You can’t call yourself a true foodie if you don’t have a bottle of homemade Native Vanilla extract in your kitchen. It’s Nectar of the Gods — the concentrated heart of our famous superior-quality vanilla.
Your homemade vanilla extract is guaranteed to be the secret ingredient that will put your baking on par with Michelin Star restaurants. It also makes for the most perfect, thoughtful and unique vanilla gift. The good news is that it’s super easy to learn how to make vanilla extract with our extract vanilla beans. We also supply other products, such as vanilla powder.
All you need is some of our Native Vanilla pods, a bottle of alcohol and patience.
Trust us. The results are worth the wait.
Making Vanilla Extract is an art, but has also become a science over the past few decades. To make true Pure Vanilla Extract, you have to follow a strict recipe and conform to some rules laid out by regulators such as the FDA. Now that we’ve convinced you to make your own vanilla extract, take a look at our guide and recipe below to get started!
How to Make Homemade Pure Vanilla Extract!
Pure Vanilla Extract must be made and flavored by REAL Vanilla Beans, no artificial or imitation ingredients. It must also not include any additives outside of a small list of sweeteners like sugar, but we like ours as pure as it can get - just alcohol, water and real Vanilla Beans. Another FDA regulation is that the final alcohol content of your extract must be at or above 35% ABV (70 proof). This means that you should be looking for (at a minimum) 75-80 proof alcohols for your extract making to ensure that your final alcohol content is above 35% and to ensure you are getting the best results.
Pure Vanilla Extract needs to be made using (at a minimum) 13.35 oz / gallon (100g / liter) of real vanilla beans, at a moisture content of 25%. If your beans have a moisture content higher than 25%, you need to add more, less than 25% and you need less. This is because the moisture content in the vanilla beans contributes to the water content of the final mixture and can effectively “water down” your extract.
Now this sounds like a lot for anyone to keep in mind when just making Vanilla Extract at home, which is why we wrote this simple Recipe Guide for people to use to get the best results!
You will need the following to get started:
- 1 glass jar or bottle with an airtight seal to make your extract in (check out our bottle selection here:( ) You can also use the bottle that the alcohol came in, as long it has an airtight seal and if you measure out the alcohol beforehand.
- Take the fluid ounces of extract you would like to make and multiply it by 0.11 ounces to get the weight of vanilla beans you will need. For example, to make a pint of vanilla extract (16 floz) you would need 1.76 ounces of vanilla beans (16 * 0.11) to comply with the recipe. It is always best to round up to get that true vanilla flavor! Now that you know the weight of the beans that you need, simply buy that amount here. These beans have an approximately 15-25% moisture content, so no need to change the recipe.
- 75-85 proof Alcohol. You can use anything from vodka to bourbon to rum, but to get the purest vanilla taste it is best to use a colorless alcohol like vodka.
- And finally, the hardest part, a lot of patience!
FREE HOMEMADE EXTRACT LABEL
And if you’d like to add some true native vanilla flair to your sumptuous extract, download and apply our FREE labels.
Step 1 — Clean your bottle
Wash your bottle with mild soapy water, rinse, then carefully swirl with boiling water to sanitize.
Step 2 — Prepare your vanilla
Take the amount of vanilla beans (by weight) that you have calculated above, and split the vanilla beans in half to expose the seeds. Kitchen scissors make this process clean and simple. You can also cut the pods in half/thirds to fit your bottle, if necessary. Add the split beans to the bottle you will be using for the extract. This will allow the alcohol to extract the vanillin as efficiently as possible
Step 3 — Add your alcohol
Pour the alcohol over, making sure the beans are completely covered. Store in a cool, dark place and shake the bottle once a week. Measure out the amount of alcohol you would like to turn to vanilla extract and pour it into the bottle with the vanilla beans, making sure the beans are completely covered. Store in a cool, dark place and shake the bottle once a week.
Step 4 — Wait a bare minimum of 3 months, for best results wait 12
Please note that your vanilla extract will not be ready to use immediately. The vanilla beans need time to soak and release their flavor into the alcohol. Like a fine wine, the extract will enhance and mature with age and color will change to a golden-brown. Seal tightly, leave in a cool and dark place, and occasionally shake the bottle - this will help agitate the beans and speed up the extraction process. For best results, wait 12 months.
If I wanted to make double fold vanilla, would I double the bean amount? Or does this recipe make double fold! Thank you for your help!
I have dark bottles I use for kombucha. May I use them or do they need to be clear?