Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.
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I am making a vanilla porter. I am planning on adding vanilla beans in the secondary. What is the best method? I have been told to either break the beans into pieces and add them. I have also been told to remove the beans from the "shell" and add the shell. I have two vanilla bean stalk type looking things. I'm not even sure if these stalk like things are the beans, or if the beans are in the stalk like things, or if the stalk like things are the beans. Help!?#@???
The beans are inside the husk of pod. I know in ice cream making they crush the beans, and scrape out the husk ( discarding the pod after processing ) to extract as much flavor as possible. As for adding it to beer I am not going to be much help.
I think that you just "crumble" the entire pod, exposing the beans and breaking up the husk so their oils are more likely to be dissolved by the alcohol in your fermented batch in the short period of time they are in the batch. I always just used pure vanilla extract, which saves a little work and adds alot of consistency. Homemade extract can be made from your beans by soaking them in vodka, rum , etc. Check out some dessert recipe sites for details.