vanilla beans

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amishland

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I have been reading most say to split in half and to scrape
why scrape?

Some folks will soak in something like vodka before adding, I opted to not.

How many days should one age on beans before racking off?
 

manticle

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I have been reading most say to split in half and to scrape
why scrape?

Some folks will soak in something like vodka before adding, I opted to not.

How many days should one age on beans before racking off?

The flavour is mainly housed in the small black seeds inside the pod. Scraping them releases the flavour. Not scraping them doesn't allow full release. I'm guessing if you were ageing for a considerable amount of time this may change as the bean itself will retain some vanilla flavour from contact with the seeds - this is why old scraped pods can still be used to flavour sugar.

I've got a bourbon vanilla sour that I'm fermenting at the moment - this will be on the beans for 6+ months (maybe as long as 12) but that may be a different kettle of fish to yours. I guess if you can sample some and when you're happy with the flavour, keg/ bottle it.

Like most flavour type things added in (eg fruit, dry hops etc) probably best to put the vanilla in secondary rather than primary.
 

ChshreCat

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+1 on what manticle said. All the vanilla-y goodness is in the gooey center. Scraping that out helps get it in contact with your beer and helps to impart the flavor.
 
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