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Bourbon Vanilla Porter Additions?

I will be transferring my first batch from primary to keg/secondary soon. I have read about 10 pages on the bourbon vanilla porter thread but have yet to find these answers.

How much bourbon should be added? Two years ago I brewed NB bourbon barrel porter and added 750 ml of Makers Mark. It looks like I can get by with a more economical bourbon, but I have not found an amount to add. It did take a couple months for the bourbon taste to mellow. From what i have read on the original thread, brewers seem to be drinking it shortly after removing the vanilla beans.

I live in MN. If I mail order vanilla beans, do I have to worry about freezing temperatures damaging the beans?

I keep my unused beans in the freezer, so no worries about the temp. 750ml seems like a lot of bourbon. I use a pint and when I brew I put toasted oak cubes and vanilla beans in the bourbon. When I keg I dump the whole thing in there. Judging by how quickly it disappears it is a good method.

Denny recommends 10ml per 16oz., which is 400ml per 5 gallons.

I used Buffalo Trace in my last batch and really enjoyed it. It is around $19 for a 750ml bottle.

Also, if you want I have about 20 madagascar vanilla beans at my house, I could mail you 2 when I get home this evening. Just PM me your address.

And no worries about the beans freezing.

Taste periodically for the correct balance. Rack to bottling

bucket and add 10 ml. per pint of Jim Beam Black Bourbon (or to

your taste). Bottle, enjoy!

=13.5 oz of bourbon for EXACTLY 5 gallons of final product.

And about the vanilla beans, I recall Denny saying vanilla is one of the first flavors to dissipate after packaging the beer, which is why they drink it soon.

Here’s another option. Prepare a tincture of vanilla beans & bourbon and add it when you pour your pint. That way you can enjoy the Porter straight up, or with as much or little of bourbon/vanilla you want. I use 12 beans per 1.75L of bourbon. The beans I use are Bourbon Madagascar Extract Grade. Takes a week or two for the tincture to develop. Cheers!!!

I kind of like this idea. Do you just dump the beans into a bottle of bourbon and forget about them? I am not sure how long it would take me to finish a bottle of bourbon…would it keep developing vanilla flavor until it is gone?

I kind of like this idea. Do you just dump the beans into a bottle of bourbon and forget about them? I am not sure how long it would take me to finish a bottle of bourbon…would it keep developing vanilla flavor until it is gone?[/quote]

Cut the beans ~2" long and then split lengthwise to expose the goo inside. You can scale it back for 750ml or a pint. What ever fits your needs. (I do the same with a 750 of rum & 12 beans to make vanilla extract for baking. It’s awesome.) I have a 1.5L of bourbon that’s ~2 years old & it is still very viable. Here’s an ebay link where I buy the beans:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/290621990040?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
There are many places to buy beans but I’ve grown accustomed to their quality and the quantity I need to use. Cheers!!!

I will probably get them locally at Penzeys Spices here in Houston. They have some really high quality beans and extract both that I have bought before.

Thanks for the tips.

I make this beer once a year but I make 20+ gallons of it and I don’t want the vanilla to fade in the keg. For this reason, I put a half bean in each keg (unsplit) which works great to hold the vanilla without getting stronger.

16oz is what I’ve done. I did use Makers Mark. I think I could also use Jameson, which be killer. Also Wild Turkey is often on sale at Rite Aid.

I’ve said it before…as long as the bourbon isn’t rotgut, it doesn’t matter. If you use enough to be able to tell what kind of bourbon it is, you’ll likely throw off the balance of the beer.

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