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Homemade Vanilla Extract

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Arimara

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I've been dying to try this for a while and I finally procured some vanilla beans to realize this. But I am afraid these beans may be grade A beans and I want to make the extract as suggested via Vanilla Products USA, which is 1 bean for every 8oz.

Has anyone every made their own vanilla? What are your suggestions?
 

dixiedragon

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I've made it using vodka. I think Absolut Vodka. I cut the beans into 3-4 inch sections, then split them down the middle. Make sure to save as many of those teensy beans inside the pod as possible, b/c that's the good stuff! Put them in a bottle. You want the bottle to be packed full. Put the vodka in the bottle and put it someplace out of sunlight for 6 weeks.

ETA: 1 bean per oz seems waaay low to me, unless the process takes months and months, so the alcohol extracts the maximum flavor possible. My method is faster, and you can keep reusing the beans. When it gets low, top off the vodka, put the bottle away for 6 weeks. Try to give it a good shake once a week or so.
 
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IrishLass

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I make my own vanilla extract all the time. Based on my experience, I can say without a doubt that 1 bean per 8 oz will surely make a very anemic extract. I use a whole lot more beans than that.

Here in the USA- as per the FDA's specs for commercial 'pure vanilla extract'- the ratio between beans to alcohol is 13.35 ounces in weight of beans to 1 gallon of alcohol (for single-fold extract). Whittled down, that means .8 oz (23g rounded up) in weight of vanilla beans to every 8 oz. (227g) alcohol..... for single fold.

To make double-fold, I would need 1.6 oz (45g) beans in weight per every 8 oz (227g) alcohol.

To make triple-fold, I would need 2.4 oz (68g) beans in weight per every 8 oz (227g) alcohol.

The above ratios are as per the FDA regs (whittled down to a more manageable size)....... but I go one better. These are the ratios I prefer to use:

Single Fold: 1 oz. (28g) weight of beans per every 8 oz (227g) alcohol.
Double-fold- 2 oz (57g rounded up) weight beans to every 8 oz (227g) alcohol
Triple-fold- 3 oz (85g) weight beans per every 8 oz (227g) vodka.

For what it's worth, I mostly make double fold, and it's awesome.

I use grade B Madagascar beans, which are plenty good enough for the task (you definitely don't need the more expensive grades for extract, by any means), and I use cheapie 80-proof vodka, which gives my extract a 40% alcohol content....only 5% more alcohol than the FDA regs if one were going to sell the extract commercially.

After weighing my beans I split them down the middle with a knife to open them up and expose the seeds, then I toss them all in an appropriately-sized canning jar for the job, and pour in the appropriate amount of vodka in weight over them. Then I tightly cover the jar, give it a good shake, and set it in a dark cupboard to steep (giving the jar a shake whenever I think of it).

As far as length of steeping time goes, longer is always better (just like with soap). I usually let mine steep 3 months before using. You can use it earlier than that, but I would wait at least 1 month at the earliest before using.

Here's a pic of my extract (double-fold):

IMG_1201VanillaExtractLarge.JPG


IrishLass :)
 
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dixiedragon

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I've read that you can use brandy instead of vodka, but I've never tried it. Has anybody tried it? Anybody tried both brandy and vodka and if so, what were your thoughts?

One year for Christmas presents we got a bunch of little 1-oz brown-glass bottles (just like what EOs and FOs come in sometimes) and made everybody little bottles of vanilla extract.
 

IrishLass

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I've read that you can use brandy instead of vodka, but I've never tried it. Has anybody tried it? Anybody tried both brandy and vodka and if so, what were your thoughts?

One year for Christmas presents we got a bunch of little 1-oz brown-glass bottles (just like what EOs and FOs come in sometimes) and made everybody little bottles of vanilla extract.

One of these days, I'd like to try it with Bourbon. So far, I've only used cheapie vodka.

I sometimes give mine out as Christmas gifts, too. I like to use these bottles:

https://www.sks-bottle.com/340c/fin2c.html


IrishLass :)
 

Arimara

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I've been debating the alcohol I want to use. The only vodka I would consider is smirnoff. I hate Absolut though it is much better than Georgi. Pinnicle might be a consideration. I thought about rum and brandy but I'm more likely to use a dark rum (Mt. Gay or Bacardi 151) than a light. I like dark rum more than light. Brandy I know next to nothing about. It's only in my fruitcake (don't judge me XD).

Again, I really think I might have grade A since I bought them from a store (Union Market). I don't know how that's going to turn out.
 

IrishLass

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As far as alcohol goes, most of the people I know who make their own (extract) tend to save the good stuff for drinking, and use the cheapie stuff for making extract.


IrishLass :)
 

Arimara

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Funny, I thought Smirnoff was a cheapie. Bacardi is pretty cheap too or it could be my area. Mt. Gay is almost mid-line but it tastes great.
 

houseofwool

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I take a bottle of cheap vodka, pour off a bit, and shove in a bunch of pods. I'm not organized enough to measure.

I'm guessing around 2 dozen pods slit lengthwise into 750 ml.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1449714169.926427.jpg

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1449714185.912650.jpg
I need to get going on another batch because I let them sit at least a year before using.
 
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IrishLass

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Funny, I thought Smirnoff was a cheapie. Bacardi is pretty cheap too or it could be my area. Mt. Gay is almost mid-line but it tastes great.
Smirnoff is actually a couple of steps up from what I use. I guess what I should have said is that I use dirt cheap vodka. :lol:



IrishLass :)
 

shunt2011

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So we drink this vanilla liquor?
Nope, we bake with it. Though I imagine you could use it as a vanilla vodka in a drink mixed with something.

I purchased a 32 oz bottle of vanilla in Mexico a few years back and I am just down to the last dregs. I may have to give this a try.
 

IrishLass

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I mainly use my extract for baked goodies, but I also use a dash of it to add a lovely vanilla flavor to drinks such as my homemade nut milks, eggnog, vanilla chai, etc.. Oh- and it makes the best vanilla ice cream ever!

IrishLass :)
 
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