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homemade vanilla extract

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I got an amazing deal on Madagascar Bourbon Extract Grade Vanilla Beans so that meant I was making homemade vanilla extract for Christmas gifts. Info below and recipes were provided to me with the Vanilla Beans, though I do not know their orignal source.

I decided to use Ball mason jars for the vanilla extract gifts. I used 6 vanilla beans slit down the middle and cut into 1/2″ pieces and 8 oz of vodka for each Jelly Jar. I then used raffia to tie on a little tag with instructions. For myself I used a huge mason jar (24 oz I believe and 18 beans!). I haven’t removed the bean pods from my jar like the instructions below say to. I previously had some vanilla extract just like this that I purchased from a local farm. That extract left the bean pods inside the bottle and even said once empty it could be refilled 2 times and the pods reused. I only reused them once and found that there was too much sediment in the bottom. I am repurposing that lovely bottle to store a small portion of extract from my large jar to make it easier to use, and will just keep refilling it. I was told by the supplier that the extract doesn’t expire or good bad!

How To Make Vanilla Extract

1. Use ¼ pound of Vanilla Beans for every quart of extract

  • 4oz extract = 3 Vanilla Beans
  • 8oz extract = 6 Vanilla Beans
  • 16oz extract = 12 Vanilla Beans
  • 32oz extract = 24 Vanilla Beans
  • 128oz extract (1 gallon) = 96 Vanilla Beans

2. Cut the Vanilla Beans into pieces (1/2” to 1” long).

You can slice the bean open down the long side but this is not necessary. (I did slice mine)

3. Use inexpensive name brand Vodka, 70 to 90 proof. (I used 80 proof)

4. Place the Beans in the bottle and fill the bottle with the Vodka..

5. Shake the bottle once a day for a month.

6. When the extraction process is complete, strain the Vanilla through a coffee filter and pour back into the bottle. Use the pieces of the pod to

make Vanilla Sugar after the extract is done, if you want.

7. You can use the vanilla after one month, but good extraction takes 4-6 months.

some other recipe ideas that were provided:

To make Vanilla Sugar

Remove the bean pieces from the extract and place into 3 cups of sugar (don’t worry about them being wet). Shake it once a day for a month and then at the end of the month remove the bean pieces.

Yummy Homemade Kahlua

4 Cups Sugar

4 Cups Boiling Water

1 Cup Instant Coffee (crystal type)

1 Pint Vodka

1 Vanilla Bean, slit down the side or cut into 1″ pieces

Mix all ingredients together and let it stand for 4 weeks. Makes a little less than a half a gallon.

The instructions do not say to shake the bottle periodically, but I don’t think it would hurt and I would also strain the Kahlua through a coffee filter when it is ready, to get the bean pieces out.


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