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Caramel cream ale?

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Tska

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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?
 

osuredhead88

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The recipe calls for Light Wheat DME, but I cant find that for some reason. Is it the same as Light DME or Wheat DME?
 

moeser

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The recipe calls for Light Wheat DME, but I cant find that for some reason. Is it the same as Light DME or Wheat DME?
Mine was labeled "Bavarian Wheat" packaged by LD Carlson. It's the package they handed me when I asked for "Light Wheat DME". I bought it locally, but I've seen identical packages of it available online. I never did find a product that actually said "Light Wheat DME". I believe Wheat DME hovers around 50%-60% wheat extract, while Light DME generally doesn't have any wheat in it. Since barley and wheat don't taste the same, you'll probably be closer to the recipe if you stick with a DME containing wheat.

I'd like to see more people comment on how their batch turned out, especially if it deviates from the original recipe at all.
 

Solaris79

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So I opened up the keg today, and all I have to say is "wow." Such a big difference from the first time I brewed this recipe. It's much crisper and the vanilla is a bit more subdued, but in a good way... smoother I guess is the way to describe it. If you do end up using vanilla extract like I did, make sure it's a really high quality vanilla extract (use Madagascar beans, not Mexican - completely different vanillas, and the Madagascar complements this recipe better). I still used 4 ounces of the extract in the 5 gallon keg, and the balance is great! Also, if you can use Leaf hops instead of pelletized hops, do it. I used 1oz of the Cascade as Leaf hops, and the remaining hops were pellets.
 

billsquared

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I bottled my VCCA tonight, after 8 days in primary and 12 days in secondary. I went conservative on the vanilla in bottling, opted for 2 ounces vs. the original recipe's 4.

So.

Good.

I can't wait for this to condition to drinkability. For any who may be interested, my readings:
OG: 1066 @ 65F
SG: 1014 @ 70F
FG: 1020 @ 70F

The FG gravity was taken off the last of the bottling barrel, so I'm going to assume the gravity reading when I moved to secondary is closer to truth. That would make it about 6.7ABV.
 

IndyMatt

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Well I will be trying this out with a slight variation, I had .5lbs of honey malt that I will be adding. So we will see how this beast turns out.

Matt
 

chaserchap

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Wow, just read this whole things and after 5+ years it's still going...

That being said, I'm brewing this as soon as I can bottle my last batch. It'll be my second brew (and something I hope the SWMBO will like). Going with Ver1 in a week and a half!
 

chaserchap

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So, I ordered the Wyeast German Ale 4.25 oz packet. Is this going to be enough yeast or should I make a starter?

(A pointer toward where to figure out the whole yeast thing would be appreciated so I don't have to ask questions like this anymore. Haha)
 

CoreyG

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Hey,

I made some mods to this recipe for various reasons ( price & availability mostly ) and was hoping for some input.

Here's what I was thinking

Fermentables
5.5 lbs light lme ( No dme at my LHBS )
1.2 lbs wheat dme (8$ a 1.2 lbs bag so dont want to use too much)
1 lbs wheat malt (for a mini mash and to make up for little wheat dme)
1 lbs crystal malt 80L

Hops - these are the only available and I can only boil 2.5gallons so I doubled everything from original to maintain proper bitterness

2 oz Cascade (5%)
1 oz Saaz (2.9%)
1 oz tettnag (4.7%)

Yeast

not sure --- my lhbs doesnt have many liquids, so many resort to nottingham or safale. I hear with this recipe it doesn't make a huge difference due to so many other flavors

Vanilla and Lactose as in original, except im using vanilla pods/stalks or wtv they called

Any comments? Think it will come out similar
According to beercalculus I get an OG of 1.058, FG =1.015 and IBU of 24.9
 

Jewrican

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i cant comment much but i think you should concider ordering your stuff from Brewmasters warehouse... if your lhbs doesnt carry dme or liquid yeasts... you really need to rethink that.

Order online and make the original... it is very hard to stomach calling that place a local home brew store when they dont carry the basics.. its not like you are looking for rare malts here...
 

CoreyG

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Im canadian so most this online stores destroy me on shipping so I perfer not to oder online.
 

Jewrican

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I did a quick search and there are two online stores in canada.. dont know if that would be cheaper.

this is from brewmasterswarehouse... only pay actual shipping and your order is expeidited :)

Orders received from Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada will not pay shipping at the time of checkout. Customers from the aforementioned areas will be contacted with options for shipping and will be charged the full shipping cost. Due to paying full shipping charges all orders from Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada will be expedited. There is no handling fee, and customers will have an option of shipping FedEx or USPS.
 

chaserchap

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All told, with the sweetness from the lactose and the vanilla, as long as you've got your caramel grains you should be getting the flavors you want, outside of that and possible extract 'twang' from using lme I would say you'll be fine.

Also, this is supposed to be a pretty sweet beer, I don't know if you need your IBU's up near 24. I brewed this last week and my ibus should be around 12-15. Sampled it today and it's pretty sweet, relative to most beers...the only real bitterness I noticed was from it being so green. I also couldn't taste any of the vanilla, so I'll be adding 3-4oz at bottling (along with the rest of the lactose).
 

CoreyG

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Do you think 0.5 lbs of crystal 80L is enough for flavor?. I don't want to use a 1lbs so I can minimize the affect of the extract darkness, but I would rather a darker better tasting beer than a lighter crappier beer.

For the IBUs, isn't the original recipe in the 25ish region? I'm pretty new to brewing but I was just trying to imitate the original. Should I be aiming for a lower amount?

Thanks for the input
Corey
 

chaserchap

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If you've got it, I'd use the full pound, but I don't know how much difference it would make (I'm fairly new to this too). I thought the IBU's were lower, but I could be wrong. Either way I chose to go with a lower ibu because I was looking for more of a dessert beer, so I didn't want it to be very bitter at all. Just preference I suppose.
 

jwplessner

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I enjoyed the result of the original recipe very much, thanks to the creator and all the HBT folks who gave input in this huge thread!

My only modifications from the original were using s-04 dry yeast and half the vanilla at priming. I've been trying to find an error in my process that leads to FGs on the higher end and wanted a comparable yeast that would attenuate as low as possible (finished at 1.017).

The beer turned out less sweet than I expected--contrary to general consensus, vanilla mellowed out considerably during carb and bottle conditioning--but it's still a one-per-night kind of drink. I tried mixing it with a few beers but found the flavor too overpowering for that purpose.

My BMC drinking friends like the beer more than I do, so when I make sampler 6 packs I include several of these. It's a good beer and a the experience was a nice foray into brewing outside a particular style.
 

Solaris79

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I just won a homebrew competition with the original recipe (the German Ale yeast version). Thanks again cheesefood!
 

MPOWELLJR

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Transferred from the primary to the secondary over the weekend... hoping the final product tastes better than what I sampled out of what was left in the primary after the transfer. This is my first batch of homebrew.

Edit: Ok... I must admit I was having the first batch jitters when I posted that lol. Tasted a small sample after I primed/bottled and it tasted awesome! Can't wait to try it in a few weeks... if I can wait that long to crack open one to check on the carb. lol.

Cheers!
 

drx2

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Boom Boom is the perfect name. Brewed it for the first time, pitched the yeast last night, and when I got home today, it blew the airlock off my primary! What a mess. The wife went nuts
 

dt2000andrews

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I have read most of the pages here, but just quickly so if someone has posted this, I apologize:

I have made the original version of this but instead of extract, I used 4 Madagascar vanilla beans in the secondary. Cut in half and split lengthwise. The beer sat in secondary for ~3 weeks.....oh my it was delicious. I am making the all grain version this weekend. Thanks Cheese!
Try the vanilla beans, you will not be disappointed!
 

Love2BrewCrew

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Question: I brewed this over the weekend with a friend and new homebrewer. When I was in the other room he added the extra DME to the primary fermentator. My understanding of this receipe is that it should have been used prior to bottling; is that correct?

Will there be any negative impacts on the beer with the extra DME in the primary fermentor? Should I add an additional cup during bottling?


Thanks in advance for the advice.
 

Jewrican

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it will be fine.. just a hair stronger (depending on how much was added).

As you may know the sugar is what is used to ferment and therefore carbonate the beer when in a sealed container. when in a carboy or a bucket the air escapes. In order to carbonate you will need to add your priming sugar / dme / carbonation caps.. whatever you choose to use.

I will also add, that you should always boil that additional sugar you add as it needs to be germ free.. dont stress.. you should be okay.
 

CoreyG

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Hey,

Just out of curiousity ( sry if in the prior 81 pages! ). Where is the head retention coming from in this recipes. Alot of my recipes add carapils to increase the head stability, but i don't see anything in this one to do that?

What is actually responsible for the head retention in this recipe?
 

CoreyG

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K so I kinda dropped the ball,

I didnt add the vanilla extract!... I'm currently at day 3 of primary fermentation. Should I just add it now or wait til i transfer it to secondary?

Thanks for the input
 

Solaris79

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K so I kinda dropped the ball,

I didnt add the vanilla extract!... I'm currently at day 3 of primary fermentation. Should I just add it now or wait til i transfer it to secondary?

Thanks for the input
I can say from experience there is absolutely no reason to add the Vanilla in Primary, and there is absolutely no reason to secondary this batch. After three weeks in primary, go ahead and keg or bottle. Give it two weeks in either, and you'll be in good shape!

:ban:
 

jwplessner

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You probably won't get the original beer, but adding vanilla extract now is ok. I recommend waiting till its time to bottle or keg and add to taste.
 

TheGeek

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As long as I've been around, I can't believe I haven't come across this recipe before. Its now next on my "to do" list.
 

mwmoose152

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I'm sorry if this has been covered, but can anyone be more specific on the AAUs of the hops used?

Thanks!
 

mwmoose152

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You would add the DME if you are naturally conditioning the beer. If you are force carbonating, then you would not need the DME.

Thanks - RichBrewer - for the AG recipe for this one. I think that I am going to save it for a late summer or fall brew. Sounds like one I would like to drink when it starts getting a bit chilly.

:) I can't wait to taste it, though.
So at that point, would the mix for the keg be the vanilla, lactose and water??? How much water at that point, and just bring to a boil and add, or let cool?

Thanks, guys!
 

mwmoose152

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After reading upwards of 50 pages of this threads posts, I'm brewing this sunday, but using a full madagascar vanilla bean stalk...CAN'T WAIT!!!
 

craig_reed

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I can't wait to brew this - after switching to LME this is what I came up with -

3.75lbs Light LME
3.75 Light Wheat LME
1# Caramel 60 (steeped 45 minutes at 150degrees)

1oz cascade (60 min)
.5 Saaz (20 min)
.5 Tett (end of boil - 5 min)

Yeast (depending what is available at LHBS)
Wyeast 1007
WLP080 or WLP029

Extras:
1 tsp Irish Moss (10 min)
4 oz Lactose (15 min)

Here is where I need help Where to add the vanilla?

Option 1: 2 oz real vanilla extract at end of boil, 2 oz in bottling bucket

OR

Option 2: 4 sliced Madagascar Vanilla Beans in primary (or secondary if needed)

Also in the OP it talks about using 1 cup of Lactose (8oz) along with vanilla and DME for priming solution? Is that right? Can't be right?

So let me know your thoughts on which yeast I should go for (ideally) and where to add the vanilla. I am going to go with the Madagascar vanilla beans, and was thinking of splitting 4 of them and racking on top of them in a secondary, but wondering if I could just do it all in the primary since there doesn't seem to be a need for secondary?
 

Solaris79

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@Craig, honestly, you just need 3lb and 3lb on the LME packets. Bump up the late additions of hops to 1 oz each, and save ALL the 4 oz of Vanilla for when you bottle. Do NOT add any of the vanilla to the primary fermentation. And for God's sake, use Wyeast 1007 (http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain_detail.cfm?ID=150). Cooler fermentation (60 degrees) is mandatory with that yeast, but I assure you, you will NOT regret it.

And if you can, use the Madagascar regular strength Vanilla from Penzey's. It's worth it's weight in gold in this beer. (http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeyssinglestrengthvanilla.html?id=3zRGcFLa)

:mug:
 

craig_reed

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@Craig, honestly, you just need 3lb and 3lb on the LME packets. Bump up the late additions of hops to 1 oz each, and save ALL the 4 oz of Vanilla for when you bottle. Do NOT add any of the vanilla to the primary fermentation. And for God's sake, use Wyeast 1007 (http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain_detail.cfm?ID=150). Cooler fermentation (60 degrees) is mandatory with that yeast, but I assure you, you will NOT regret it.

And if you can, use the Madagascar regular strength Vanilla from Penzey's. It's worth it's weight in gold in this beer. (http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeyssinglestrengthvanilla.html?id=3zRGcFLa)

:mug:
Awesome! Thanks for the update on this - I just did the dme to lme conversion to get the 3.75.

That Madagascar vanilla extract looks awesome, I think I will definitely go that route, seems cheaper than buying the whole beans, and probably a lot more concentrated flavor.

My only issue is I don't really have a temp control for fermentation so it hangs around 68-72 in my brew room in my house. I do have a cold fermentation fridge I use for cold crashing and lagering, it is a converted energy drink glass front fridge. I will turn up the heat in there to see if it could possibly get to 60 degree.
 

Solaris79

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No problem! I forgot to address your question about the lactose. Just put a cup or so in the boil with 15 minutes to go. It's practically useless at bottling. It gets used more in the boil. I would also rather use 5oz corn sugar at bottling rather than the dme.

Additionally, use 3lbs of DME (I think I used the wheat) @ 60 minutes. Throw in the last 3lbs with 15 minutes to go. This will help keep the color in check.
 

craig_reed

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Great thanks for the reply. All I have is a 4oz bag of Lactose (how they sell them at my LHBS) so I will have to go back for another one to make a full cup.

I am going to up the bittering hops to 1 oz, but am also going to use LME instead of DME in this recipe, I just find it easier to work with. You still think I should do a late addition?

Also, I will get the madagascar vanilla you posted the link to and use all 4 oz at bottling time and add that to my priming solution of corn sugar. Sounds like a winner to me! :mug:
 

Solaris79

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Oh that's right.. LME = Liquid malt extract. Go back to your original numbers you converted to. I always use DME in this recipe. I would still do late addition for the second half, you just have to be careful not to scorch it.
 

craig_reed

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Oh that's right.. LME = Liquid malt extract. Go back to your original numbers you converted to. I always use DME in this recipe. I would still do late addition for the second half, you just have to be careful not to scorch it.
Thanks again for your help. To be honest, I have only used DME once, and I found it hard to get fully dissolved, althought this may be a good recipe to give it another shot.

When you say "half" at the end, should I just combine the two extracts together up front, and then use 1/2 of that at 60 and the other 1/2 at 15? Or should I do the Light first, and wheat late? Or does it matter?
 

Solaris79

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I would put the wheat in at 60, then the pale in at 15. DME is kind've a pain in the butt to get stirred in, but you just have to be persistent. I prefer to use DME versus LME when I extract brew because of shelf stability, but if you get fresh LME, your beer base may be slightly more flavorful.
 

craig_reed

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I would put the wheat in at 60, then the pale in at 15. DME is kind've a pain in the butt to get stirred in, but you just have to be persistent. I prefer to use DME versus LME when I extract brew because of shelf stability, but if you get fresh LME, your beer base may be slightly more flavorful.
Thanks for your help on this. Going to my LHBS after work today to pick up all the ingredients for this beer and ordering the vanilla online. There are a few local spcecialty spice stores I want to check out first ($6 shipping makes the 4oz vanilla $17) upping the total price of this beer pretty significantly.
 
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