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Vanilla cream ale?

Anyone tried this? I have stuck to all the recipes so far so kinda nervous to expand. Can you use regular vanilla extract? How much for a 5 gallon batch and so on. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

This will be my 5th batch of beer.

Personally I think vanilla might overwhelm a cream ale since it is so light. You would have to be very careful. Don’t use extract though, in a light beer like that it will taste like extract. Go with a good high quality vanilla bean.

I use a lot of vanilla in brewing normally in porters or stouts though.

[quote=“chadsilvey”]Anyone tried this? I have stuck to all the recipes so far so kinda nervous to expand. Can you use regular vanilla extract? How much for a 5 gallon batch and so on. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

This will be my 5th batch of beer.[/quote]

If you can find store bought cream ale or something similar buy it and put in a little vanilla extract. if you like it find a good amount for 12oz and scale it up

This idea comes up about once a year. A few more threads on NB if you use search, but these are the more memorable ones. Also quite a few posts on HBT.

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=114685

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=87354

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=28003

:cheers:

Edit: Added one more thread to the list

It’s been awhile since I made one but it’s very doable and it’s very nice. Also, I used to use beans but eventually found that a very good vanilla extract will get you where you want with much less effort and risk of contamination. I make a Christmas beer with cinnamon and vanilla… I use ground cinnamon and about 2 tbsp of a good vanilla extract in the secondary and the flavor is absolutely dynamite. Consider using 1 tbsp in a cream ale, blonde ale or other pale-colored beer. If the flavor of the vanilla is weak, you can increase it in the bottling bucket, keg, etc. Cheers.

Ken, what brand of extract do you use? I haven’t had much luck finding a good one, would love to have a recommendation. Be nice to have some around just incase I want to get creative at the last minute. :smiley:

Thanks guys. Yes I would also like to know…just good ol McCormick Vanilla?

I found an Organic vanilla extract at my local grocery store that was a bit more expensive but it really worked well. I have heard of people having great luck with PENZEY’s[/url] and I have ordered some great fruit extracts (they have vanilla too) from [url=http://www.olivenation.com/]OLIVE NATION
http://www.penzeys.com/
. My success with fruit beers and also using vanilla extract has told me to stop using vanilla beans or fruit puree and real fruit. For those who grimace at using fruit extracts (good ones… not the LHBS stuff) or vanilla extract, avert your eyes and leave the thread immediately. Otherwise, I’m telling you that adding these extracts in secondary produces a fantastic ‘flavored’ beer. Cheers Beerheads.

Ps. Here’s what has been working outstanding for me…

I will have to give Penzy’s a extract a try, their store is about 10 minutes away from me. That is where I get my vanilla bean. Never had a problem with beans before, but extract is probably cheaper per batch so hell I will give it a try, see what happens.

[quote=“Ken Lenard”]I found an Organic vanilla extract at my local grocery store that was a bit more expensive but it really worked well. I have heard of people having great luck with PENZEY’s[/url] and I have ordered some great fruit extracts (they have vanilla too) from [url=http://www.olivenation.com/]OLIVE NATION
http://www.penzeys.com/
. My success with fruit beers and also using vanilla extract has told me to stop using vanilla beans or fruit puree and real fruit. For those who grimace at using fruit extracts (good ones… not the LHBS stuff) or vanilla extract, avert your eyes and leave the thread immediately. Otherwise, I’m telling you that adding these extracts in secondary produces a fantastic ‘flavored’ beer. Cheers Beerheads.

Ps. Here’s what has been working outstanding for me…

[/quote]

Really cool info. Do you stir/mix the carboy when you add the extract to the secondary? I assume that would be a bad idea and would cause issues with oxidation. If you are relying on diffusion to mix in the extract, how long do you let the secondary process continue?

I might add it to the secondary or the keg and it just depends on what else is going on. But either way, I measure out the extract and just drop it right in (secondary will probably also have a gel solution added to it too because I’m a clear-beer freak) and then I rack the beer on top and let it all mix together. I also use a nice raspberry extract (again, not the LD Carlson or Crosby & Baker stuff) in a Raspberry Ale

. I have made that beer 3 or 4 times and passed it around my neighborhood and it’s always a hit. Last spring I had a house full of family and my two nieces (in their early 20s) knocked off about a case of raspberry ale that I had bottled. I also let my nephews (who like good craft beer) try it and all three of them said, “Damn, that is one nice raspberry beer!”. Believe me, I tried using real fruit for fruit beers and vanilla beans for vanilla beers and I just think this is easier and “as good” if not better. Cheers gang.

Thanks. That makes sense to rack on top of the extract (or other addition). I have had good luck getting finings to mix in using that approach. I was puzzled about dropping the extract onto the top of the beer sitting in a secondary carboy.

This will definitely be a technique on my brewing schedule.

On a beer where a “flavor” is added, I like to add the flavor post-fermentation so it stays intact and doesn’t get scorched by the heat of the brewpot or scrubbed out by primary fermentation. Anything like vanilla, fruit flavor (lemon zest is good as well as these extracts I mentioned), cinnamon, etc. is best added to the secondary, IMO. The other thing I try to do is only hop once at the beginning of the boil. In a beer with a flavor like that, the hops are just there to balance things out and once they’ve done their job, you want the ‘flavor’ to be in the finish. If you make a vanilla cream ale with a ton of late hop additions, all of those flavors are going to be trying to get the attention of your tastebuds and the vanilla will get lost. Cheers Brothers.

I once made an alt bier (with lowered bitterness) and added vanilla and chinamon. I swear, the stuff tasted just like apple pie. Well ok, I did it twice (the second time I just wanted to see if the first time was a fluke, it wasn’t). Back in the day (a couple of decades ago) guys used to add a smidge of vanilla in flawed beers to “gussy them up” for competitions. I rather doubt that would work now but back then it seemed to help. :shock:

Hey, what about apple extract (the good stuff) plus some vanilla and cinnamon. Now THAT might taste like apple pie. Vanilla & Cinnamon is what I use in a Christmas beer and it’s really nice together but again… I like both of those flavors. Cheers.

[quote=“Cheshire_Cat”]Personally I think vanilla might overwhelm a cream ale since it is so light. You would have to be very careful. Don’t use extract though, in a light beer like that it will taste like extract. Go with a good high quality vanilla bean.

I use a lot of vanilla in brewing normally in porters or stouts though.[/quote] I’m with this. Don’t use those shit extract flavorings they have a fake taste to them. I made a peanut butter stout and I decided to go with the extract it ruined the beer.

[quote=“Ken Lenard”]I found an Organic vanilla extract at my local grocery store that was a bit more expensive but it really worked well. I have heard of people having great luck with PENZEY’s[/url] and I have ordered some great fruit extracts (they have vanilla too) from [url=http://www.olivenation.com/]OLIVE NATION
http://www.penzeys.com/
. My success with fruit beers and also using vanilla extract has told me to stop using vanilla beans or fruit puree and real fruit. For those who grimace at using fruit extracts (good ones… not the LHBS stuff) or vanilla extract, avert your eyes and leave the thread immediately. Otherwise, I’m telling you that adding these extracts in secondary produces a fantastic ‘flavored’ beer. Cheers Beerheads.

Ps. Here’s what has been working outstanding for me…

[/quote]

FWIW, that’s the best extract out there. If you can’t find it at your grocer, try your local health food store.

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