Last week I posted the first installment of my multi-segmented “Vanilla Bound” series (You Are Now Vanilla Bound-Week 1), which details my journey through making homemade Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract. It all began with 12 vanilla beans and 24 ounces of vodka, and the last necessary ingredient for my successful Vanilla Bound venture is time (6 months to be exact).
There are so many variations for making vanilla extract. It varies from the type and amount of beans used to the time it takes for the full vanilla flavor to mature (2 weeks, 2 months, 3 months, etc.). Over the next 6 months, I will do tests (visual, scent, taste) and comparisons against my store-bought vanilla extract. I’ve read dozens of vanilla extract blogs/articles, but few have enlightened me with their experiences (what changed, when it changed, etc.) during their vanilla extract making journey . I know vanilla extract comes in various flavors and strengths, but I would like to know the possible/probable achievements after 2 weeks, 2 months, or 6 months.
As the title states, this is week 2, but don’t worry I won’t be posting every single non-eventful week. My goal is to capture the noticeable changes that take place in the vanilla extract process. Also, because I have chosen a 6 month journey, I will only post about new findings and/or changes along the way. If I don’t detect any notable changes from the week before, I’ll skip a week (until there’s something new to write about). So if you don’t hear from me, nothing new is going on.
What’s New in Week Two?
When I took the bottle out of the dark cabinet, I noticed that the vodka had a gradual caramel tint to it (the vodka was darker on the bottom than it was on the top), but it was still clear enough to see through. So, I gave the bottle a good shake, well it was more like a shake, rock, and tilt, but whatever it was, it was good, and that allowed the vodka to vigorously move in and around the split vanilla beans, therefore, loosening the insides of the beans and distributing the vanilla seeds throughout.
THE VISUAL: A murky medium brown caramel color
THE SCENT: Heavy vodka / light vanilla
THE TASTE: Heavy vodka / light vanilla
THE COMPARISON: Vanilla smell and taste not as pronounced as the store-bought brand (not yet)
I am surprised at the development (in such a short amount of time). Although the vodka still dominates the vanilla, there is an obvious scent and taste of vanilla. Now I think I understand why some people conclude their vanilla extract making journey at different stages of time. I guess it depends on how much vanilla you want in your extract, but the less vanilla you taste, the more vodka you taste (and vice versa). Hmmm.
Check back for new posts in the “Vanilla Bound” series. I will be posting pictures and sharing updates along the way.
- You Are Now Vanilla Bound (Week 1) (shortbreadswee-t.com)