Author Topic: Adding Vanilla  (Read 988 times)

Offline kw642

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Adding Vanilla
« on: April 01, 2019, 06:43:02 PM »
I've got a 5 gallon batch of porter fermenting right now and I want to add a vanilla bean.  Is one bean enough?  Do I have to do anything to it first (aside from sanitize), or just drop it in the pail?  When should I add it?

Thanks!

Offline Oginme

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Re: Adding Vanilla
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2019, 05:34:40 AM »
I can only speak from my experience and that has been limited.  I used what amounts to 1 vanilla bean per gallon sliced open with the pulp scrapped off and then the beans cut into about 20 mm long pieces.  I soaked the beans and pulp in about an ounce of bourbon for a few days before adding it all to the fermenter after reaching my FG. I allowed it to steep for 3 days before cold crashing and then bottling.  The second time, I followed the same process, but also soaked an additional bean in vodka (again just enough to cover the bean) and added some of this just before bottling to enhance the vanilla aromas.

Much depends upon the type and quality of vanilla bean you have on hand as well.  My beans that I used for brewing were from Madagascar and pretty high quality.  I purchased some other beans grown in Tahiti for making straight extract for cooking and found them to be super floral in aroma.  A little bit went a long way.
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Offline dtapke

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Re: Adding Vanilla
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 07:40:26 AM »
I use a around 2 per G myself, 5-6" Grade A Bourbon Madagascar. I soak in either high quality bourbon or vodka for a couple weeks beforehand, add the whole thing. Last batch i did they soaked in 6 ounces of Stagg Jr. bourbon whiskey, before that I used EH Taylor Barrel Proof. I prefer using high proof bourbon whiskies, but I've had good luck with vodka for a much cleaner vanilla profile without the Bourbon whiskey influence.

That said, Bourbon vanilla beans are my preference, but so are tahitian and mexican. but you should really try each to determine what flavor profile you want, each vanilla bean is notably different. I'd like to do an IPA with Tahitian beans some day soon.
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Drinking: Dopplebock, NEIPA, Pils
Primary: empty
Secondary/Lagering:
Next Brew: RIS

Offline kw642

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Re: Adding Vanilla
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2019, 12:18:05 PM »
Great information!  Thanks guys

Offline dtapke

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Re: Adding Vanilla
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2019, 01:16:01 PM »
Obviously it's taste dependent. Whats great is if you're a kegger instead of a bottler. Its pretty easy to add some extra vanilla if you want. It's hard to take it away though ;)

I've used up to 4/g with 2lbs of cocoa nibs and a couple pounds of fresh toasted coconut on a 5g keg of a big imperial stout I did. It was a little over the top, but absolutely delicious. that said I've used far less and had good results as well!

I'd say keep your gravity in mind, lower gravity beer would easily do well with less, high gravity would do better with more. That RIS mentioned above finished at 1.035 with around 13%abv.
32g eHERMS
Drinking: Dopplebock, NEIPA, Pils
Primary: empty
Secondary/Lagering:
Next Brew: RIS