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Adding Vanilla Beans

If I were to vanilla beans to a porter, would I need to boil them first? Sanitation is a concern. How do I get rid of potential nasties on things I want to add without sacrificing the flavors?

Any advice would be appreciated.

If you are putting them in the beer to bulk age after it has fermented out there is enough alcohol in the beer to prevent any infection from the beans. If your concerned and still want to sanitize the beans soak them in cheap vodka. Don’t boil them or you will cook out the aromatics you are trying to get into your beer!

Just wanted to add. Throw both the vodka & beans in the beer. Be sure to split them lengthwise to expose all the goo. I usually cut them into 2" lengths and then cut those lengthwise. Cheers!!!

This wont give me a vodka like flavor? Also will it matter how long they soak?

Vodka is pretty neutral flavor wise. You don’t need to use very much. Just enough to cover the vanilla bean pieces. I’ve used a pint canning jar in the past but never filled it.

How long? A day or two & then into the fermenter with all of it, vodka & beans. If you want to do it at packaging time then soak the beans for a week or two and just add the tincture to the keg or bottling bucket. Cheers!!!

This question comes up quite a bit…maybe should consider adding it to the FAQ…

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=80887&p=756109&hilit=vanilla+beans#p756109 viewtopic.php?f=1&t=99366&p=883314&hilit=vanilla+beans#p883314 viewtopic.php?f=1&t=97433&p=870930&hilit=vanilla+beans#p870930

I brewed the St Paul Porter extract kit and added 5 vanilla beans into secondary split length wise, scraped out the goo, cut up the “shells”, and threw everything into secondary carboy and let sit for two weeks. Definitely had a subtle vanilla character. No infections with this process.

5 vanilla beans only gave it a subtle character? Wow. :lol:

In my experience, yes, it will. I use vanilla beans pretty frequently (google “Denny Conn bourbon vanilla imperial porter” to see). I slit them lengthwise and scrape out all the gunk inside. That’s the part you really want. Chop the pods into roughly 2-3 in. pieces and put the pods and “gunk” in a secondary. Rack the beer onto it. I have never had a sanitation problem from doing it that way. The alcohol level and low pH of the beer by the time it gets to secondary make it very resistant to infection.

Denny, do you do the same thing when adding anything to the secondary?

Pretty much so. I have a wee heavy fermenting now that will get chanterelle mushrooms in the secondary. I just rinse the dirt off, chop them up, and put them in.

Great thanks!

[quote=“Denny”]

Pretty much so. I have a wee heavy fermenting now that will get chanterelle mushrooms in the secondary. I just rinse the dirt off, chop them up, and put them in.[/quote]chanterelle mushrooms? rrriiiiiiiigggghhhhttt… :lol:

[quote=“Edward Teach”][quote=“Denny”]

Pretty much so. I have a wee heavy fermenting now that will get chanterelle mushrooms in the secondary. I just rinse the dirt off, chop them up, and put them in.[/quote]chanterelle mushrooms? rrriiiiiiiigggghhhhttt… :lol: [/quote]

Yep…based on Randy Mosher’s “Nirvana” recipe. I’ll be serving it at NHC this summer.

[quote=“Denny”]

Yep…based on Randy Mosher’s “Nirvana” recipe. I’ll be serving it at NHC this summer.[/quote]
way to kill my joke with seriousness. :roll:

[quote=“Edward Teach”][quote=“Denny”]

Yep…based on Randy Mosher’s “Nirvana” recipe. I’ll be serving it at NHC this summer.[/quote]
way to kill my joke with seriousness. :roll: [/quote]

Hey, I got the joke, at least!

+1 Same method here.
Make sure that you start with high quality beans too. I buy mine from beanilla.

I really like these guys…

http://www.hawaiianvanilla.com/

The ones I have are from Beanilla. Such a good aroma. I could smell it all day

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