Homemade Vanilla Extract Experiment In less than a Month

Feeling like a Pioneer? I often do when I’m buying local beef and vegetables, crockin’ apple crisp from a neighbor’s apple tree and now making real vanilla extract.

I’ve been wanting to try it for some time now. I’ve been inspired by heavenlyhomemaker’s homemade vanilla she makes every year in large quantities. She orders vanilla beans online and makes oodles of bottles for homemade gifts. I’m not there yet since I’ve been buying cheap vanilla at Sam’s Club for many years. It smells like vanilla, but I’ve often left it out without tasting a real difference.

Before summer, my friend gave me this cute vial above with just the vanilla bean and simple instructions for making your own vanilla. Add vodka wait two to three weeks and voila’ it’s ready.  I put it off because I didn’t have vodka on hand and sadly I asked my same friend for some vodka and she set me up for this experiment*

I admit I was hesitant, but after three weeks, I’ve smelled and tasted the most wonderful vanilla flavor ever. I’m sure there are expensive brands of vanilla out there, but I’d bet this is similar. Because the vial is so small it concentrates the flavor quickly verses the huge quantity heavenlyhomemaker is making in six months. If I had the time and ready available resources I’d be making larger quantities too. For now, this is the perfect amount for our family since I mainly use it for baking.

I found vanilla beans on Amazon for less than $10. I’m sure you could recycle an empty glass jar of your own to make vanilla. The best part of this experiment is the shelf life of this vanilla bean. I read where it could be used up to three years or more in this vial. Keep pouring vodka and keep enjoying homemade vanilla extract is my new motto :)

*For quicker extract, split the bean in half, replace in vial and fill with vodka. Refill with vodka and wait several weeks.

What did I make with my new vanilla? Homemade vanilla ice cream with real vanilla extract and crock pot apple crisp from my neighbor’s apple tree. See why I feel like a Pioneer?

 Have you ever made homemade vanilla? Would you attempt this experiment?

6 thoughts on “Homemade Vanilla Extract Experiment In less than a Month

  1. Lori Lynn

    I’d love to try something like this! I wonder if there is a recipe for homemade vanilla extract without alcohol? We don’t drink in our home, it would just feel really awkward buying it even if it was just for cooking…

  2. Cheryl

    Hi, I just discovered ad have been loving your blog.. However, I am always reading and then at the end of the post wondering where the recipie is you are talkign about,,, This one, I found the link for the original recipie with a gallon jar, but yopu talk about making one tiny vial.. is there a recipie somewhere for that, i assume its one bean, and vodka about the amount in the photo.. no recipie necessary? 3 weeks? Not sure if ill ever bring myself to go by some alchohol, but i love the idea of making my own vanilla! – we’ll see.. bookmarking this for sure

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