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Making vanilla extract

Poll Results: How many beans per liter?

 
  • 27% (3)
    8 or fewer, I'm miserly with my beans
  • 0% (0)
    8-12
  • 45% (5)
    12-16
  • 27% (3)
    16 and up! Sky's the limit!
11 Total Votes  
post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So how many beans do you use per liter of alcohol?
post #2 of 20
Whoa! I use this stuff a lot. Did not know you could make your own. Got a recipe to share?
post #3 of 20
Well, I haven't actually made it yet, but for me, the less alcohol and more vanilla flavoring the better. I was thinking of cramming as many beans as I could into a bottle of grain alcohol.

I am definitely going to do it, though. E-bay has got some kick butt prices for beans and the extract I'm finding is heinously priced and horribly weak. Trader Joes used to sell a half way decent reasonably priced extract, but those days are loooong gone. I had high hopes for Penzey's and it did pack a lot of flavor but at that price?!?! No way.

Bulk beans and grain alcohol... I'm doing it!!!!
post #4 of 20
What type of grain alcohol? I assume its alcohol that can be consumed like vodka or gin or something like that. Say E-Bay has vanilla beans? Gotta check that out.
post #5 of 20
Most extract that I've seen uses bourbon. My store bought stuff does. Considering the large amount of vanilla that I use and that I hate using the immitation stuff, maybe I should look into doing this too.

Now then...anyone know where to get a good deal on vanilla beans? Madagascar preferable, please. :P
post #6 of 20
Kuan....I use 2 beans/4 oz of alcohol and let it infuse for three months. I have used Mexican beans with the best results because they are pretty wet and I find offer the best flavor. I have made it 4 times, each time using vodka with excellent results. I give it as gifts to my friends.
PS....I split and gently mash the pods first.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
I split but I don't mash the pods. I used Remy Martin VSOP for the last batch and use 10 beans for the 750ml bottle! It turned out great. I have another batch going now with a 1.5l bottle of Christian Brothers brandy with 10 beans, so half the strength.

It seems like the extraction keeps going and going. I'm down to the last of the Cognac extract and the flavor is huge!
post #8 of 20

"perpetual" vanilla

A few years ago I bought a bottle (maybe 10 oz.) that had three or four vanilla beans that had been steeping in rum. The herbalists I bought it from was marketing it as "perpetual" vanilla. They recommended that every time I used it, refill with rum (actually, I bought two, one that had been started with rum and one with vodka). I have been using this for a really long time. Occasionally, I will shove a few more beans. omi
post #9 of 20

Perpetual Vanilla

Perpetual Vanilla is a registered trademark of Steve and Connie Hartley, Hartleys Herbs. Hartley's Herbs - This message was posted to protect the name and quality of the product. Thanks Steve Hartley
post #10 of 20
From Nielsen-Massey: Pure Vanilla Extract - Nielsen-Massey

Q: What is a fold of vanilla?
A: A fold is the relative measure of strength of vanilla extract. Single fold vanilla is typically what the consumer buys at the market. For food processing, two, three or four fold vanillas are typically used. A single fold vanilla contains the extractive matter of 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans, containing less than 25% moisture, in one gallon of 35% aqueous ethyl alcohol. Two fold uses 26.7 ounces of vanilla beans, contains twice as much extractive matter and is twice as strong. Three fold and four fold are just three or four time the content of one fold. This is a standard of identity set by the FDA for Pure Vanilla.

Regular standard vanilla is one fold:
If 1 US gallon= 3.79L

then 13.35 oz/3.79L or 3.52oz per liter

If 1 oz = 28.35g
then 100g vanilla beans per liter of Vodka.

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #11 of 20
I noticed I did not finish my calculations for the poll:

according to here:
Amazon.com: Organic Vanilla Beans, 1/2 Lb. Madagascar average count 40 to 44 stems: Gourmet Food

1/2 lbs of vanilla beans equals 40 to 44 pods
so this averages to 40-44 pods for 227 g or 17.62 to 19.38 pods per 100g
average then is: 18 1/2 beans per 1L of vodka

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

LOL funny I have to google my own poll to see the proper ratios.  :)

post #13 of 20

Would anyone be willing to post a "How-To" article on making your own vanilla extract?

Thanks,

Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
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post #14 of 20

Nicko, I like strong vanilla so I use 8 beans or so per cup of vodka (I like Tito's) and age for 6 months before using. Here's a link but it's very simple, split beans, scrape out seeds, add to vodka and give the bottle a shake once a day or so if you remember. Once you start making it you can tweak your vanilla to suit the flavors you love depending upon your bean variety.

 

http://www.ehow.com/how_5696685_make-vanilla-extract-scratch.html

post #15 of 20

I recently saw a post using 1 bottle vodka and 3 beans vanilla.  Haven't tried it myself, but keep meaning to. 

post #16 of 20

Can you get Everclear (190 Proof) for a more efficient extraction?

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #17 of 20

Cold espresso with light cream and vanilla infused Tito's over ice is a great summer beverage usually requiring a refill or two.

post #18 of 20

We make vanilla extract using vodka, bourbon, rum or brandy; and usually have at least a couple of different kinds on hand. 

 

We use 6 - 8 whole beans (depending on the size and strength of the bean) split, per pint of solvent. We do not find it necessary to scrape the vanilla seeds from the bean.

 

"Bourbon vanilla" refers to the type of bean and not the solvent. 

 

Pure grain alcohol (i.e., "Everclear") does not make for particularly good extract.  And, while I like gin a great deal I don't find the idea of vanilla extract using gin as the solvent at all attractive. 

 

Home made extracts are NOT as strong as good commercial extract, not even "one fold;" at least ours aren't.  And yes, we've made extracts using more vanilla beans and more aging than the amount and time suggested in this post, but still never get the same strength as the highly concentrated stuff ("two fold" and up).  We do not find that a problem though, we simply use more homemade extract than we would commercial because we prefer the results. 

 

We find that our extracts hit maximum strength after about four months of aging.

 

After the extract is fully aged, we re-use the same beans with the addition of 50% fresh beans. 

 

The best source for vanilla beans for quality/price we've found is Saffron.com.   We've been using them forever.  I feel far more comfortable ordering from them than from an unknown e-bay merchant and have no hesitation recommending them.  We like the regular, planfolia beans for making extracts.  The Mexican beans are the best, but are too expensive for our purposes.  Sometimes you have to know when to say "when." 

 

Saffron.com is also a great source for prepared extract, and... wait for it... quite likely the best source for quality/value saffron in the U.S.  Their saffron is of the type called Persian sargol" grown in Afghanistan.  It is not only as good as you can get at any price, but priced extremely competitively.  

 

BDL

post #19 of 20

I voted 16+ but to be honest, it is one of those "perpetual" bottles where I use some, top off the vodka, and am cramming with beans whenever I make something that just calls for the scraped seeds.

post #20 of 20

How I make it & sold this for many years in my shop. Per gallon of vodka (or Everclear) use 100 vanilla beans; or per fold 100 beans.  Slit each bean & cut in about 3" lengths.  For the first few weeks shake daily then after that at least once a week for about 6 months.  Best at 12 months or longer.

 

Store in a dark (or amber bottles) cool place. You can feed it as it's used by adding a few more beans & topping with more vodka.


Edited by nalather - 5/19/13 at 12:41pm
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