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Recommendations for adding vanilla

I have a porter ready to keg and I want to add vanilla. I have some vanilla beans I got from the local homebrew store but not sure if I should slice them longways or chop them into small pieces. Also should I soak them in vodka?

What do you folk recommend?


Slit them lengthwise, scrape the inside of the pods, and add the whole lot to some bourbon or vodka for as long as possible. Doesn’t take much, an 8oz jelly jar is plenty of space. Then add the whole contents, pods and all, to your beer.

The one or two times i used them i sliced them long ways then scraped and choped. I didn’t soak them in vodka.

That is exactly what you want to do slice them long ways scoop out the resin and soak them in vodka or bourbon . Two beans is enough for five gallons. The flavor of vanilla does fade with time. You may have to let the beer age a little bit. If the vanilla is to strong at first. Most time a beer like that benefits with age anyway

Do you also add the resin to the Vodka? How long do you leave it in the vodka? And what do you add to the keg? Do you add the Vodka and the beans, just the Vodka or just the beans?

I personally recommend using bourbon to soak the beans; a good, but not great one. 8-12 oz in 5- gallons gives a nice flavor. But start small, and add to taste. If using vodka, use the bare minimum to wet the goo and pods.
The vanilla fades real fast, so don’t age it more than a few weeks before starting to drink. I still have a few bottles from my last batch, (summer) and the vanilla is gone.

I agree with the above. If you want to age it, add the tincture later.

Yes soak it all in vodka or bourbon. I do recommend the bourbon for about a week then strain and add to your keg or bottling bucket. This will help it not fade as fast.

I do all the above, slit, scoop, soak, but hang them in a muslin bag the whole time I’m drinking on the keg. Just leave them in there the whole time. Tie the bag off with unflavored floss, and leave enough out of the top of the keg so it hangs in place.

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