I’ve talked about making Homemade Vanilla Extract just a little tiny bit on this site. You’ve seen:
- How to Make Homemade Vanilla
- Where to Buy Vanilla Beans
- Where to buy Cute Labels for Your Homemade Vanilla Bottles
- What to Make with your Vanilla Extract
- WHY You Should Use Homemade Vanilla Extract.
Just in case you need MORE reasons to make your own Vanilla Extract, here’s a post about All the Nasty Stuff Found in Most Commercial Vanilla Extracts.
But for some reason, I never shared with you how to finish off and bottle your homemade vanilla extract. Sometimes I forget important details, such as the names of my children and telling you how to finish off your homemade vanilla. What’s his name – my youngest son – helped me bottle some vanilla last week and we took pictures. Finally. (Malachi…his name is Malachi.)
Once your vanilla beans have been sitting in the vodka (or other alcohol of choice) for 4-6 months, it’s strong and ready to be bottled. Begin by lining a colander with a coffee filter or thin tea towel.
Place lined colander in a pot to catch the vanilla. If you don’t, you will have excellent quality homemade vanilla extract running down all over your kitchen table and floors. Your kitchen will smell great for months, but that will only be a long, sad reminder of the wasted vanilla. Put the colander in a pot.
Pour contents of your jar into the colander so that the coffee filter can strain all of the tiny vanilla specks out. The vanilla specks won’t hurt anything, but it’s nice to have speck-less vanilla extract.
Use a funnel to bottle up the strained vanilla. I have found amber bottles (recommended) Mountain Rose Herbs.
Lay your used vanilla beans on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to dry. You can then put them into a container of sugar for 4-6 months which will turn that sugar into Vanilla Sugar!
Finally, FINALLY I have shown you how to finish up your vanilla. And now, if I can figure out how to call my children by the correct names without running down the list of all four boys before I get to the right one, I’d be all set.
This post was originally published November 28, 2010.