This is the third installment of my multi-segmented “Vanilla Bound” series, 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).
The last time I reported on the progress of my vanilla extract was about 4 months ago (You Are Now Vanilla Bound-Week 2). My intent was to make weekly reports for the entire 6 months, but to be honest, I was checking the extract daily and there were no notable changes taking place. So, my impatience got the best of me, and I decided to store it and forget it, with hopes of giving it enough time to mature.
My original recipe was: 4 vanilla beans to 8 ounces of vodka
Today, week 21 (almost 5 months), I pulled my bottle of vanilla extract from the back of my little dark cabinet and noticed that the vanilla extract is still a medium brown caramel color (but slightly darker than it was in week 2). When I smelled it, I noticed that the vodka was not as pronounced as it was in week 2, but when I tasted it, I noticed that the vanilla was not as pronounced as I wanted it to be. My original maturation time was 6 months (February 2014). So, I decided to revamp my recipe for the remaining few weeks. That’s the beauty of making my own vanilla extract!
My revamped recipe is: 6 vanilla beans to 8 ounces of vodka
I began this journey with 24 ounces of vodka and 12 vanilla beans (Beanilla.com), but today I am adding 6 more vanilla beans, and back to the back of the dark cabinet it goes (for about 6 more weeks). This is a process that demands patience (something I’m learning day by day).
What’s Going On in Week Twenty-One?
THE VISUAL: Slightly darker in color
THE SMELL: Less vodka smell
THE TASTE: Not enough vanilla taste
THE COMPARISON: Store bought vanilla extract has a stronger vanilla taste than the homemade vanilla extract
THE SOLUTION: ADD MORE VANILLA BEANS!