Making Vanilla Extract - BBQ Central

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Old 02-23-2008, 04:46 PM   #1
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Making Vanilla Extract

I just need to stop reading stuff on the internet. I saw a thread on a forum discussing how to make vanilla extract and the next thing I know I ordered the vanilla beans...went to the ABC store...cleaned and sterilized some mason jars and I'm off.

You slit the vanilla beans then cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. Cover with very high octane alcohol for about a week then fill the remainder jar with vodka. You can use just vodka but the higher the proof alcohol the faster the beans give up the flavor. Next week I'll fill the jars with vodka. I'm told you can use some in about a month but most of the people that tried it says it takes 4 to 6 months. So maybe by June, July, or August...

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Old 02-23-2008, 04:59 PM   #2
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We've been doing this for years, but I've never used a mason jar to do it. I just take a bottle of the cheapest vodka (the stuff we used to get in Virginia came in a plastic bottle), put about a half-dozen whole vanilla beans in (depending on the size of the bottle), and leave it alone until it looks the right color. Sometimes, when the old bottle is used up, I'll transfer the vanilla beans to the next bottle (along with some new ones, of course). You sort of have to plan ahead, and start the next batch in time to have it ready when the first batch is used up.

One other thing. After all the extract is used up, don't throw the beans away without squeezing out every drop of the remaining liquid in them. It's the most potent part of the whole process, don't let it go to waste!
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:04 PM   #3
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Also when you have squeezed all the vanilla beans out take the vanilla bean pod and put it into a mason jar of regular white sugar. Leave it for a while and you will have really lovely vanilla sugar.
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