Vanilla extract with your Sous Vide ???

Any of you ever try this ? Im trying this for the second time now, but don’t rember much from the first time… Except that it was great enough to trry again :slight_smile: lol

So, my GF and I are kind of Vanilla freaks. She uses it in all kinds of cooking deserts and such. I use it every day (when I have it) in my coffee.
However, as you will know if you like vanilla, its crazy expensive !
AND, it takes forever to extract, using the old fashioned method of just letting it sit in vodka, rum, or bourbon for months and months…

One can find instructions all day long for vanilla extract in an Insta pot… But not a lot on Sous Vide Vanilla ? Of the handful of tutorials I saw for vanilla, it said to use 130 or 135F… But for only 4 hrs ? Then, one guy said he did it at 130F for 3 or 4 days… which sounded more reasonable to me…

So I just got a 1/4 lb of Grade A Madagascar Vanilla beans for $54 (pretty cheap really) chopped them all up and put them in a 1 quart mason jar, and filled it nearly to the top with vodka (Oooh… that is some nasty stuff… alcohol in general has only two goods uses… vanilla extract, and cleaning wounds… maybe as a mouth wash for dental issues :wink:

Anyway I checked my Vanilla extract at 24 hrs and it looked decently brown… But its not like you can accidentally extract too much vanilla flavor. So Im letting it go another couple days before I check it again. After that, I might let it go 2 or 3 more days. Might end up being a 2 week SV :slight_smile: Can’t see how it could be overdone ? Its not going to go bad, in 40% alcohol… and being in a glass jar, with steel lid, I can’t see it letting anything “get away” ?

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Try this! Looks like a fellow foodnerd submitted this recipe: Vanilla Extract

TY Anovaculinary. I actually found a handful of recipes like this, that called for 4 to 6 hrs, but that doesn’t sound near long enough to me… except maybe to jump start the extraction, if you still let it sit for a couple months. As I say, mine wasn’t done at 24 hrs ? And I’m not expecting a huge difference at 72 hrs. Also, one person said that even after SV’ing it for however many hours, it still helps to let it set for a few more weeks anyway. I probably wont be so patient. But I wont use too much in the first few weeks anyway, and and I will leave the beans in it, so if it wants to do more, it can :slight_smile:

Also, ALL the recipes I see online call for WAY fewer beans than I have used. IMPO, you cant make it too strong. If your lucky, it will be strong enough that it just doesn’t take very much for your recipes or coffee :slight_smile: I’m using 4 oz of beans… or probably 25 small beans, for a 1 qt jar. Which, 1 qt of extra strength vanilla, $54… and $10 vodka… is still really cheap for 1 qt…

Update: So I left it for a couple more days, and WoW ! It was SO good at 80 hrs :wink: I took about 8 oz out of my 64 oz jar, and topped the big jar back off with 80 proof vodka. Going to let it go for another few days. Again, I cant imagine hurting it, as its in glass with a steel lid, So the flavors are not really going to be able to escape, even if they wanted too ?
I’ll probably take it out tomorrow after 120 hrs or so (that’s definitely a SV record for me :slight_smile: …and since I have already taken 8 oz out that I can use for now, the qt jar can age another few weeks, at room temp. Yea, I’ll definitely do this again… Maybe I’ll do a half gallon the next time :slight_smile: I mean, it really has an indefinite shelf life. Some folks believe it will be better in a year or two, or four :slight_smile:

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80 Proof Vodka: Are you SURE it’s the vanilla you’re addicted to?


Positively :slight_smile: It’s kind of ironic, but I’m really anti alcohol. It kills me that the only thing that works super well to extract vanilla, is alcohol. But I guess when using vanilla in such small amounts, it doesn’t make anyone drunk, so that good.
Its good for cleaning cuts and other injuries too, and also, as an antiseptic mouth wash… But I do think that’s about all its good for :slight_smile: lol

Late to the discussion, I know. But I have been doing extracts SV for a few years now. My method is to SV in sealed mason-style jars at 140/24, then let them sit for a couple of weeks. I don’t really notice much difference after that. I have not gone longer in the bath than 24 hours. One thing I do differently is I use spiced rum for the alcohol. It adds such complexity and depth. It is noticeable.

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TY Dave :slight_smile: Welcome. As I had said, at 24 hrs, mine was still pretty light in color, and not a lot of vanilla flavor, but a strong kick of alcohol. Going to 100 hrs was SO much better. Honestly, I can’t see how 150 or 200 hrs would hurt ?
Yes, I totally plan to do some in different alcohol bases… I want to try Bourbon Whisky, and Rum.
I actually have 1/2 lb of beans coming, and plan to do 1 qt in Vodka again (because I know I love that) and 1 qt in Bourbon.
Id like to have 3/4’s or 1 gallon finished and ready (with SV) so that I could start another 4 qts, which could be naturally aged, while we used the SV’s stuff. Then, in 12 or 18 months, I could break out the natural aged stuff, and see if I could really tell much difference ? If so, I could start another batch then :slight_smile: If not, I could just do more SV’d stuff whenever, and not have to worry about any long wait :wink:

Welcome, Dave! Dropping knowledge like that we hope you’ll stick around!