I read through the whole thread and saw several people mention replacing the vanilla extract with vanilla beans. I just happen to have 4 vanilla beans left over from the holiday cooking spree, and would like to use them.
I saw no definitive answer on how many vanilla beans to use, when to use them (boil? secondary?), or whether the recipe even worked out okay with beans instead of extract. Any recommendations? These are Madagascar vanilla beans (not mexican, unfortunately).
I'm currently planning to heat two of them up in the oven for several minutes, then sanitize with a few sprays of starsan and dump them in the secondary fermenter.
Why not just soak them in vodka and add the whole thing to the secondary?