Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.
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I will be brewing a 5 gallon extract batch of porter soon and want to try a little experiment. I am going to seperate the beer into two secondary fermenters. I will put the first gallon into one carboy and the remainder in another. In the first carboy with one gallon of beer I would like to add a vanilla flavoring. What would be the best way to add this to the beer? Should I let a whole vanilla bean soak in there? Grind up the vanilla bean? Use a vanilla extract? thanks!
It occured to me that this subject was debated a while back on the forum so I used the search engine with "Vanilla" and came up with 27 responses from past posts. Hope that helps a bit while you are waiting for more current responses from the members.
We went full circle with this topic a few months ago. In my opinion, you can achieve better uniformity w/ extract. The companies that make extract put alot of time into product consistency and conformity, so why not take advantage. With raw beans, you may wind up with different flavor concentrations dependant on any number of variables. Although I like to use all natural ingredients, not all chemicals are bad. Artificial vanilla extract is cheap too!
I just got done drinking a batch of vanilla porter. The recipe I used is called Sweet and sexy Vanilla porter- it is on this site. I crunched up four whole vanilla beans and put them in the secondary then racked the beer onto it. The only problem that I had is that the flavor dissipates quickly, I mean very quickly. Next time I will use vanilla extract. My only hesitation is that I am not a big fan of artificial anything. Find a QUALITY extract- if there is such a thing. My wife has a bottle of REAL vanilla extract that was brought to the states from mexico. My advice would be to get your hand on some of that. Further, I would recommend using a yeast like WLP002- it leaves a little sweetness. As far as amount- this might sound crazy, but I think it is the best solution. Add the vanilla right into the glass when you pour the beer. Just a thought. Good luck and good beer. Prost!!
Just as a matter of personal preference, I would vote for real vanilla. I found a large bottle of real extract at Costco for relatively cheap compared to the small fancy bottles found at smaller retailers. If you are not a member of Costco, tell them you are interested in becoming a member, but want to try the "Costco experience" first. They should be more than willing to give a one day pass to shop there.
For a five gallon batch on almond-vanilla dunkelweizen, we used 12 oz of amaretto and 2 oz of vanilla extract (artificial. This ratio produced an very slight vanilla flavor that took a while to become apparent. Since you may use real vanilla extract, I'm not sure what ratio is appropriate. The fact that the worst that can happen is that your one gallon of beer will have too much vanilla taste is encouraging. Why not add one tsp at a time, mixing and tasting between additions, until you get it right.