Originally Posted by Happy Chooks
I want to make my own vanilla extract. Can someone give me the details? What kind of vodka do you use? What kind of vanilla bean? Where to get the vanilla beans at the best price? How long does it need to age?
Edited by Raiquee - 11/10/11 at 9:21am
I used Skol vodka cause it was the cheapest around. Use the cheapest stuff you can. You only use a little bit and the alcohol cooks off, and the vanilla will overpower any weird taste of the vodka. I bought my vanilla beans (1/2 pound which is about 60 beans) off an ebay seller called vanilla products. I bought the madagascar grade b extract beans. I re-used beer bottles to put the extract in, and sliced open 6 bean pods, shoved them in the beer bottle and then covered it with vodka. Corked it and been shaking it. It's been...what 2 days? And it' already a darker brown color. Not the color of vanilla extract, maybe like a light cola, but I think by xmas it should be ready.
Every recipe I read said to chop the beans up, but I didn't like that idea. I like to keep the beans in there, and be able to pour out from the bottle without having to strain it. You can eat the seeds that will float all around the bottle, but the outside bean you can not. So by slicing them length wise, it exposed all the seeds but you won't have to strain it.
I got 2 bottles of 1.75L of vodka, and 1/2 pound of vanilla beans...cost me about 40 bucks. (Vodka was 10 a bottle, beans shipped were 20.) I ended up with 9-12oz beer bottles of vanilla extract, that comes out to roughly .40 cents an ounce. And those little 1 ouncers we buy for what? 4 bucks?
I think within 6 months its at its full flavor, but I would think as soon as its the color of the normal stuff it would be fine to use. HTH! I would like to know what Tif does, as this was my first time making it!!