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Vanilla extract versus vanilla bean

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darkestdays

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I am making a coffee stout. In the secondary I wanted to add 4 cups cold brewed coffee and 2.5 tablespoons of vanilla extract. I have been reading that a lot of people put in vanilla beans soaked in bourbon or vodka instead of extract. Should I really go with the beans or would the extract suffice?
 

COLObrewer

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I'll let you know tomorrow, I'm bottling a Vanilla stout tonight (Vanilla Gorilla), we used vanilla extract in it, didn't taste much vanilla when we secondaried it, haven't tasted it yet out of secondary.
 

lowlife

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I made a vanilla porter once. I used mexican vanilla extract (high quality) that I brought back from Mexico. It was good.
 

fastricky

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Pure vanilla extract works really well, but go LIGHT with it! I just made a porter and used 2 oz (5 gallon batch) and the vanilla flavor is very much there. It'll mellow I'm sure, but in the future I'd go 1 oz for just a hint of flavor to round things out.
 

asterix404

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Alas to post a question within a question... are you using liquid coffee or are you just putting in the grounds? I heard both work and I am curious.

From what I read about adding fruit the booze is meant to sterilize the fruit/whatever else you are adding to it before adding it to the secondary.
 

BeerNewbie

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I made a vanilla nut brown that I secondaried 4 gallons of on 1 Madagascar vanilla bean. It's just enough to add a light aroma and aftertaste. I'd use a real bean. They're expensive if you buy them locally, and just 1 at a time. I bought off of online (if I remember right, it was VanillaProductsUSA.com) and had a good experience.

I cut it down the center, scraped out all the insides, and put the shell and insides in the secondary. In your beer, you may want to use two beans, but I'd be careful using more than that to keep it from being over-powering.

(I ordered a pound of beens, and am making my own vanilla extract for Christmas presents for next year.)
 

pgenius

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I brewed a Vanilla Bourbon Stout and I thought it came out awesome. I bought a pint of bourbon and drank a shot out of it, than I put in 3 bourbon vanilla beans that I had sliced lengthwise with a knife. I let that soak for 3 weeks then added it to the beer before bottling. That was a pint for a 15 gallon batch so use 1/3-1/2 of a pint in a 5 gallon batch I'd say.

Cheers! :mug:
 

COLObrewer

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I'll let you know tomorrow, I'm bottling a Vanilla stout tonight (Vanilla Gorilla), we used vanilla extract in it, didn't taste much vanilla when we secondaried it, haven't tasted it yet out of secondary.
The vanilla has come through, I used a pack of vanilla extract that was meant for 5 gallons of soda, the full package. Barely a hint of vanilla over the strength of the stout at bottling, it is appx. 7.8% ABV. Tastes more like a barley wine or compares well to Old Chub right now. I'm assuming the crystal and caraffa will mellow a slight bit allowing more vanilla to come out, although it is very drinkable NOW even without condit/carbing, etc. It's gonna be a goodun :ban:
 
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