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Vanilla Bean "Dry Hop"

Brewed a porter, and recipe calls for adding Vanilla beans to secondary. I plan to keg this one, and was wondering if I could in a sense, “dry hop” it like I would an IPA, and bypass secondary? Put the Vanilla beans in a muslin bag, tie it up with some unflavored floss, and drop it in the keg?

Thoughts? Input? Ideas? Dumb?

I personally think its a great idea as vanilla flavors fade fast. I’ve never done it myself but think its worth a try.

Cool. I’ll be the guinea pig and report back. Brewed it for a party and got a late start on it cutting down my time I had to let it age.

The only reason I see not to is that the vanilla could become over powering. Soaking it in the keg you could never choose how much flavor it will add. Where doing a secondary you could control the flavor a little better. Just my opinion though.

This would work just fine, but as the bean(s) set in the keg, it will impart more vanilla flavor. You won’t have the option of “dialing it in”. But vanilla does fade over time. I’d say give it a shot, if it starts to get too much vanilla flavor…drink faster!!! :lol:

Let us know how it turns out. It’s hard to beat a good vanilla porter IMHO…Prost!!!

If he puts it in a muslin bag why can’t he just pull it out if the flavor gets to be too much?

Leave slack in the floss. Tie to top of dip tube. When desired vanilla is reached, pop the top, remove bag, re-seal, purge and carb.

Or, when you hit the desired flavor, transfer the beer to an empty (CO2-purged) keg.

I do pretty much the same thing when I brew Denny’s bourbon vanilla porter except I leave the floss hanging out the top of the keg. I have not had a problem with the vanilla fading quickly. I have a batch I brewed last February and it still has a vanilla flavor, not as strong as in February, but still there.

Make sure you split the beans and scrape the insides out before adding to the keg. I find a one gallon paint strainer bag works great.

This sounds good. You may want to put a sanitized marble or other weight in the bag so it doesn’t just float on top.

Thanks for the tips. I’ll throw in some sanitized marbles or something like that to weight it down.

I’ll gauge the vanilla flavor as it ages some and pull them when it hits the mark I want. Plan to keg next Thursday and then serve that Saturday. Hoping it get enough flavor by then.

If you’re worried about the amount of vanilla flavor, you could also make your own vanilla extract by splitting the bean and soaking it in a reasonably smooth vodka for a week. It doesn’t have quite the artisan appeal of being able to tell your friends there are vanilla beans actually in the keg, but it would allow you to dial in the vanilla.

One additional question…how should I sterilize the beans? Soak in vodka for a day?

Yup…nailed it.

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