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Thread: Vanilla Mead...... 1 gallon

  1. #1
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    Default Vanilla Mead...... 1 gallon

    Ok... I have two batches brewing.. time to make more....

    I want to make a blood orange batch.. and a vanilla batch... so question on the vanilla... bean or extract.. Pros cons?

    Thanks..

    Kody

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kody_Wulfe View Post
    Ok... I have two batches brewing.. time to make more....

    I want to make a blood orange batch.. and a vanilla batch... so question on the vanilla... bean or extract.. Pros cons?

    Thanks..

    Kody
    I only use the bean. The biggest drawback is that it costs more.
    However the flavor is wonderful and intense.

    Liquid Vanilla actually is usually either:
    1) artificial flavoring therefore somewhat fake
    2) Vanilla soaked in an alcohol to diffuse the vanilla flavor

    Based on the 2 types of alcohol above, why not just add a vanilla bean directly to the mead.

    Personally I would only add liquid vanilla in very small amounts in the event I added a vanilla bean. However at times the bean gets you close but not quite where I was looking to get with taste. In this situation a very small amount of liquid vanilla gets me to the sweet spot.

    This is my personal compromise to get as much "true" vanilla as possible while still being able to get the sweet spot.

  3. Default

    there was another conversation I've read where the cons fell on the extract harder than the bean. as already noted, the commercial extract has questionable contents that could effect the fermentation and certainly flavor. the bean-con was flavor asborbtion and along with it a boat load of opinions on how to use it. one good one suggested making, from real vanilla beans, your own extract where you control what goes into it.

    now me ... I'm still real newbee to this but rather earthy and traditional. I would grind the beans to a tea-like ground, steap them in a muslim sock thingy till flavored as desired.

    I also hear aging with oak can raise a vanilla flavor.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by caduseus View Post
    I only use the bean. The biggest drawback is that it costs more.
    However the flavor is wonderful and intense.

    Liquid Vanilla actually is usually either:
    1) artificial flavoring therefore somewhat fake
    2) Vanilla soaked in an alcohol to diffuse the vanilla flavor

    Based on the 2 types of alcohol above, why not just add a vanilla bean directly to the mead.

    Personally I would only add liquid vanilla in very small amounts in the event I added a vanilla bean. However at times the bean gets you close but not quite where I was looking to get with taste. In this situation a very small amount of liquid vanilla gets me to the sweet spot.

    This is my personal compromise to get as much "true" vanilla as possible while still being able to get the sweet spot.
    For me, the big con is the cost. I think the cheapest I've seen was $10 for one bean.

    If you get a good quality (not fake) vanilla extract, the pro over soaking the bean is that it's a known consistent amount. The rough conversion is 1 bean = 1tsp extract, but the extract will always be an exact amount/flavor, whereas the bean could be imprecise for a variety of reasons. As caduseus says, it might not be enough flavor, or as I've heard, it can give off too much flavor if you soak it too long. Similar to when you might use oak.
    An easy way to get around this is just to periodically taste. If the vanilla is at the right amount for you, take it out. If not, leave it in a little longer. If you use beans you're supposed to split it length-wise before adding it so it gives off more flavor.

    As Trenchie said, there are a ton of different ways to do this. For what its worth, I think most people will put extract in primary, but beans in secondary, since its the alcohol that will draw out the vanilla flavor.

  5. #5
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    Add a bean in secondary, preferably after stabilizing, for vanilla flavour. 1 bean/gal gives good vanilla aroma and taste. You can add some more for extra flavour but it also depends on the size of your beans. Use only recently bough beans. Vanilla flavour increasesndiring the first 3-5 months after you add it even if the bean is removed from the mead so be careful.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kody_Wulfe View Post
    Ok... I have two batches brewing.. time to make more....

    I want to make a blood orange batch.. and a vanilla batch... so question on the vanilla... bean or extract.. Pros cons?

    Thanks..

    Kody


    Kody, what did you choose? how did you employ it? have you tasted any of it yet?

    -T

  7. #7
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    You can make your own extract - quality beans in cheap vodka: perhaps 2 beans sliced open , then halved in a pint of vodka. Two weeks with gentle agitation will extract the flavor and color.

  8. #8

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    Don't put the bean in up front. The yeast will assimilate the vanilla. Use it on the back side.

    Lightly toasted oak will also impart a nice vanilla note as well as add some structure, which will give you added advantages as well.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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