Vanilla beans vs Vanilla extract

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by dave althouse, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. dave althouse

    dave althouse Member

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    Can you use vanilla extract in place of beans?? Extract has the vanilla in a solution, usually in an alcohol, Using the bean the results can't be predicted. So if my recipe calls for 3 beans and at the end of my fermentation there is no vanilla flavor, maybe I should of used 6 beans, see where I am going. Will the bean(s) have the same result time after time, I see several variables. Anyway, could one just use an amount of extract to get the flavor you are looking for and then use that amount in subsequent batches? What do you think?
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    #2 jeffpn, Oct 11, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    I used extract for a vanilla porter. My wife liked it. Her request. That kind of beer is not my thing.

    I used 5 tbsp for 5 gallons, added at packaging.
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That's what I do.
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    The good thing about vanilla extract is that you can add it at any time. You can put it right into the keg or bottling bucket. You can put some in your current batch to enhance the flavor that's lacking from the beans. A little goes a long way so add small amounts to get where you want.
    .
     
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  5. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Great topic Dave I've been wondering the same thing heck the hard work of extracting the flavour in alcohol has already been done for you and it should be a more measurable amount.
     
  6. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    Perfect timing. I have a porter fermenting now and would like to try some vanilla.
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'd bench test that: Vanilla has a pretty low flavor threshold. But that's the good thing about extract - you can do that. And all you're doing by infusing vanilla beans in extract is making vanilla extract. So as long as you use real vanilla extract rather than the imitation stuff like McCormick sells, there's no real advantage to using a raw bean.
     
  8. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    I will start by testing with a measured amount in a glass and scale up.

    Can you get the real stuff at the store or do you have to order it?
     
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  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Best place I know of is World Market or TJ Maxx (Home Goods). They generally have some good vanilla. Otherwise, spice shop.
     
  10. Myndflyte

    Myndflyte Active Member

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    You should be able to find it at grocery stores. Just be sure to double check that it's not imitation extract.
     
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  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Most grocery stores will have decent Vanilla Extract in their baking goods aisle.
     
  12. dave althouse

    dave althouse Member

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    I bought my extract from a Amish market, real stuff. Pricey but cheaper than beans.
     
  13. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Does the Amish variety have alcohol in it?
     
  14. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    Why, Amish drink alcohol.
     
  15. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    They do? I did not know that! I thought they didn’t.
     
  16. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    The ones that come in my shop are good drinkers!
     
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  17. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Do you have to paint the bottles and cans black for them? :D:D
     
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  18. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    So regular shop goers Good one em I say it's good to loosen up and share a coldie every now and then :).
     
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