugar was in the mix... although I will try that idea.

Can you smell it anymore? No, not at all....


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