Vanilla Bourbon

Ordered the Bourbon Barrel Porter kit and wanted to add vanilla. Since I am new I am wondering when and how much to add to it. I am making 5 gallons and don’t know if I should add it during boil, fermentation, or secondary. If I had to guess I would say secondary but I am not sure. Also knowing how much vanilla extract to add to 5 gallons is tricky because I know a little goes a long way. I don’t want to overdo it. Thanks.

Vanilla fades quickly, so you want to add it as late as possible. My preferred way is to get 2 of the best quality vanilla beans you can get, slit them in half, and soak them in the bourbon with the wood cubes. Add them all to secondary and let them sit until the oak is right.

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Make sure you buy plump glossy looking beans. Those will be the freshest one’s. I get mine from little coffee shop. Slice the length ways and scrap the beans just right before you add them to the bourbon. One bean is equal to 3 tbs of extract. If I remember right. Be careful is easy to over do. But it does fade in case you do over do it

If I remember correctly, there was a big discussion about this sort of thing in the thread on the old forum for Denny’s BVIP (Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter). It sounded to me like the extract was the wrong way to go about it. Going by my notes, it specified using 2-4 plump beans scraped and chopped up in the secondary for two weeks to get the best result. I went with 5 and 1/2 beans since mine had sat around for awhile, slit them lengthwise, scraped out the insides, chopped up the bean into roughly inch long pieces, and threw it all in a splash of vodka for a few days before adding to the secondary. We’ll see how it works out. I got my beans from, they had a really good price and quality beans (they were also a recommended source in the BVIP thread).