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Old 08-24-2009, 03:24 AM   #11
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I just listened to a podcast that talked about vanilla beans and how vanilla extract is basically as good if not better then vanilla beans since they use a different bean that has more "vanilla" flavor too it.
This might be true under ideal circumstances - i.e. highest quality extract from a place like Penzeys' spices but in my experience you get much better vanilla flavor from beans than standard supermarket extract. This is not to say that I don't use extract for almost all of my cooking but when the food product is vanilla-based, such as cream soda or vanilla ice cream or a vanilla custard I use beans.

Meh, I don't know. Not all beans are created equal either so I'm kinda talking out of my butt here.

Still I bought 50 beans for $25! You can't beat that with a stick.
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:24 PM   #12
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Well, I made up my own recipe, so who knows how it's going to work out - I used what I had in my stock of stuff.

18 cups of brown sugar
6 tablespoons of costco pure vanilla extract (I realized I did this afterwards)
1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Water! Lots of it.


We shall see how it turns out, but it smells amazing. It might not be classic or correct, but hopefully it's good, lol!

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Old 09-24-2009, 03:39 PM   #13
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For vanilla extract you want an alcohol of 35%-45% ABV. Everclear is way too high for it. Or rather too high to be efficient. You get the same amount of flavor extracted from the 35%-45% ABV. Making Vanilla Extract is easy. Cheap Vodka or white Rum is the most recomended. All you do is slit and scrape 6 vanilla beans into 1 cup of alchohol. Shake each day for 2 weeks and then let sit for about 1 1/2 months. Strain through a screen and then you have your vanilla extract of higer quality than you would get from the store. You can also use the screening beans again with one more batch. But I would let it sit for 3 monts following the same process. So you should end up with about 1 1/2 cups of vanilla extract as some volume is lost in the beans. Time to make about 4 months but hey, 1 1/2 cups is a lot.

My best price online that I found for Vanilla beans is off of organicvanillabean.com and there I found that I got 3/4 a pound of vanilla beans (7 inch long quality A) for about $34 and that included the shipping. I found that this was 98 beans. I ordered 1/2 of Bourbon and 1/4 of Valenca(?) beans. That turns out to be 35 cents a bean.

Hope that this helps.

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Old 09-24-2009, 03:49 PM   #14
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For smaller amounts i found an OK deal at Costco, 10 beans for $15. I still haven't perfected my cream soda recipe, too many other things going on.

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Old 09-24-2009, 05:59 PM   #15
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I just did a recipe I'm basing off of Sprecher cream soda. I watched a special on how they made their soda (didn't give a whole lot of details) and going off the ingredients on the bottle. I did not add the yucca extract or sodium benzoate but I did have all the other ingredients (that are listed...) So I'll post back on here once I've tried it. I'm doing this as a syrup recipe that you mix with soda water. For the acid part I used 10% phosphoric acid solution, lemonade mix is interesting though.
How'd this turn out? I buy my honey from the same place that supplies Sprechers, so it would be cool to try and replicate their recipies.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:27 PM   #16
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I tried mine today, and I love it! I will post pictures later.

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Old 09-24-2009, 10:16 PM   #17
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Well, I made up my own recipe, so who knows how it's going to work out - I used what I had in my stock of stuff.

18 cups of brown sugar
6 tablespoons of costco pure vanilla extract (I realized I did this afterwards)
1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Water! Lots of it.

We shall see how it turns out, but it smells amazing. It might not be classic or correct, but hopefully it's good, lol!
Joe, how big is your batch 1 gal, 5 gal...?
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:53 PM   #18
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5gal. Even flat it's awesome!

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Old 09-25-2009, 12:09 AM   #19
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Crappy picture, I snapped it quick:



This one is out of focus, but you get it.

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Old 09-25-2009, 03:04 AM   #20
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Thanks Joe, I was assuming it was for a full corney, but I just wanted to double check.

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