Making vanilla extract

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by kuan, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. 8 or fewer, I'm miserly with my beans

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  2. 8-12

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  3. 12-16

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  4. 16 and up! Sky's the limit!

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  1. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    So how many beans do you use per liter of alcohol?
     
  2. cakerookie

    cakerookie

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    Whoa! I use this stuff a lot. Did not know you could make your own. Got a recipe to share?
     
  3. scott123

    scott123

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    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!!!!
     
  4. cakerookie

    cakerookie

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    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.
     
  5. stephanie brim

    stephanie brim

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    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
     
  6. cape chef

    cape chef

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    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.
     
  7. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    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!
     
  8. omi

    omi

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    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
     
  9. erbeone

    erbeone

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    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
     
  10. luc_h

    luc_h

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    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=-1]From Nielsen-Massey: Pure Vanilla Extract - Nielsen-Massey[/size][/font]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=-1]Q: What is a fold of vanilla? [/size][/font]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=-1]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.[/size][/font]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=-1]Regular standard vanilla is one fold:[/size][/font]
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=-1]If 1 US gallon= 3.79L
    [/size][/font]
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=-1]then 13.35 oz/3.79L or 3.52oz per liter
    [/size][/font]
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=-1]If 1 oz = 28.35g[/size][/font]
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=-1]then 100g vanilla beans per liter of Vodka.[/size][/font]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=-1]Luc H.
    [/size][/font]
     
  11. luc_h

    luc_h

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  12. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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

    laurenlulu

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    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
     
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  15. kimmit

    kimmit

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

    kokopuffs

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    Can you get Everclear (190 Proof) for a more efficient extraction?
     
  17. mike9

    mike9

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

    boar_d_laze

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    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
     
  19. j20832

    j20832

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    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.
     
  20. nalather

    nalather

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2013