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 Make your own vanilla extract!

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CurlysQuilts Posted - Apr 23 2011 : 08:30:36 AM
Have you ever seen the price of real vanilla extract and thought "Gosh that is SO expensive!" and settled for the imitation? Now you can make your own ladies! It's insanely easy, but you have to be patient. Here you go!

You will need:
1.75 L Vodka
4 Whole Vanilla Beans

You can use any size vodka, but this seemed more cost effective. I buy Gordon's brand. You do not need top shelf quality vodka for this process. Don't waste your money, you can't tell the difference in the end.

To make:

Cut the ends of the vanilla beans. Drop into vodka. Wait 6 months. Yep, you read that right, 6 months! Shake once a week or so. Don't worry if you forget, just shake when you remember. It is soooo worth the wait. I then pour into a smaller glass bottle that is easier to handle when I'm cooking. Viola! You have your own incredibly yummy, wonderfully smelling vanilla extract. It has taken me well over a year to use it all and I bake A LOT. As you use your big bottle of vanilla, you can add more vodka from a fresh bottle and it keeps replenishing your supply, so you never have to run out! Also, you can make your own lemon extract the same way, but substitute real lemon peel for the vanilla beans.

You can pour the vodka into smaller decorative jars and add only one vanilla bean. This makes very pretty presents for Christmas!

Curly's Quilts

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” - Micah 6:8

25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
amomoffour Posted - Nov 28 2020 : 7:35:44 PM
I have heard how to make my own vanilla, maybe I just needed to hear from all of you sweet ladies and get busy! Thanks for the inspiration:)

Farmgirl # 8246
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." - Philippians 4:13

Ruth Farmer
loribeck Posted - Aug 20 2019 : 5:30:00 PM
Thank you, Sara. I think I will try it with the bourbon. I've never made my own before so this will be interesting to see what the rest of the family thinks about it.
Farmgirl 7774

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Lori Beck
YellowRose Posted - Aug 15 2019 : 04:41:09 AM
Yes, vanilla extract made with bourbon tastes like bourbon with vanilla. Made with vodka it will have a stronger vanilla flavor. Maybe it's a southern-Texas thing but we like bourbon in a lot of our cooking - savory and sweet. Egg custard made with bourbon vanilla extract is wonderful.

Sara~~~ FarmGirl Sister #6034 8/25/14
FarmGirl of the Month Sept 2015. & Feb 2019

Lord put your arm around my shoulders and your hand over my mouth.

loribeck Posted - Aug 14 2019 : 6:50:24 PM
Is there a difference in the taste of the vanilla with the use of bourbon or vodka?

Lori Beck
YellowRose Posted - Aug 11 2019 : 05:12:48 AM
I've made vanilla extract using bourbon and it is very good. Almost time to make some more - now to decide if I want to use bourbon or vodka for the next batch.

I used Jim Beam bourbon because I wanted to use it in coffee too.

Sara~~~ FarmGirl Sister #6034 8/25/14
FarmGirl of the Month Sept 2015. & Feb 2019

Lord put your arm around my shoulders and your hand over my mouth.

naturemaiden Posted - Aug 11 2019 : 01:33:04 AM
I just put up a new batch of vanilla extract, cant wait to use it

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loribeck Posted - Aug 10 2019 : 7:51:30 PM
O.K. I am sold on making my own vanilla extract. I also never dreamed that there are so many uses for the vanilla bean. I also want to buy in bulk because if I can freeze them it will be worth saving money for them. It will make wonderful gifts.

Lori Beck
shelbyc Posted - Jun 22 2012 : 9:57:27 PM
I bought my beans on Ebay. You an read up on the different grades there too. I believe they said you don't need the highest grade for vanilla extract. I just need to buy the vodka now, can't wait to get it started!
Apache Lady Posted - Nov 10 2011 : 12:49:42 PM
Oh my gosh this sounds wonderful! I have got to try this. I tried growing vanilla orchids, but didn't have any luck. Great links for purchasing though!
CurlysQuilts Posted - Nov 08 2011 : 10:55:09 AM
Other flavors I have tried are lemon and orange. Just take the clean peel from a lemon or rind and stuff into into your bottle and cover with vodka. Super easy and YUMMY!

Curly's Quilts

I am a recyclin, cloth-diapering, home grown, hand sewn kinda farmgirl!
ClaireSky Posted - Nov 08 2011 : 06:27:47 AM
I will definitely try the vanilla recipe in the smaller batch. Other than the vanilla, how are the other flavors made? Thanks for all the info everybody has given.

Farmgirl Sister #399
West-Central WI Farmgirls

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." Herman Cain
sondrak Posted - Oct 29 2011 : 12:20:46 PM
You all have made this sound really easy! I figure if I try Julie's recipe for the small batch, I can have some around Xmas. Then, I can also do the larger batch and experiment with the other flavors to have ready in time for the baking that my family likes to do around Easter.

You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the girl.
lisalisa Posted - Oct 17 2011 : 07:54:35 AM
Oooooo! I have been wanting to do this for so long, now I hope I'm ready! I ordered the beans, is there time for it to "cure" before holiday gift time? I have some family and close baker friends I'd like to share with. Thanks for the info! ---Lisa
22angel Posted - Oct 16 2011 : 7:57:11 PM
I started 2 jars on Friday night....can't wait for it to be ready! I used vodka in one & white rum in the other...I wonder if that makes a difference? Oh well. I don't drink, so I don't know what grade they are (I "thiefed" them from my mom's house where they've been sitting for years - may as well make use out of them!). Didn't have quite enough of the vodka, but that's alright.

Life isn't about finding yourself. It's about creating yourself.

"When I grow up, I want to be dirt." seen on a box through construction in Wyoming 2010
walkinwalkoutcattle Posted - Oct 16 2011 : 4:37:35 PM
I can't keep vanilla long enough in my house! I use so much of it I go through it like mad! I'm stocking up this time on vanilla beans and getting a few canning jars full!

Farmgirl #2879 :)
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thebyrdhaus Posted - Sep 28 2011 : 05:28:50 AM
My daughter bought a package of 100 vanilla beans for $40 on Amazon. She shared them with her mama. :) Some vanilla flavoring has gluten in it and her little girls have a gluten intolerance. So she has been making vanilla for several years. I make vanilla bean scones (Starbucks Like) and when I am have scraped out the bean, I put in in sugar to create a vanilla sugar.

Patty #1840

A rind is a terrible thing to waste. Compost.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”
-Jesus in John 6:12 NIV Bible
JThomp Posted - Sep 26 2011 : 6:11:18 PM
My first batch of vanilla is almost ready. I can't wait! I plan to give some as gifts for Christmas also. Christy, the bags are a wonderful idea, thanks for sharing.
marmieto12 Posted - Sep 26 2011 : 3:19:03 PM
Thanks Christy,I am going to use the recipe that was included in the link you attached. Bought more vodka to make a gallon jar. I like your idea of using the cloth bag for the lil' bottles too. I am so excited with ideas of making other types of extracts!

Laura~Dreaming of big girl farm...

Farmgirl # 148

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Christy925 Posted - Sep 25 2011 : 2:41:20 PM
My husband and I are about to bottle our first homemade vanilla. We got our beans from . We made a gallon so we can give 2 ounce bottles for Christmas Gifts. We used mid-grade vodka. We did quite a bit of research, read on more than one website that the quality of the vodka does matter. We made our vanilla extra strength - 4x. This website has some easy instructions. . Of course everyone has to tweak recipes to suit themselves. We figure it cost us around $2.34 per ounce. If we would have made it just double strength it would have only cost $1.84 per ounce. My friends and family are gonna love receiving their little homemade cloth gift bags with 2-2oz bottle of heavenly vanilla. I think it's so worth the time and the few dollars. And the bonus is that I have a nice big bottle for myself :) p.s. we didn't worry about organic :( we're not gonna drink it
marmieto12 Posted - Sep 25 2011 : 10:45:03 AM
I am excited to try this for Christmas gifts too. I bought from A little pricey for organic bean, esp since I bought cheap vodka. LOL
I also bought some little bottles to fill for special neighbor gifts.
I just received my shipment of beans and bottles. I better get to work! Thanks ladies for all of the tips!
The recipe I planned to use called for 1/2 # beans and 1.75 liter of vodka...

Laura~Dreaming of big girl farm...

Farmgirl # 148

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one_dog_per_acre Posted - Sep 25 2011 : 06:19:26 AM
A whole pound for $25!


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Acelady02 Posted - Sep 25 2011 : 06:03:14 AM
Megan listed this site as the one she gets beans from I just checked it out and they have them on sale right now if anyone is interested

(((((Hugs All)))))Penny

Farmgirl Sister #3343

God gives Miracles to those who Believe, Courage to those with Faith, Hope to those who Dream, Love to those who Accept, & Forgiveness to those who Ask...
one_dog_per_acre Posted - Sep 25 2011 : 06:02:12 AM
Here's my skinny. I have been using my own vanilla since 2007. USDA used to say 1 vanilla bean for every 6-8 ounces of liquid. If you cut the pod lengthwise, the seed will come out in the liquid. Mine took three months, and my mom swears it's the best she ever used. I had to do something to get her off the mexican stuff.
Keep in mind that store bought vanilla is slightly sweetened, also store bought is not all alcohol.

Get your beans on ebay. Find out he difference between Tahitian and Bourbon. Americans like what is called cookie vanilla, half of each kind of bean.


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daffodil dreamer Posted - Sep 24 2011 : 11:34:02 PM
I don't split the bean when making extract. Then once the extract is made, I use the beans in other recipes.
If anyone from Australia wants to make it, this is the best place for vanilla beans I have found.

Tina Kay Posted - Jun 27 2011 : 11:47:19 AM
Thank you so much for sharing. I have been wanting to do this for awhile. I just havent had the time to look into it. I have the beans, now all I need is the vodka!

Happy it is, indeed, for me that my heart is capable of feeling the same simple and innocent pleasure as the peasant whose table is covered with food of his own rearing, and who not only enjoys his meal, but remembers with delight the happy days and sunny mornings when he planted it, the soft evenings when he watered it, and the pleasure he experienced in watching it’s daily growth.

J.W. von Goethe (the Sorrows of Werther)

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