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My Vanilla Bean Milk Stout

yeah theres a few different ways you can do it. the way you describe works

heres a quote from a forum member, and a link to some topics on the subject

[quote=“shredd3r”]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[/quote]

Awesome. I will check those out! Thanks again!

Mr Scoggin is right. If you dunk yer beans in liquor, it’ll extract the vanillin out, and then you can strain/filter the liquid out after a few weeks. I personally leave em in a full month myself, then strain thru a coffee filter. Anyone who’s done this stuff knows it’s so much different/better than using a plastic store-bought bottle of vanilla “extract”.

From the filtering point on, it’s a matter of art and skill. Add the vanilla “potion” to taste. I add it in 1/2 oz increments to my keg. I’ll add 1/2 oz, let sit a week to meld, taste. If more is needed I’ll repeat the process til it’s just right.

It’s one of the many things I’ve found in brewing that is so easy, but yet many times we make it so complicated. Good luck.

My last batch was an export stout, O G 1.062-F G 1.015. When I racked to secondary I put one gallon by itself in a carboy and added two vanilla beans. I bottled after three weeks and tasted after two and it came out pretty good.

Thanks for the input. I am planning to have them sit it the bottles for a total of 8 weeks. Read somewhere online that someone who did a similar style to this tried one after it was bottled for 2 weeks. They said the vanilla was a bit over-powering so they left it for another 6 weeks and the vanilla became more complex and really mellowed out. I am thinking of doing that to really make sure that the flavors integrate and meld together to make one great tasting brew.

Thinking of adding 8oz of English Two Row. Thoughts?

Brewed the batch last night. Smells fantastic. Now to ferment in primary for 12-14 days. OG = 1.062. Hoping to get it down to around 1.018 - 1.020. We shall see. After the 14 days, the vanilla will be added inside a coffee filter. The bourbon will be added at that time as well. Then after another 7 days I plan to do the dry hopping, also within a coffee filter. This make sense to anyone?

i would give it at least 14 days in the primary.

there’s no need to dry hop a stout. i’d skip that step, stouts are supposed to be malty, with malty chocolate/roastey aroma. (not hop aroma’s)

I brewed Thursday and I just watched a video about steeping grains and it said not to hand squeeze the bag…I made the mistake of doing that in the hopes of getting the most from the grains that I could. I didn’t realize this would release more tannins. Should I be worried about this doing something harmful to my brew or will the fact that this is fermenting for a longer time and am adding some other ingredients do I not need to worry?

its a learning experience. but i wouldnt worry too much. you wont know till the final product. relax dont worry have a brew. it should be fine

Thanks S.Scoggin. I recognize the last part you put from the book I am reading…Joy of Homebrewing. I appreciate the input you have given me lately on this also.

no problem. most of what i advise is just recycled info from this forum. and some experience, but not as much as others. lots of very knowledgeable brewers around here

after looking into “squeezing the grain” on other forums. I’m fairly positive you wont have any issues. your beer should be just fine, given your other brewing procedures went smoothly and are accurate

Yeah I checked another forum myself and googled it like crazy. One response I got was that it is often something that is viewed at with a 50/50 split of people thinking that it ruins and the other half thinking it really doesn’t do anything.

The process did go very well though. Gravity was around a reading that I needed it to be and it seems to be fermenting just fine. Just had a bit of a scare that is all.

Just wanted to check something…I brewed the night of April 26. Would it be safe/long enough in the primary to transfer to the carboy to begin the secondary with the addition of the vanilla beans & bourbon and then in one week do the dry hop or should I wait until Friday? Also, I don’t need to pitch any more yeast correct?


[quote=“David_R”]Just wanted to check something…I brewed the night of April 26. Would it be safe/long enough in the primary to transfer to the carboy to begin the secondary with the addition of the vanilla beans & bourbon and then in one week do the dry hop or should I wait until Friday? Also, I don’t need to pitch any more yeast correct?

:cheers: [/quote]

Nevermind…Talked to a friend that recommended leaving in the primary another week then transferring.

Did a transfer to glass carboy after 3 weeks. Gravity came in at 1.0225 but after adjusting due to temperature it ended up being 1.0205. Did a taste test and it was fantastic! Added the vanilla beans inside sterilized coffee filters. Will be dry hopping with .5oz Pacifica Thursday. Then bottling the following Thursday. Question…should I crush the hop pellets to be more powder like? Would this assist in anything?


no need to crush the pellets. they will turn into a gunk either way. although i wouldn’t dry hop a stout. there is no need for hop aroma in a stout In my opinion

but it’s up to you i suppose

Bottled the beer about 2 weeks ago. Got a pretty good yield. Was able to fill 1 champagne bottle, 24 bombers, and 5 12 oz’ers. Can not wait to crack one of these open to test them. 4 more weeks to go.

Cracked the first one open after 3 weeks in the bottle. What a tasty brew! Body is pretty close to a hot chocolate thickness. Flavor and aroma is magnificent. There is the upfront chocolate/coffee/roasted notes and then just at the end a finish of vanilla. And that finish is ever so slight that if you really aren’t paying attention to it, you probably won’t notice it. Head retention was…well let me just say that it looked like I was drinking a root beer float. So happy with how this one came out.

This one did fairly well with family and friends so…I will be brewing it again. Part of my first Father’s Day gift from my wife was a NB gift card. Ingredients already ordered and vanilla is on it’s way. Woohoo! Can’t wait to brew this one again. Ended up calling it Toasted Marshmallow.

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