Unsweetened vanilla extract

205
10
Joined Oct 9, 2002
I have just a small request. Can everyone go check their vanilla extract bottles and let me know of any that don't have any added sweeteners, namely, corn syrup?

I realize the alcohol no doubt has sugar in it, but I need to get a hold of some without corn syrup. I have two weeks left to wait on my own batch of Tahitian vanilla extract, but discovered that the local store brands all contain corn syrup.

I'd like to order some from Penzey's or Vanilla.com, but nobody lists the ingredients of their ingredients.

Thanks!
 
750
10
Joined Apr 30, 2001
Always make my own...and I assume that is what you are doing. Didn't know that anyone put sweeteners in vanilla extract...very interesting! I'm curious about the answers.
 
205
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Joined Oct 9, 2002
It's unbelievably easy. I'm using Bo Friberg's recipe: take 4 vanilla beans and cut them into 1" pieces. Put them into one quart of good quality vodka and store in a dark cool place. In a month (shake it a couple times during the month) strain it through a double cheesecloth and rebottle with two fresh vanilla beans.

That's it.

One more week until my inaugural batch is done. :lips:
 
579
10
Joined May 6, 2001
"Extracted vanilla beans in alcohol" is listed on my label of Lochhead Vanilla Co. brand vanilla- to be used while my penzeys double strenght gets here.

I'll get around to making my own someday.......
 
337
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Joined Jun 28, 2001
Thanks Kevin! Wow. Six beans to make a quart of extract. Amazing. So do you just let the other two beans stay in there until you're done using it? And what's a good brand of Vodka? I don't drink so I'm pretty clueless about this type of thing.
 
205
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Joined Oct 9, 2002
Well, I used Absolut, but just because I had it. I know people who claim Greygoose has almost no taste to it. As for the two extra beans, Friberg claims it's more for decoration than additional flavor.

All total, with beans and vodka, I figure it costs between $40 and $50 for the quart of extract...still waaaaay cheaper than buying it a small bottle at a time. And I go through the stuff like crazy.

This is my first batch so I'm not entirely sure. But I made it with Tahitian vanilla beans, so I'm excited to taste it. And I had my dates mixed up...it's actually going to be ready for filtering tomorrow :bounce:
 
750
10
Joined Apr 30, 2001
I use a slightly different method. I choose a pretty bottle and use about 1 vanilla bean per cup of vodka. Slit the bean lengthwise and stick it in the bottle, fill with vodka...let it rest until dark brown and fragrant.

As I use the vanilla, I refill the vodka periodically. Add a bean every year or so. I don't let the level drop more than about 1/4 cup replacement in a quart bottle so it doesn't dilute the vanilla much.

I may pull a bean to use in a custard, but typically just leave them there. My current bottle has 10 beans and has been going for almost 5 years.
 
205
10
Joined Oct 9, 2002
That's good to know...my batch wasn't quite ready so with what I've read, I'll keep the beans in the bottle. And I'll probably find a nice bottle to transfer it to...measuring vanilla from an Absolut bottle might draw some attention.

As for the original intent of this thread, I stopped by a Trader Joe's this weekend and they sell a Tahitian/Bourbon vanilla extract with no added sweetener. It's delicious and I can't wait because mine should be as good, if not better.
 

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