Brewing Vanilla Stout

The next beer to be brewed by Warren Brewing Co. is a vanilla stout.  It’s currently finishing off it’s primary fermentation and I can’t wait to sample it in a week when I transfer it to secondary and add the vanilla.

Taking things up a step from my usual procedures this time I did a ‘mini mash’  which is kind of almost gets me to an all grain brewing process but without all the added equipment.  The major difference is an initial hour of soaking the milled grains at 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  This gives the grains the right temperature and enough time to convert the starches to sugars for fermentation later.  The temperature control is key because getting higher than about 170 degrees will unlock the tannins from the grain which is probably not desirable in a beer.

I’m rather excited about this one.  The last two beers I did were a Belgian Wit which was tasty and both batches turned out pretty similar which is a good indication that my setup is pretty good.  I had intended to try to duplicate one of my favorite beers which is the Granville Island Winter Ale but that seems to be hard to nail down and require a bunch of flavours added at bottling time like white chocolate and vanilla.  The vanilla stout recipe I found sounded interesting and got really good reviews.  I’m looking forward to having something delicious in the keg and ready to drink for the fall.

Here’s the recipe:

Recipe Type: Extract

Yeast: White Labs Irish Ale

Batch Size (Gallons): 5

Original Gravity: 1.054

Final Gravity: 1.015

IBU: 19.0

Boiling Time (Minutes): 70

Color: 46.4 SRM

Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 days at 70

Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 days at 70

Tasting Notes: Malty with a great vanilla after taste.


6 lb. Dark Liquid Malt Extract

1 lb. Dark Dry Malt Extract

.75 lb. Black Patent Malt

.25 lb. Roasted Barley

1 oz Cluster (7.00%) at 60 minutes

1 oz East Kent Goldings (4.00) at 20 minutes

1 tsp Irish moss at 15 minutes

2.5 Tablespoons of Vanilla Extract (add to secondary)

1 White Labs Irish Ale Yeast


Steeped grains at 150F for 35 minutes in oven


Boil for 70 minutes


After 14 days move to secondary and rack on top of 2.5 tbsp of vanilla.