You can't make everything from scratch

...but you can sure try!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Vanilla extract

Just a teaser, actually, because my vanilla beans just arrived today. I measured out roughly 60 grams of them (20 beans), split them lengthwise and halved them, and put them in a 500 ml mason jar, then covered them with vodka.

It should be ready in about 6 months.


  • At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Ian said…

    Very cool. Looking to do this myself, not sure I can wait 6 months to find out how yours turns out...that would leave me ...what, a year out from my own batch. Hmmm.

    What kind of vodka? Premium better? matter at all?
    Purveyor of beans? Online I presume? Cost?

    Yours, Ian.

  • At 3:39 PM, Blogger Matthew said…

    Ian - I don't think it matters what kind of vodka you use. I used a mix of Iceberg and Luksusowa. The only thing that might make a difference is proof: if you can get a 50% abv vodka, that would probably get you slightly better extraction.

    As for the vanilla beans, I bought 1/4 pound of extract-grade Madagascar beans (roughly 40 beans) from Vanilla Products USA. They arrived in about two weeks, and cost under $10.

  • At 4:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Matthew, I have no idea how I happened upon your blog, but glad I did. Since I'm coming in late to the conversation, are you making your own vanilla with the beans and vodka? I make my own kahlua and the beans are the most expensive part, I looked at the website you recommend on ebay and will be ordering some tomorrow. I notice they have several kinds, any reason you chose Madagascar over Tahitian or Bourbon? Thanks for the answers and on finding the beans, I'll also be buying some for my brothers birthday.

  • At 10:20 AM, Blogger Matthew said…

    Hi Jeri,
    Glad you're enjoying the blog. Now that it's three months on, I can't quite remember why I went with the Madagascar beans over Tahitian, but I'm sure the answer lies buried somewhere in this eGullet topic on making vanilla extract. From what I've read (see here) Madagascar vanilla is a type of Bourbon vanilla.

    I'd love to hear more about how you make your own Kahlua!


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