I saw earlier today in a forum thread that someone makes thier own extract and now I cannot find that thread or person to save my life. I would like to know how to do this and experiment making my own extracts. Does anyone have a receipe?
To make vanilla extract
one bottle of Vodka (750 mls) 4 -5 vanilla pods slit open
Steep for at least 4-5 weeks, keep in a dark bottle or cupboard, shake at least twice a week, it turns a very dark brown and really smells great. Do not remove the pods, you can refill the bottle at least once
If you want to make coffee extract, use freshly ground coffee and a bit of sugar, rock sugar if you have it.
If I remember correctly you use lemon or orange zest for those, but I haven;t made those yet, so I am not sure about the ratio, I just use zest and juice instead
Same procedure, but strain after 6-8 weeks or before use for both the coffee and the citrus
I use a fifth of vodka, and I use about 30 beans in mine. (which is to die for vanilla!) Buy the beans on ebay - get grade b ones, cheaper and work just as well as grade a.
I only make vanilla, but I'm with Loucinda on the quantity of beans. i started my "brew" over 2 years ago and have removed about 25% of each of my two jars twice a year. I started with about 30 beans, split them open and cut the length to fit in my jars. I covered them with Everclear (190 proof) as recommended by a member of eGullet forum since the higher alcohol content dissolves more of the vanilla compounds from the beans - shook the jars every day or so for a couple of weeks and then topped the jars with vodka and let them steep. The directions recommended steeping for at least a couple of months, but I waited (impatiently) for 6 months. You don't need premium vodka, either, just a decent regular vodka. Every 6 months, I pour off about 25% of the liquid and remove the equivalent of about 4-5 beans. I add fresh beans and top with vodka, shake well and place back in the pantry. Goooooood stuff......
This is fabulous information as I pay 19.99 for my bottle of Nielsen - Massey double madagascar vanilla!!!
Oh - I so want to try this!!! It's going to be a real test of my patience though! Thanks for the info!
Once you have made it, you will never buy already made vanilla again...and on ebay you can pick which kind of vanilla beans you want (madagascar, tahitian, mexican...) the hard part is waiting for the first batch to be done, I always have 2 going now, one I am using and one that is aging.
Thanks everyone!! I'm definately going to make my own vanilla and maybe experiment with some other flavors as well.