Thursday, June 07, 2012

vanilla extract, the third

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I'm in the process of extracting my third bottle of homemade vanilla extract.

Soon This....
Will be This.

After my last post about putting the remainder of the vodka into the bottle for extract, I found that I had (apparently) exhausted the usefulness of my beans (and answered my own question!).  This tells me that I could get between 1 and 1.2 liters of extract out of the beans I had in the bottle.  My conclusion is that while I CAN get more than one batch of extract out of the beans, I can't get a full two bottles of extract (1.5 L) from the same beans.

The indicators to me that the beans were exhausted was that the after adding the last of the vodka (about 300 mL of it) the extract never improved in flavor, and had a consistently weak color, flavor and scent. I bought some new beans (this time as part of a group buy from Amadeus Beans).  I'm using the same bottles from the first batch (love the stopper tops).  I have a new vodka brand, too - Prairie Vodka, since the one I bought before isn't available here.  When I compared the new batch to the old one, at just a few weeks of extracting, I saw that the new bottle was darker in color, and had a stronger flavor than the old, which had been sitting, undiluted for several months, and should have improved.

I emptied little remaining vanilla/vodka from the old bottle, and pulled out the exhausted beans.  I'm reserving the liquid to add to a new bottle of extract, and I used the beans to try making some vanilla sugar (beans plus white sugar, let it sit for a while), which seems to have worked. I then finally ditched the old beans.

I've decided to start a second bottle of extract, considering the speed with which I have gone through my my initial batch of vanilla.  (And, considering my new ice cream maker, probably a wise idea.)  Since the vodka cost twice what I paid before, this vanilla will be a little closer to the price of store bought, but even so, well worth the effort. And, it'll be 100% organic!

If you want to read more about my adventures with vanilla, you can look here:

Homemade Vanilla Extract
Homemade Vanilla Extract - 2 months later
Vanilla Gone


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