Introduction: Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

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My wife does a lot of baking and quality extracts do get expensive. This is a recipe for vanilla extract at home using vodka and vanilla beans. You could also use rum, bourbon, or brandy instead of vodka.

Vanilla beans are expensive so try to buy in bulk, by weight and not by number of beans.

Step 1: Bottles

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Dark color bottles are recommended for extracts. If you don't have them, clear will work just keep them out of sunlight.

Make sure to sterilize the bottles and caps before using.

Step 2: Beans

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Split open your beans and scrape the insides, put everything into your bottles. You will need 4-6 vanilla beans per 8oz of alcohol.

Step 3: Alcohol

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We use Tito's Vodka for everything. Use a funnel and fill the bottle with your desired alcohol. Cap tightly, shake, and move to a dark space.

Step 4: Infuse

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It takes about a month or two for vanilla extract to become vanilla extract. So it's a good idea to make a big batch and store them in multiple bottles. Or you could do successive batches. Every 2-4 weeks, make a new batch of extract and store. This way you always have extract.

Step 5: Hide

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Keep the extract stored in a cool, dry place, out of sunlight. When your extract starts to run low you can add more alcohol to the bottle and keep the batch going. Adding a couple fresh beans also helps.


wannabemadsci (author)2017-09-01

Nice to document the process. A few questions...The last two photos show clear and dark liquid in bottles. What is the difference? Does the Vodka turn brown after time? What proof is the Vodka? Thanks!

CyberJaws (author)wannabemadsci2017-09-04

The vodka (or whatever you use) does indeed turn brown over time.

aCuriousCreator (author)2017-08-22

Wow I had no idea how to make this. I literally just had to buy some for making cookies. Definitely going to try and make my own. great instructable :D

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Bio: I am a Mental Health Clinician. I currently work doing community based therapy with kids and community crisis work with kids and families. I am ... More »
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