How much vanilla extract in beer? (+5 Ways to flavor beer)

In this article, we will answer the question “How much vanilla extract in beer?”, and what flavors can be added to a beer?

How much vanilla extract in beer?

Follow the recipe below to make a Vanilla porter with Vanilla at home.


  • 9.5 lbs 2-row base malt
  • 6 oz. Roasted Barley (500L)
  • 4 oz. Black Patent Malt
  • 4 oz. Chocolate Malt
  • 4 oz. Roasted Wheat (550L)
  • 1 oz. Glacier Hops at 5% AA (5 AAU) for  about 60 minutes
  • 0.5 oz Challenger Hops at 8% AA (4 AAU) for about  60 minutes
  • 0.5 oz Cascade Hops at 6% AA (3 AAU) for approx. 60 minutes
  • 2 Grade B Vanilla Beans (in secondary)
  • Yeast Options: Safale US-05 Dry Yeast, White Labs WLP001, Wyeast 1056.


  • Mash at 152° F or 66℃ for about an hour.
  • Mash out at 170° F or 76℃.
  • Moisten with 180° F water to make the volume up to 6 gallons.
  • Heat the mixture to a rolling boil and followed by the addition of all of the hops.
  • Let it boil for about an hour. Then turn off the heat.
  • Cool as quickly as possible to 70° F.
  • Immediately transfer or rack to your fermenter and pitch yeast.
  • After about 7-10 days, rack to secondary fermenter on top of two prepared Grade B Vanilla Beans.

How to flavor beer?

Flameout addition

Flameout is the time between boiling and chilling the wort before allowing it to ferment in the fermentation tanks. After boiling the wort, the flame is turned off but the wort is hot enough(200℉) to absorb flavors. 

During the flameout period, fruit peels such as lemon, lime, and orange, flavorful supplements like honey, and spices such as the pumpkin pie spice are added.

Dry hopping

Dry hopping involves adding flavors to the fermentation tank after the primary fermentation has finished. This method of adding flavors is particularly used for the IPA’s and pale ales. Dry hopping is named so because the hops are not boiled before adding to the fermentation tank.

Cold-crash extract

This method involves lowering the temperature of the fermented beer before carbonation to the refrigerated temperatures. Doing so makes the yeast dormant and forces it to suspend out of the beer resulting in a clearer brew. 

During this cold-crashing time, flavors like real fruits are added. The added fruits stay unfermented due to the dormant state of the yeast and impart sweet fruity hints to the beer flavor.

In the mash

Some fruits and vegetables can be added while the grains are being mashed to extract wort. The wort extracts the flavor of the added fruits. 

The drawback of this method is that the end-product has a cooked flavor of the fruits rather than fresh. Moreover, the fruit extract or juice in the wort undergoes primary fermentation resulting in the loss of most fruit flavor.

In hot wort

Fruits can be added directly to the wort during boiling. The fruit chunks are removed before primary fermentation with a strainer. Another way is to wrap the fruit in a nylon bag and lower the bag in the wort. 

The wort boils and the flavors are extracted. The fruit extracts and concentrates can also be added to the wort after the wort has cooled down to  160° F.

Adding the fruits during the secondary fermentation preserves the fresh flavor of the fruits with minimum aroma losses. However, it might contaminate the beer. Green beer, which has a low enough ph and a high enough alcohol, can withstand these contamination levels.

What flavors can be added to a beer?

Add fruit and spices

Fruits like fresh strawberries, spices like basil, cardamom, or vanilla beans can be added to flavor beer. Raspberries, particularly, pair well with Stouts or Porters.

Swap the hops

Use different hops for different flavors. For fruity flavors, use pineapple and apricots or grapefruit with lemon zest. Ads hop with pine wood or chocolaty flavor. Consider the AA% of the beer before substituting to prevent your beer from becoming bitter.

Swap the grains

Play with the number of base malts to produce homebrew with a variety of alcohol content. For example, substitute American pale malts for a British variety. Similarly, you can also use a darker or lighter roast than called for.


Chiles like Habanero, capsaicin, and green chilies can be added to flavor your beer. Every type of chile will impart a different flavor profile to the beer. Some will add earthy and tropical flavors while others will make it fruity, smoky, and hot.


In this article, we answered the question “How much vanilla extract in beer?”, and what flavors can be added to a beer?



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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