Have you been wanting to make your own vanilla extract but would prefer to make it without alcohol? Here’s how to make vanilla extract with glycerin!
How to Make Vanilla Extract with Glycerin
I’ve been meaning to do a “how to make vanilla extract” tutorial for a long time but am just finally getting it up for you now! Unlike most of the other tutorials that I feature here, vanilla extract takes quite a while for it to be ready to use.
Now before you start sending me dozens of emails and comments, I realize that some will not consider an extract make without alcohol a “true extract”. Whatever you believe on this, the following recipe will perform exactly the same as an extract made with alcohol. If you prefer to make your recipe with alcohol, more power to ya, that’s just not what this blog post is about.
With that aside, let’s jump right into this. It’s so easy!
Making Vanilla Extract
What You Need:
I ordered my vanilla beans from the Vanilla Bean Kings and they are wonderful quality! You will want to order the “Grade B” vanilla beans for making vanilla extract. 10 Vanilla Beans is enough to make 2 pint jars of vanilla extract.
When it comes to vegetable glycerin, you just want to make sure that it’s food grade. I ordered the gallon of glycerin from Essential Depot on Amazon because I have other uses for it but they do have smaller sizes available.
Fill the pint jar 3/4 of the way full with the vegetable glycerin.
Start by laying out your vanilla beans on a cutting board. Use your sharp knife to cut them right down the middle to expose the seeds. Work in batches of 5 beans at a time because that is how many you will put in one jar.
After you’ve sliced all the vanilla beans lengthwise, cut them in half and place them in the jar. I use a pint-size jar for 5 vanilla beans.
Fill the jar the rest of the way with water. Leave about 1/2 inch headspace in the jar so you have room for the liquid to move when you shake it. Put a plastic screw-on lid on the jar. I use the filtered water from my Berkey to do this.
Place the jars in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry shelf. For the first week, shake the jar a few times a day to start to get the vanilla seeds moving in the liquid. After the first week, remember to shake the jar at least once or twice a week.
This exact will take 6 months to a year to get fully flavored. If you need something to be flavored much faster you can add more vanilla beans. Since vanilla beans are very expensive, I choose to use the longer waiting period. I will still get a full-flavored vanilla extract at the end of the time, but it will have cost less than if I would have added a ton of vanilla beans to the jar. What you decide to do is your choice. 🙂
These pints of vanilla cost me about $12 per jar to make. Considering that the current price of vanilla extract at Costco (for a much smaller container) is over $25, this is a very frugal way to make your own vanilla extract. As I said, if you choose to add more beans, the cost will go up but should hopefully stay under the cost of the store-bought vanilla.
Use this Vanilla made with glycerin the exact same way you would use a traditional vanilla extract made with alcohol.
Do you make your own vanilla extract?