Also known as Flat-Leaved Vanilla and West Indian Vanilla, this climbing, vine-like plant naturally occurs in Central America and is commercially cultivated in Madagascar.
Vanilla beans are a great way for the adventurous homebrewer to impart a different and unique flavor to their beers.
To use, simply slice the bean open lengthwise and add to your Secondary or Keg. Remove when the Vanilla flavor is at the desired strength. 1-2 beans are fine for a slight Vanilla flavor, but some brewers will push the limits and add the third bean. Are you a three-bean-brewer? (This would typically be done in an Oatmeal Stout or a similarly heavy beer.)