Could we revisit homemade vanilla?

jude31September 12, 2012

I have the beans, and the bottles I ordered weeks ago finally came yesterday. Shipping was horrendous. Now if someone could guide me through the next part..... It's only a little over 3 months until you know what. I don't remember how long it has to steep? TIA


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After reading about it here, I went online and found many different instructions, with varying ratios of vanilla beans to alcohol. And some mentioned watering down the alcohol as well. Jude, I'm also making these for Christmas presents, so I wanted to start early. Most sites varied between 30 - 60 days to completion, but all stated "the longer, the better".

I ended up using 30 vanilla beans to a quart of vodka.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 1:18PM
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I put 15 good quality very fresh, split beans in a 750 ml. bottle of decent vodka. (you have to remove about 1/2-1 cup of the vodka so the beans will fit, don't overfill--if the vodka is up into the neck of the bottle, the bottle can explode). I try to let mine steep at least 3-4 months, but, in a pinch, after a month, you'll have something you can use if needed.

I'd suggest making the batch in the vodka bottle, then, when it's ready, you can rebottle into the gift bottles you purchased. That way you can carefully decant off just the clean vanilla, without all the bits, pieces and seeds that will be in it (I use it as is, but for a gift, you want it clear, I'm sure). Just 'snag' some of the beans with a long, clean crochet hook so you can add one to each gift bottle. If I'm not sure when my recipients will be using my vanilla, after bottling it, and screwing on the lids, I dip the top of the bottle into melted beeswax--seals it, smells good and looks very nice.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 1:36PM
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Thanks, guys. I'll try to get started this week. I'm trying to get a bead on gifts from the kitchen that I plan to make. The Spicy Wine Mustard I made last year was a hit and I plan to make some Smoky Chipotle Ketchup soon. Annie's Salsa is very popular too.

Azzalea, do you melt beeswax in a double boiler? I've never done that.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:53PM
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Usually a 'homemade' double boiler. I put the beeswax in a very clean, very dry can (leftover from some food or other), and place that in a pan with hot water over very low heat until it's melted. That way, I don't have a waxy double boiler to clean when I'm done.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:49AM
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I thought that might be the case. Thanks a lot.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 12:43PM
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I thought that might be the case. Thanks a lot.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 7:00PM
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Sorry 'bout the double post.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 7:02PM
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