Need Advice on using Vanilla to flavor a beer

I want to add vanilla to a wheat beer, but I’m not sure if I should use fresh vanilla bean and steep it with the grain bags in a partial mash or should I add it as to the secondary? I was also thinking of using vanilla extract but i’m not sure how that would affect the flavor. If anyone has tried using vanilla in a batch your advice is greatly appreciated. I had a great vanilla flavored beer in Tennessee with just the right amount of vanilla to give aroma and a subtle taste. I am hoping to duplicate it. I tried asking the brewing staff at the place that sold it, but the brewer was not in. Go figure.

In a Porter, I cut 1 bean in half, scrape the meat out and add it all to the secondary (primary, after fermentation is done, if you don’t want to reuse the yeast). No soaking in vodka needed. Allow it to soak for 3-5 days. If after 5 days you don’t think there is enough flavor, add another bean.

If you put it in the mini mash, I think the flavor/aroma may dissipate in the boil. And it just would not have that much contact time.

A high quality extract could work. Those straight from Mexico. But, I get a medicinal flavor from many of the extracts.

We use vanilla fairly often. Our method is to use 1/4 of a whole vanilla bean. Use sanitized utensils and split it long ways through one side so that it will open up flat. Don’t scrape it out or anything, just add it to the secondary, or for about a week in the primary if you prefer not to use a secondary.
Hope this helps.

I bought some double strength extract from Penzeys spices that I used in an imperial stout before. I put like 4 drops in each bottle and it came out very nice.

I sit in a room that once had a vanilla bean in it, then shoot my carboy a sideways glance. I’m THAT good. :lol:

seriously, I split & scrape into bulk age or a jar with whiskey or vodka in it. I usually add to a stout with oak chips, so this works pretty good for me.

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Are you related to Chuck Norris? :wink: [/quote]
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