Anyone use vanilla beans throughout primary fermentation?

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by oliver, Nov 23, 2019.

  1. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    Gotta brew a chocolate vanilla thing today on short notice. Normally for this beer I rack and add vanilla in secondary, however i'm pinched for aging time. (extracts are off the table).. Are there downsides to adding vanilla late in the whirlpool and leaving in the primary throughout fermentation?
     
  2. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Maybe add to the fermenter after the vigorous fermentation has slowed. I’ve brewed several brews with Vanilla. Just be sure to soak them in vodka after you scrape and cut them for approx 24 hours before adding.
     
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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Get the beer in the fermentor and let it get started - then put in the vanilla (assuming you mean beans). Alternately, you can use high-quality extract to taste at packaging. Don't get the cheap McCormick stuff, use real, high-quality extract - you can usually get it at HomeGoods, TJ Maxx or similar stores for a fairly good price. If not, full-price at a spice shop, then use the rest for Christmas baking.
     
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  4. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, adding them too early in the fermentation process gives a bit of a different flavor, that’s why I add them after vigorous fermentation has slowed a bit. But that’s my two cents... And if you’ve got the vanilla beans, use them (soaked in vodka), I’ve not got the same results using “high” quality extracts. But then again, I only use Madagascar vanilla beans.
     
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  5. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    this was sprung on me, and i don't think this person understands how long things need to age. I am really trying to avoid extract, want to just use beans.

    What's the thought process behind adding at peak fermentation vs tossing in earlier like whirlpool or even right with yeast pitch? I want to know if there are drawbacks to that, i've never done vanilla beans hot side.

    What kind of flavor?
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    All extract is is beans soaked in neutral spirits, in other words, get a good quality extract and someone has already done that work for you. As far as when to add, boiling them drives off aroma and that's what you want the vanilla for. I wouldn't try it. Someone mentioned Madagascar vanilla above - that extract is available. As is Bourbon, Mexican and others. I'm adding a vanilla bean to my Christmas ale but then it has time to soak. If you're crushed for time, consider rethinking your aversion to extract. Use the really good stuff and I think you'll be surprised.
     
  7. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Hi! I’m “Someone”! :p

    Sorry Craiger... I’m not going to argue here, you asked for suggestions, I gave it based on my experience. Best of luck and hope it wins a medal!
     
  8. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    #8 oliver, Nov 23, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
    yeah i know how the extract is made, I'd rather just throw real beans in, but if you're saying the boil loses the aroma, that rules that out. I've done this beer in the past with plenty of time to age on vanilla, and i've already got nice beans for it, i just wish i had more time. Sounds like i'll have to add as fermentation settles.
     
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  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    It makes sense I'd expect any extract additions would be same as adding dry hops for retained aromas and flavours after primary fermentation.
     
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