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Vanilla edition to the Cream Ale kit

My wife loves a good vanilla cream ale so I got the cream ale kit. Any suggestions to make it a vanilla cream?

This particular kit only has primary fermentation for 2ish weeks and then bottle.

It was recommended to me to add one vanilla bean, cut in half, during secondary. This kit doesn’t really need a secondary though. Is that sufficient or are there other suggestions?

Also, when you do add things like vanilla beans…how much should you worry about contamination or do you just think that there is enough alcohol in the carboy to keep it ok?

I’ve used vanilla beans a couple times without issues with contamination. I would suggest using at least 2 beans. Split it length wise and put everything in the carboy. Vanilla fades fast so if you plan on cold aging do it before adding your beans.

I was hoping to just do the 2 weeks primary then bottle. Do you recommend adding the beans right before capping off the carboy then? Or open it up half way thru fermentation and adding it then?

Thanks for your input!

Do you do anything to sanitize the beans? Like some time soaking in vodka?

Wow awesome spelling on my part…

Addition**

facepalm :shock:

I got two long vanilla beans for this kit. Since this kit only has 2 weeks of primary fermentation and then bottling, I plan on cutting both beans down the middle and putting them in the carboy a week into fermentation (after active) and then they will just sit in there for the remaining week. Hopefully the alcohol already in the carboy will kill anything bad…I’m still tossing around the idea of soaking the beans in an alcohol before putting them in.

Soak them in enough vodka to cover them for a week. Then add the entire contents and let age until it has your desired flavor. I would shoot for a little higher flavor than you think as vanilla fades fast.

That vanilla flavor did fade fast. I had the two beans soaking in an ounce of vodka for 5 days to kill any microbes, then I added the beans and vodka and let it sit for a week. Got a nice vanilla smell at bottling but now not much flavor. I think next time I will do the same but add some good vanilla extract too to help give it a bump.

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