A week passed without any beersplosions in the house, which is good news for everyone. The airlock had slowed to about 1 bubble every 20 seconds which was my queue to rerack to a secondary fermenter and add the chocolate and vanilla. A number of sources suggested using vodka as a disinfectant in case there are any nasty yeast or bacteria strains lingering on your vanilla.
Siphons are crazy.
Successful fermenter transfer in a single try! The forums suggest tasting the brew every other day to make sure the vanilla flavor doesn't overpower the brew, but since i only added a single bean and because i'm worried about contamination, i plan to taste it a bit less frequently than that.
After a bit of sticker-shock when i purchased my last container of yeast, i've decided to save this strain for reuse in my next beer. I haven't tried this in the past, but i intend to follow the advice of my brew books and only use yeast strains for one additional, higher gravity beer to prevent off-flavors and strain mutation.
In news from elsewhere in the alcoholic beverages industry, here's what's going on with whiskey! There's also some quite interesting commentary on the difference between whiskey, vodka, and neutral spirits.