Vanilla Extract is Complete - Now What?

uaskigyrl(7)November 6, 2011

Hi All,

My vanilla extract is ready to be "canned" but I can't find any small glass bottles that would stand up to the heat of being sterilized. What websites to you all order from or where do you go to find smaller glass bottles?


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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

You actually found instructions for 'canning' vanilla extract? Given all the alcohol and the small amount made by most recipes, it usually isn't canned (processed) so you just use 4 oz. jars, not bottles. You can also use any food grade grocery jar or bottle with a lid and all kinds of things come from the store in small jars and bottles. How much did you make?

Most glass will handle 10 mins of boiling to sterilize with no problems but if you want heavy weight bottles check out


    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 1:29PM
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jill2761(Southeast Texas)

Mine is made with 100 proof Stoli vodka. I simply store it in the liquor bottle I made it in. I just refill an old vanilla bottle when I need to replenish my kitchen supply. No processing required.

For gift giving, I have found some cute bottles with rubber stoppers and metal bail fastener. They look sort of like small liquor bottles. Try kitchen shops or The Container Store. I didn't find them to be very expensive if you're only buying a few, but it can add up if you're doing a lot of them and making homemade gifts in order to save money. I have given away some homemade dewberry liqueur in them.

I love my homemade vanilla. I made mine in June, and the aroma is fantastic.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 3:17PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

You don't can it, as was said. It will keep just fine in jars or bottles.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 2:17AM
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Hope no one minds but thought I'd post here since the thread is already about vanilla extract. How do you make homemade vanilla extract? I've heard of it but never made it. Great idea about keeping the vodka bottle to store it in. Thanks. Marg

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 10:29AM
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Hi All,

Thanks for the responses. I'm not going to can it per se, I just wanted to find little jars to put it in because the jar I have it in right now I need for my Lemoncello (that and I think homemade vanilla extract will be a nice edition to my baskets). I didn't think that I could keep pouring it into the vanilla extract bottle that I have right now. I have a sterilization run on my dishwasher and was going to use that before I actually pour the extract in the jars....

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 10:59AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Most dishwashers that claim 'sterilization' don't actually do it. They only 'sanitize'. It is a common misunderstanding.

Sterilization in canning means 10 min. in boiling water. So you can buy any small bottles you want to put it in just boil them for 10 min before filling and capping.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 11:10AM
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marric - Here's how to make vanilla extract:
Put 3 or 4 vanilla beans, that have been cut in 1" pieces, into a cup of unflavored vodka, cap, shake every day for three to six weeks, strain into an other bottle(s) with a tight fitting lid. Add more vodka to the beans in the jar and repeat up to 3 times. Multiply the amounts for larger quantities. To strain it I use a "permanent" coffee filter that has a very fine mesh that is not as messy as a plain coffee filter, but you can use one of those. I recommend using clothes pins or bag clips to hold a paper filter to the lip of the jar you are filling. If you are using a bottle with a small neck, put a coffee filter inside the funnel to decant, and dump the residue back into the original bottle.

Since I bake every week for the farmers market, I have gone through 3 quarts of vanilla extract this last year and have another about ready (that's a gallon of vanilla extract a year!!!). I started out with 15 maybe 20 beans (bought on eBay) in a quart mason jar with large mouth lid and band and cheap Burnett's vodka. After the time is up, I strain it into pint mason jars and refill the quart jar with more vodka, shaking it for another 3 to 6 weeks.

Note that there is no way to tell if it is done by tasting it or smelling it, only by color. The darker the better. The dollar savings per ounce is astounding, even if you make just a little amount each year.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 3:13PM
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Thanks Nancy. I'll give it a try. I love the taste and smell of the vanilla you buy but the homemade must be so much better! Marg

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 6:50PM
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This post is a great find as I had just contemplated making bottles of vanilla to give for Christmas gifts.
Thanks for the recipe and bottling tips. I better get started as time is running out.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 7:44PM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

Has anyone ever used the chowhound tip (video linked) to store the beans in a few inches of alcohol and then squeeze the seeds out? I'm thinking about ordering some beans and thought it might be a good way to store. In the past I haven't used them up before they dried out but this looks so easy that I might be more inclined to use them. I read somewhere that squeezing them doesn't get all the seeds so it is still good to split them open and scrape the inside to get the last of it after squeezing.

Also, has anyone tried drying the grinding spent beans? I've just put them in my bottle of artificial vanilla extract (gasp - I use it for cookies and such where you can't tell the diff).

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 2:16PM
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This thread reminded me that last summer I stuck some beans in a few inches of cheap brandy. I just went and checked it. Man, it is a nice extract!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 7:44PM
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