Homemade Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract is expensive. It seems like every month that I look at the prices, they just keep going up and up. But, I reckoned that it’s nothing more than vanilla beans and alcohol. So, I started doing research to see just how to go about making my own.
Come to find out: it’s just vanilla beans and alcohol.
If you do an internet search on “making homemade vanilla extract” all of the instructions that I found the typical alcohol ingredient is vodka, and people claim that it doesn’t matter if you get the cheap stuff.
From what I understand, the higher the alcohol content, the better and more pure the end product. So, on further research, I discovered that vodka, especially the cheap stuff, is about 80-90 proof, which makes it about 40%-45% alcohol. Expensive vodka is about 100 proof, which is about 50% alcohol.
Everclear, on the other hand, is 190 proof, which makes it about 95% alcohol. (The bottle had numerous warnings about it being extremely flammable.) Therefore, the end result would be almost entirely alcohol and vanilla, with less than 5% being something else.
SO, to make really good, high quality homemade vanilla, follow these instructions…
First of all, if someone from church catches you purchasing 2 liters of 190 proof pure alcohol and asks, “What are you doing here?” Turn, smile, and ask, “What are YOU doing here?”
For every 1 cup of alcohol, you need 3 whole vanilla beans. I bought mine from here. This was the most economical bulk vanilla bean we could find.
Snip the ends of the beans.
Cut them in half lengthwise.
Put them in a clean, glass container that can be sealed. I used Mason jars.
Cover them with alcohol.
Seal the jar with a tight lid.
Store in a cool, dark place for 2 months. Give it a good shake occasionally.
Let me break down the savings for you:
A 2-ounce bottle of McCormick pure vanilla extract at Kroger is $8.99.
There are 32 ounces in a quart.
So, a quart at regular supermarket prices would cost me $144.
I bought half a pound of beans at $29. That half pound will make 6 quarts of extract. So, if I break it down to quarts, I paid $5 for the beans and $13.99 for the alcohol.
That’s $19 total that I paid to make a quart of vanilla extract.
Total cost savings: $125.
I’m making 6 quarts with my half-pound of beans. I intend to buy fancy bottles and give them away next Christmas. (If you’re on my Christmas list and reading this, cover your ears and say, “La-la-la.”)
My total savings for all 6 quarts is $750.
I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your feed reader or subscribed via email.
You can also become a fan on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. I would love to see more of you!