Project:Rapid Vanilla Extract

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Rapid Vanilla Extract
Created 04/05/2012
Members Montyphy Akki14
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Aim

To produce vanilla extract without the weeks and months of time traditionally involved in making decent vanilla extraction.

Background

Natural vanilla extract is just alcohol which has had vanilla pods steeped in it. "By law" vanilla extract must be at least 35% alcohol but apparently higher percentages of alcohol are not advantageous to making better vanilla extract. This is why a decent, but not particularly high end vodka is used for extraction usually.

In traditional home extraction, the vanilla pods and vodka are left to infuse for a minimum of 4 weeks. During this time the mixture makes the transition from vodka, to vanilla vodka to vanilla extract as the compounds in the vanilla pods seep out.

Technique

Slit, scrape & chop up at least 8 vanilla pods per 250ml of vodka (We used 16/250ml) and place in a cream whipper. Close up the container and charge with N2O charge. Wait for a while, then release the gas. This should force the vodka into the vanilla pods and the release in pressure will cause rapid extraction to occur.

Results so far

Something that looks a bit like vanilla extract and tastes a little vanilla-y. Have bottled up 100ml with a few chopped pods and another 100ml with no pods. Opened the one without pods after 24+hrs and heard slight out-gassing like when you open a bottle of coke so the mixture was still releasing N20. The plan is to wait 4 weeks and then try in baked goods (or possibly icing) and taste test it then.

Gallery

Video

Venting the gas

External

Monty's Writeup