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The two included vanilla beans are just enough to give the porter a light Vanilla aroma & finish but not overpower it. The instructions don't say how to add the vanilla. For me, I split them, cut into segments, scraped the insides, and placed the husks & insides into a jar. I then covered them with a little bourbon for a few days shaking occasionally. I dumped the whole thing into my fermenter after primary fermentation was finished.
I was excited about trying this recipe, but found the vanilla to be overpowering and not much other flavor. I think this would benefit from less vanilla.
This is an awesome vanilla stout recipe.
It's carbonating as I write this. Nice porter, I sample it every time I rack it so at this point, I like it. I would like more vanilla myself. I would recommend 1-2 extra beans with it. I sometimes have trouble picking up light nuances though. The malt bill is a great backbone for the vanilla though. GREAT JOB GUYS!
This is the first porter I have brewed. I am not a huge fan of the style, but it's winter and my peeps have been asking for a heartier brew for the season. This kit seemed to fill the bill, and I recommend it. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. I used the Wyeast 1098 English Ale yeast, which worked quickly and efficiently. It produced a drier taste than I expected, but it's still good. I modified the kit a bit by adding 6 oz. of 80L Breiss Caramel malt and some cocoa nibs and whiskey-soaked toasted oak chips. It is a good-tasting beer, but it has only been in the bottle for four weeks and I think more aging will only improve the balance. The vanilla flavor is subtle - it shows up mainly in the nose. I would add one more bean to the recipe. I personally don't like too much of the roasted coffee flavor of black patent malt. If I were to make this again, I would customize my recipe and add a little less. I know I didn't make the kit as it was shipped, but I think the underlying brew turned out to be a clean, flavorful porter. It's not too heavy or bitter. I wouldn't call it the best batch I ever brewed, but my porter-loving friends are enjoying it and want more.