Adding adjuncts - need tips.

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by fernz18, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. fernz18

    fernz18 Initiate (133) Feb 6, 2009 California

    I'm fermenting a 5.5% Porter, it's on its 10th day and no longer has any activity. I want to add vanilla and coffee to it. I'm using 60g of coffee to brew about 1L of coldbrew minutes the few ml absorbed by the coffee. I will also be adding two (2) vanilla beans split and chopped. My questions are the following:

    1. How do I sanitize coldbrew?
    - Should I boil water and wait for it to come to room temp then use it for the cold brew? Make sure that any object that then comes in contact with the cold brew is sanitized? is 60g of coffee good enough or should I add more?

    2. What is the most efficient way of getting the most out of your vanilla?
    - Is soaking in vodka the best method? I was considering boiling 6 oz of water and steeping split vanilla bean for 15 minutes before adding it to the fermentor.

    3. Should I add these things into the primary fermentor or would you [highly] suggest to move to secondary fermentation and them there?
    - I currently dont do secondary fermentation since most videos I've seen don't suggest it.

    I'll greatly appreciate any tips or tricks you might have.
  2. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,244) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Don't know about coffee, so someone else will have to chime in on that.

    So far as vanilla, the aromatic compounds in it are more soluble in alcohol than they are in water, which is why vanilla extract is so high in alcohol. It takes a while to extract the flavor, so if you haven't started the vodka soak now, should just buy some high quality vanilla extract and add it to taste at packaging. Easier, and also cheaper.
    fernz18 likes this.
  3. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,948) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Sanitizing coldbrew... I would imagine you could pasteurize it. Personally, I dry bean in secondary (corny keg), with beans straight out of the can or bag.

    Extracting vanilla... while it may be technically true that soaking in vodka (or other spirits) is most efficient, I have no problems getting plenty of flavor an aroma from vanilla by dry beaning. For vanilla, I do spritz the outside of the bean with starsan solution, then slice it in half the long way, chop the halves into three or four segments, and add.

    (BTW, coffee and vanilla aren't actually "adjuncts," which is a brewing term reserved for fermentables other than malt. Coffee and vanilla aren't fermentables, at least not in any significant way.)
    GormBrewhouse, fernz18, MrOH and 2 others like this.
  4. riptorn

    riptorn Disciple (381) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    How much coffee (or any flavoring) to use is very subjective. Depends on the roast, whether you grind, crack or add whole beans, and what you want it to contribute.

    I cold-steeped 1 oz (28g) light-roast and lightly ground coffee for a 5-gallon stout and added it to the kettle with 5 minutes remaining. If doing it that way again (and I would) I'd reduce it to 0.75 oz (21g) at the most...but that's me and I was going for the coffee being obvious and not in-your-face espresso.
    You're fermenting so the kettle addition is a no-go for you on this batch, but something to consider for future brews.Hopefully others will chime in on amount, but 2 ounces would probably be too much for me. (it also depends on how long it will be cold-steeped)

    I'm interested to see additional comments on the vanilla. I have two beans (split, scraped and chopped) that have been sitting in 2 oz bourbon for months.
    GormBrewhouse and MrOH like this.
  5. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,244) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Yep. Whenever I read this, I want to say something, and in my head see Marco Pierre White throwing stuff around the kitchen and flipping prep tables, yelling "Salt, sugar, and lemon juice are seasoning! Everything else is a flavor!!!"
    VikeMan and fernz18 like this.
  6. fernz18

    fernz18 Initiate (133) Feb 6, 2009 California

    I appreciate everyone taking their time to reply.

    I didn't mention that I'm brewing a 5 gl batch and I am bottling instead of kegging. Now I'm wondering if throwing the vanilla beans so close to bottling is a waste because they won't impart any flavor. I'm thinking I might go with extract instead and add it on bottling day. How much extract in a 5 gl batch of Porter at 5.5%?

    Say I choose to dry-bean my coffee, I assume I wouldn't grind the beans for fear of contamination. Would I just crack them slightly with a rolling pin? How do I sanitize this?

    I'm thinking of doing this, tell me what you think:

    1. Boil 1L of water.
    2. Coarse grind 60 g of medium roasted coffee
    3. Add 100ml of boiling water to grind in a sanitized container
    4. Allow remaining 900ml of water to come to room temperature and add to steeped coffee
    5. Cold-brew for 24 hours, properly sealed
    6. Add cold brew directly to beer trying to avoid any grounds from getting to the fermentor
  7. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,948) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Some people coarsely grind them. Some use the whole bean. I do the latter. I've dry beaned dozens of times and have never had any contamination issues.
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  8. fernz18

    fernz18 Initiate (133) Feb 6, 2009 California

    Thank you sir. I've seen all these pastry stouts referred to as adjunct stouts and figured that's what it was. What is the technical term for all these additional 'flavorings'?
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  9. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,948) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Some of the additions used in (some) pastry stouts are technically adjuncts, because they are adding sugars. (Fruit, for example. Or candy bars. Or whole apple pies.) But extending the term adjunct further is, I think, a combination of lazy and trendy. It's also unavoidable at this point. I blame Gen Z. (Not the whole generation. Just the ones on untappd. :slight_smile:)

    For non-adjuncts, "Flavor additions" would do nicely, I think, and is accurate. But people have been adding coffee and vanilla to stouts for many years without needing a special term.
  10. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,910) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    Do I remember you posting years ago of a contamination issue with cacao nibs? I've dry nibbed once without problem, and recently purchased some more for an upcoming batch.
  11. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,948) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Not me. I've dry-nibbed multiple times with no issues.
    GormBrewhouse and pweis909 like this.
  12. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Devotee (493) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    I'm a bean cracker, with a rolling pin with the beans in between 2 pieces of paper towel. Usually around 4 oz per 5 gal and I get good coffee flavor. Always in the secondary usually for a month.

    Vanilla extract or split beans,,,,, used them both and got good results with both. Beans in secondary, extract in the bottleing bucket.

    Just b carefull on the vanilla, a little goes a long way unless you are looking for a vanilla bomb.
    MrOH likes this.