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Soap Making Forum > Soapmaking & Candle Recipe & Tutorials Forum > Food & Spirit Recipes > Homemade Vanilla Extract
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:57 PM   #11
Gaisy59
 
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Default Homemade Vanilla

I too have tried making my own vanilla for the first time. I have used more than the suggested beans as my 1 L bottle of vodka needed more, and I used a good vodka. I see some people added sugar, but is it really needed? Also, I started soaking the beans in November 2016 and it is now July 2017 and I really think it does take that long to get the color and scent coming out. Is anyone else finding the same thing or am I too fussy about my vanilla?

PS: so far I have used about 15-20 beans for my bottle of vanilla and then when I poured it into decorative bottles for give away I added two fresh beans per bottle.


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Old 07-18-2017, 12:20 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Gaisy59 View Post
I too have tried making my own vanilla for the first time. I have used more than the suggested beans as my 1 L bottle of vodka needed more, and I used a good vodka. I see some people added sugar, but is it really needed? Also, I started soaking the beans in November 2016 and it is now July 2017 and I really think it does take that long to get the color and scent coming out. Is anyone else finding the same thing or am I too fussy about my vanilla?

PS: so far I have used about 15-20 beans for my bottle of vanilla and then when I poured it into decorative bottles for give away I added two fresh beans per bottle.
What kind of beans did you use- grade A of grade B?

In the US, if you use the FDA's specs for what they deem as being 'single-fold' vanilla (the kind labeled as 'pure vanilla extract' on US store shelves), you would need to use 3.2 ounces in weight of beans per every quart of alcohol (which is just a titch less than a liter), which is roughly 24 Grade-A beans or 32 Grade-B beans per quart respectively. If you used less than that, your extract would be weaker than the normal single-fold that that you can typically find on your local grocery store shelf.

If less beans per alcohol are used than the FDA specs require, US law states that it's not allowed to be labeled for commercial sale as 'pure vanilla extract'. Not that that matters one way or the other to any of us, though, since none of us are offering up our homemade extract for sale, but if you want your homemade extract to be at least of comparable strength as to what you can typically buy at the grocery store, those specs are a very handy thing to use as a baseline when making your own.

For what it's worth, I like to make double-fold, and although it rivals what I can buy at the store after only one month of steeping, I like to wait at least 3 months minimum before using for the first time or decanting for gift-giving. Mine is quite aromatic/flavorful and dark/opaque within 3 months of steeping:



I don't add any sugar to mine- just the vanilla beans and vodka is all that is needed, and I use whatever 150-proof vodka is on sale at the store at the time.


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Old 07-18-2017, 12:58 AM   #13
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I used to sell homemade vanilla extract. I use 35 beans per quart and allow to sit for 6 months.
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Old 07-18-2017, 01:07 AM   #14
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Thank you ladies for that input. I feel better now about not adding sugar.

I used Madagascar beans but not sure of the grade. I bought some at Bulk Barn and some at Costco. And Irish Lass after seeing your calculations I can see that I did not use enough and that is why it is taking longer.

Also, just for my own use and as gifts.

LOL and Canada does not have 150 proof so I'm out of luck there. Next time I go to the States i will pick some up.

So I have the right idea and will continue as such. All the online recipes do not state that quantity of beans. Thanks for a better recipe!
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Old 07-18-2017, 01:52 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gaisy59 View Post
Thank you ladies for that input. I feel better now about not adding sugar.

I used Madagascar beans but not sure of the grade. I bought some at Bulk Barn and some at Costco. And Irish Lass after seeing your calculations I can see that I did not use enough and that is why it is taking longer.

Also, just for my own use and as gifts.

LOL and Canada does not have 150 proof so I'm out of luck there. Next time I go to the States i will pick some up.

So I have the right idea and will continue as such. All the online recipes do not state that quantity of beans. Thanks for a better recipe!
You can only extract so much from the beans. All you really need to do is add a few more vanilla beans to your extract to get it up to snuff. I make extremely small batches compared to the other ladies and token gents but I was only learning when I last made my vanilla.
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Old Yesterday, 06:07 AM   #16
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I have decanted my vanilla into smaller bottles and added more beans. Its getting darker already and the aroma is picking up as well! I am a happy camper. Thanks


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