My hubby is a home brewer. I know, I know, what does this have to do with making vanilla extract? Be patient and keep reading…he started to brew seriously about 5 years ago. In the spring of 2006 he decided to brew his first batch of vanilla porter. To make the beer he had to buy a LOT of beans! We weren’t thrilled by that thought– knowing how much just one bean costs at the grocery store. So we went in search of a cheaper bean outlet! EBAY, we love you! We found the most amazing organic beans at a fraction of the cost. Of course, we bought a huge quantity because we love vanilla and wanted to take advantage of the ‘deal’ that we had found. With some of the left over beans we decided to try our hand at making vanilla extract! It honestly couldn’t be more simple, and if you are patient, I promise that it will be worth it! Ours has been ‘steeping’ since 2006 and is fragrant, flavorful, and beats the hell out of those plastic bottles of vanilla that we used to buy for a healthy sum at the grocery store.
Oh, and by the way, Andy’s vanilla porter was so DELICIOUS I wanted to pour it over ice cream!
1 c Vodka
3-4 vanilla beans cut into 1/4 inch pieces
Put the beans and vodka into a kerr (canning) jar and place in the cabinet for long-term aging. You can probably start using the vanilla after 12-18 month, but it will get much better after more time. So, again, BE PATIENT!
Don’t forget to throw your used (seeded) beans in with a splash of vodka. The more beans, the better!