As mentioned, I’ve been brewing a kit called Hex Nut Brown Ale from Midwest Supplies and its now time for racking. The whole idea here was to use a base nut brown ale and add some of the vanilla beans my wife picked up to give it a vanilla nut brown ale, similar to what Landmark Brewing used to do. The brewer there always said that the key was the vanilla bean so I got some good ones for this brew.
First off, I had to prep the vanilla beans. I chose to use three beans as this was the number that I had seen in a few places and I’ve had in my mind. Always remember, with adding flavor into the secondary you can always add more if you think the flavor is lacking, but you can’t ever take it out. its best to start small and work your way up.
To prep the beans, I cut them open exposing the pasty seeds inside. I soaked the split beans in vodka for 24hrs and poured it all into my carboy (vodka and all) for the secondary. From there, I simply racked as usual. I gave the beer a taste going from primary to secondary, it tasted good, basic flavorful nut brown ale. Just what I was looking for. Tasting between primary and secondary is a good idea, you get a lot of the flavors that are not hidden by the carbonation. However, if there are flavors you question, I wouldn’t lose a lot of sleep over it because there will be more maturation in the future.
As you can see from the picture, the color is right and the beer looks good so far. I think that this will be a good brew when its all said and done.
More to come…