Yeah I know there's a hundred different sites out there telling you how to make vanilla extract, but I've got a picture of how to scrape it easily, so that makes mine different. Maybe I'm just stupid and that's why I was doing it the hard way, but I decided to throw in some directions to help out any of you who might be like me. I started out cutting them in half and then like a moron, trying to use the tip of the knife to scrape the goo out. Then I figured out it works better to do it like you're filleting a fish and run the flat part of the knife the length of the bean, and go figure...it worked great. I ended up getting way more goop out then with my original method so I decided to take some pictures and share with the world.
|Slice It down the middle.|
|Just like filleting a fish!|
Do what I said above, then dump that goop and the pod from vanilla beans into some liquor. Shake the hell out of it (make sure you get the lid on tight). Wait! Shake it like a maniac. Wait! Wait! Shake it some more. After a couple of months it will be good.
Here's the deal, it's not an exact science! You use some vanilla beans and some liquor. Buy your beans online( I purchased 1/2lb of beans for around $30 online and totally got hooked up cuz they sent an extra 1/4lb for free) and buy the cheapest liquor you can find! There are lots of recipes out there that will give you exact ratios, but I'm not that kinda guy. I've got about 20-30 beans in a 750ml bottle, and about 35-50 in the giant bottle.
I bought a handle of rum a few months ago and used the 1/4lb bag to make some extract. I ordered some bottles to pour up my Christmas presents and they came in yesterday, so I poured up what I had that was ready(a batch that I started probably 4-5 months ago). That left me with a 750ml bottle full of beans with no liquid so I went and bought a handle of rum, the cheapest crap they had...it was about $15. I added about 15 beans to the bottle I had just emptied and then filled it back up with rum. Then I used the rest of the 1/2lb bag of beans in the big, now half-full, bottle of rum.
My experience tells me:
*The fewer beans you use the longer it takes!
*When you smell it and it still smells like potent liquor it's not done.
*When it smells like vanilla extract it's done.
*I don't have super-human x-men type sense of taste and smell so I don't really notice a difference between different varieties of beans.
Hope this helps!