Vanilla bean....

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Dendion

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2012
Messages
68
Reaction score
12
I have a question about vanilla bean. I am in secondary Fermentation, and about to add vanilla bean. I thought there was a thread about Madagascar Vanilla bean, and not to use it? Anyone shed some light on this? Thanks!
 

vNmd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
705
Reaction score
174
I have heard that Madagascar beans are the best. I bought some and added to a stout's secondary. I went way overboard (2 beans for a week and a half) so I am making my own extract in hopes of getting a more exact quantity. I haven't heard anything about using them in meads, so I subscribed to your thread.
 

funnycreature

Beer Crafter, Metalhead \m/
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2013
Messages
1,054
Reaction score
191
Location
Harpers Ferry
Madagascar beans are some of the best. There are differences in quality which is I think largely dependent on residual moisture. I think one of Denny Conn's relatives has a vanilla shop in Hawai'i that apparently sells the best. beans. ever. Of course with a hefty Aloha price tag ;)
 

winterc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
83
Reaction score
4
Location
Cumberland
I soaked 2 vanilla beans in vodka for about 2 months, then poured the vodka in after 2 weeks of fermenting a porter. It worked out perfectly.
 

Magic8Ball

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 17, 2013
Messages
235
Reaction score
45
Location
Benton County
I am just about to bottle a 5 gal batch of Kurts Apple Pie mead. It calls for two whole vanilla madagascar beans (+ cinnamon sticks) in secondary. I did not split them, I did soak in vodka overnight and added the whole thing into secondary. I used a hop bag with sanitized monofilament line (fishing line) to put them in. The idea was to make it easier to pull them when it tasted right. Life happens, I forgot about them and after 4 weeks the Cinnamon and Vanilla flavor was very intense, I pulled the beans and sticks. Now after 3 month of bulk aging the vanilla and cinnamon are just a background notes. Delicious. Side note: tie the bag at the top so that the end comes into the carboy neck, not the middle where it will get stuck. Dough!
 

Matrix4b

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
641
Reaction score
47
I soaked 2 vanilla beans in vodka for about 2 months, then poured the vodka in after 2 weeks of fermenting a porter. It worked out perfectly.
This is almost exactly how to make vanilla extract. Splitting and scraping the bean putting it all in the vodka or I use Rum, and shaking up a bit now and then.

I recomend you get beans in bulk online, Amazon has some not bad prices for grade b beans in bulk for 1/4 to 1/2 pounds. The only diffrence between grade b and grade a is how pretty the bean is. They make extract from grade b beans, commercially.

But your bean choice is fine. I recomend for a gallon that you use 2-3 beans and just let it sit in the secondary for a good couple of months. It takes 2 months for a true extract using 35% ABV alcohol, your secondary should be around 10% to 12% so 2 months would be good, just split and scrape into it. If the pod isn't at least split then the alcohol can't get to the good stuff as easily.

I make several cups of vanilla extract at a time. 6 beans to a cup of vodka or rum, and the best part is you can use the same beans for a second batch.

Matrix
 

vNmd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
705
Reaction score
174
This is almost exactly how to make vanilla extract. Splitting and scraping the bean putting it all in the vodka or I use Rum, and shaking up a bit now and then.
I researched making extracts after a bad experience putting beans in secondary. I hope making an extract will make the amounts added more reproducible to work with. I did 6 beans in 8oz vodka. It has only been a week, but the colour so far is pretty amazing. I can wait until fall to try it out.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2011
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Location
Boston
This site has some of the most interesting varieties at decent prices, and the quality is outstanding. From the site comments, a lot of bakers seem to use them as a source for high quality beans.

http://www.beanilla.com/vanilla/vanilla-beans

For my imperial stout, I used their Tahitian beans. I split them, scraped them, then soaked them in Vodka for a week, adding them to the secondary. They were a wonderful addition.
 
Top