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Old 10-03-2012, 03:37 PM   #1
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Homemade vanilla extract

I'd like to make some vanilla extract for xmas gifts (and for myself!) but have seen SO many recipes online, I don't know the best way to do it. So I was hoping to gather a consensus of opinions on here.

What type of beans do you like best? How many do you use (and how much vodka)? Cheap or expensive vodka? How long do you let it sit for?
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:48 PM   #2
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I bought some vanilla beans off of Amazon. Took a regular sized bottle of the cheapest vodka I had, threw them, in and let them sit. I think I used 2 beans as I was sharing with someone and that is all I had left. I think I would use 4 in the future, but the extract turned out fine. I am now getting sediment because of the beans sitting in the bottle (like a year later) but it works fine for me!
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:21 PM   #3
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I've made it before. I need to get some more vodka to pour over my beans again (I read that the beans can be used twice). I used the ratio of .8 lb beans/1 gallon vodka. I used Fleischmann's vodka, because it's mild. I also used Madagascar beans, grade B is what I read was best for making vanilla, that I ordered from e-bay. I'm pretty sure I let it sit for at least 6 months before using it. I would occasionally shake it up as well. The longer it sits, the better the flavor.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:09 PM   #4
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Not heard to use vodka

Anyway, I have used brandy, rum and whiskey. 1 fresh bean to a gallon/liter and let sit for 6 mo. If I can wait that long I do reuse beans but add a fresh bean. I also slit the bean to open it up. I generally will get not the cheapest but the next cheapest because you will eventually cook off the alcohol. But if you are going to do this as gifts, I would go mid-range.

I have found that the different alcohols give the vanilla a different flavor. They always get better the longer they sit.

I will have to try vodka after I finish this batch I am making.

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Old 10-04-2012, 12:44 AM   #5

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I was looking at making this for Christmas Gifts, too. I googled and read through a variety of ways to make it as well. I looked at www.beanilla.com. Their prices seemed reasonable. Depending on how much you're making, they have a special of 25 beans for $25.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:48 AM   #6
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I'm curious; is making your own vanilla really cost effective? Vanilla is cheap now. I bought a 16 oz bottle of pure vanilla extract at Costco last week for about $6.00.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:47 PM   #7
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This is such a great idea! I'm going to try this and maybe give as gifts. I do have a question about storage though, what kind of bottle do you use? How do you seal it?
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:47 PM   #8
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If grain alcohol is available in your area, I would use that instead of any other alcohol. It needs to be diluted with water before use, but has a more pure taste then vodka or any other spirit.
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