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Makin double strength vanilla

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Trying to type over the top of my cat, here, so I apologize in advance for typos, lol.


I am wondering if anyone has tried evaporating off some of the alcohol in their homemade vanilla extract, and what the results were?  I know double strength vanilla means more beans to alcohol, but what if you evaporated off half of the alcohol instead?

post #2 of 7

I'd be afraid of driving off some of the more subtle nuances of the vanilla that might be alcohol soluble.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

...but wouldn't they be left behind?  Wouldn't it just be the alcohol that evaporates?

post #4 of 7

You cannot evaporate the alcohol in vanilla extract to get "less alcohol, double the vanilla" so to speak without compromising on the flavour front. If you do not wish to have the alcohol base extract then I would suggest you use 100% food grade vegetable glycerine that you can buy at health food stores. The more beans you add to your extract the more potent the flavour. You cannot evaporate alcohol to get a more potent flavour as in "double strength."


Also, other ways to get vanilla into baking without the alcohol from extracts are making your own vanilla sugar, powder or vanilla paste.

post #5 of 7
Originally Posted by kflei View Post

...but wouldn't they be left behind?  Wouldn't it just be the alcohol that evaporates?

 No they wouldn't.  Sure some will be left behind, but also others will be driven off by the heat you would be using to evaporate the alcohol.  It's one reason that many recipes tell you to remove your product from the heat before adding the vanilla extract.


The way that Double Strength Vanilla Extract is made is to use more vanilla beans, not reduce the volume of liquid.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I should have clarified that it would be a natural evap.- no heat used- just covered with cheesecloth and allowed to evaporate naturally...  I just can't imagine how the alcohol wouldn't evaporate leaving behind a stronger vanilla, although I'm not opposed to using more beans.  I usually use a full tablespoon of vanilla when I bake, and thought if I could evap. 2/3 of the alcohol, I could use just a teaspoon for recipes that are very dependent on a certain amount of liquid being used.  Right now if a recipe calls for, say, one cup of liquid, I measure my vanilla into the measuring cup first, then top off with the liquid called for so that I don't end up with too much liquid.  Does that make sense?


So in the end, I don't need to evaporate the alcohol, but just questioning if it's possible...

post #7 of 7

When you evaporate the alcohol say at room takes many weeks if not months to see any progress as the small opening it is evaporating from will prolong the process. The vanilla extract is the flavouring of the vanillin of the pod of the vanilla bean left in the alcohol solution which is a solution of alcohol and water so all you will achieve is evaporation of your product.......nothing more. To achieve the double strength in your extract you must use more pods. 

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