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Beer Style: Dry Stout
Recipe Type: partial mash
Yield: 5 US gallons
Tthe final product has a really nice blend of roasted malt and vanilla, almost like a vanilla-flavored coffee. I noticed a lot of oil from the beans in the secondary, though, and not surprisingly the head retention is very poor. when you swirl the beer around in the glass it foams up but then it just slides down the sides in a kind of oily manner. The aroma is outstanding. I'm extremely happy with the beer and will definitely do it again. I might cut back to 2 or 3 beans, however, especially if i do a porter.
Mashed grains for 45 min. @ 152 F, sparged to kettle, added dme, etc. I did a normal primary ferment for about a week and then racked to the secondary on top of 4 6" vanilla beans sliced lengthwise down the middle to expose the good stuff. After 3 or 4 days all signs of fermentation stopped with the gravity only at 1022. I let it sit a little while longer and got no improvement. I then pitched an 8oz culture of Narraganset ale yeast (from the yeast culturing kit) in an attempt to fire the thing up again. I let it sit for about 3 more weeks before bottling. the final gravity was 1018.
Source: Dave Ballard