The cost of pure vanilla extract is pricey. But if that means producing an intense flavor of vanilla, how can we compromise?
Avid bakers go skimp in different ways, and there is always the best of the best among those options. While some bakers turn to utilize imitation vanilla or unnatural vanilla products in their kitchen, others open their options to homemade pure vanilla extract. It is easy to make, cheaper, and the taste just goes beyond the cost!
No more excessive worry about budget every time you see empty bottles of your pure vanilla extract when you can always produce the new ones. Here is what you need to know about making vanilla extract from scratch at home.
The Vanilla Beans Conversion
But before you make your own homemade pure vanilla extract, it is wise to learn about the vanilla beans-to-alcohol ratio first. The vanilla extract should contain not less than 35% alcohol content and 1 unit of vanilla constituent per gallon (Food and Drug Administration, 1977). Hence, there is always a perfect ratio in producing a concentrated flavor of pure vanilla extract. Just refer to the table below, we have made it easier for you to comprehend it.
Vanilla Beans (per oz.)
|Alcohol (per oz.)
As you can see in the table above, a rise of 1 oz. alcohol requires additional vanilla beans weighing 1 oz. To make up 1 oz. of vanilla beans, you might need 6 to 8 average-sized vanilla beans or 1 to 3 plumper vanilla beans. In some cases, you might even need up to 15 vanilla beans to make up 1 oz. if you are using small-sized vanilla beans. Because this measurement is not always accurate, it is recommended to weigh the vanilla beans using a scale. If you are expecting a more concentrated flavor, it is worth considering to double the amount of vanilla beans you utilized.
Pro tip: It is also recommended to use plumper vanilla beans to avoid splurging on vanilla beans in bulk. The plumper the vanilla beans, the more vanilla caviar it holds.
How to Make Homemade Pure Vanilla Extract?
After understanding the conversion of vanilla beans to alcohol, it is time to make your own pure vanilla extract. As a starter, prepare the materials and ingredients below:
- Vanilla beans in bulk (again, it depends on the size of your vanilla beans).
- Alcohol of your choice (the options vary from vodka, brandy, rum, or bourbon. The less flavor the alcohol holds, the better. Flavorless alcohol lets the taste of the vanilla beans shine).
- Vanilla extract bottle (make sure to pick the one with a tight-fitting lid).
- Knife (go get the sharp one).
Once all the materials and ingredients are prepared, do the following steps below:
- Cut open the vanilla beans in half lengthwise using a sharp knife. Do not scrape out the vanilla caviar.
- Place the vanilla beans inside the jar.
- Pour the alcohol of your choice. Make sure all vanilla beans are fully submerged.
- Let the vanilla beans fully infuse its taste into the alcohol.
Now, just leave the infusion in a dark and temperature-stable room of 60-78° F. Typically, this process takes 8 weeks to 6 months depending on your preference. The longer you leave the infusion, the more concentrated flavor it presents. To let it blend evenly, gently shake the jar every 1 or 2 weeks. After some time, your homemade pure vanilla extract is ready to use!
What About Double-Fold Vanilla Extract?
If you are an avid baker, you might come across double-fold and even triple-fold vanilla extract in the baking aisle of your favorite retail store. But what does this term mean, exactly? In short, fold is an indicator of vanilla flavor for vanilla extract. The higher the fold, the more concentrated the vanilla flavor. Vanilla extract concentration goes up to 20-fold, which sounds interesting to be utilized in recipes that call for heavy vanilla flavor. But it is also crucial to note that not all of them are suitable for culinary applications. The utilization of high-concentration vanilla extract (like the 20-fold one) mostly goes to the beauty industry or food manufacturing where the amount of liquid is strictly regulated. For culinary applications, most bakers and chefs typically use a maximum of triple-fold vanilla extract due to the liquid stability in a recipe.
To make a homemade double-fold vanilla extract, you just need to double the amount of vanilla beans. Single-fold vanilla extract contains vanilla beans weighing 1 oz. for each cup of alcohol, so you just need to add another 1 oz. Again, just add the vanilla beans only, not the alcohol. Typically, 1 oz. of vanilla beans is made up of 6 to 8 vanilla pods. So make sure you choose the plumpest vanilla pods to save more. Indonesian vanilla beans are the perfect option for this because it holds a good amount of vanilla caviar inside.
Where to Purchase Indonesian Vanilla Beans in Bulk from a Direct-Trade Vanilla Supplier?
If you are planning to make homemade vanilla extract in a big batch for gifts or commercialize your product, there is a big chance you will need vanilla beans in bulk.
Get the chance to source vanilla beans in bulk directly from the country of origin at the most competitive price. Essence Food & Beverages, LLC is a direct-trade vanilla supplier of vanilla beans in bulk from Indonesia. We are a dependable vanilla supplier that delivers vanilla beans in bulk at the peak of freshness directly from Indonesia to the United States and worldwide. For decades, we have distributed vanilla beans in bulk, bulk vanilla bean powder, and other gourmet spices to countless business sectors.