I was about to place my yearly vanilla order and I though Id share my source if anyone were interested in making vanilla gifts for Christmas. http://www.theposter.com/vanilla2.html They have the best prices that I have found anywhere....their service is top notch and their beans are even better. According to FDA guidelines it takes 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon of alcohol to make vanilla extract. As most vanilla beans are ~120 to a pound or 7.5 beans per ounce of weight. A gallon of extract is 128 fluid ounces, so that would mean ~98 beans per gallon or SIX (6) whole beans to make ONE cup (8 fluid ounces) of vanilla extract. I use 2 1/2 gallon bottles of the cheapest vodka I can find. Remove about 4 cups of vodka from the bottle... I chop my vanilla beans up by pulsing them in my food processor adding a few at a time and then put the pieces into the vodka bottle, then add 3/4 cup of corn syrup per 1/2 gallon of vodka and shake to dissolve. Then top the bottle off with the removed vodka, shake and leave it to soak for about 3 months before Christmas remembering to shake the bottles several times a week. Corn syrup helps extract and develop the flavor from the vanilla pods. I like to use a variety of vanilla pods it produces a vanilla extract with a much more complex flavor and aroma. I use Madagascar pods as a base, adding Tahitian and Mexican pods for additional flavor/fragrance notes....you can experiment with different types to find your favorite. When I package the vanilla I strain the bits and pieces out of the vanilla through several layers of cheese cloth and add about 4 fresh vanilla pods per 8oz bottle that Im going to be giving. I shop around for months (while the vanilla is soaking) picking up interesting looking bottles to put the vanilla in. I use my leftover vanilla beans and pack them in sugar to make vanilla sugar....its wonderful in coffee. The longer you let the vanilla sit in the sugar the more fragrant it gets....I make it the same time as the extract and it needs to be sealed as airtight as possible. It makes a great gift to give along with a special package of coffee and a special cup. 1 Whole Vanilla Bean 2 cups sugar Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the sugar and stir in. Push the remaining bean skin down into the sugar. Store the sugar in an airtight container, placed in a dark cupboard, and occasionally shaking or mixing the sugar. The vanilla sugar will stay fresh and fragrant for up to one year.