Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Making Flavor Extracts
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:56 PM   #1
Timaithis
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Default Making Flavor Extracts

I was wondering about making my own flavor extracts for chocolate, vanilla, various fruits and what not. As I understand it all extracts are is the aromatic compounds dissolved into a high purity alcohol such as vodka. Is this right and then if so how much vodka do I need to add to get a good extract and how long do I need to soak the solids in it? I would also think that having a sealed container with as much of the oxygen out of it would be best.

Is my thinking on this sound? If you have done this could you tell me how you did it.

I know I could go out and buy the stuff but I have all the stuff anyway and it allows me to have a more complete experience in making everything that goes into my beer.

Thanks in advance for all the help.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:56 AM   #2
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Subscribed. I'd like to see some experienced input on this.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:52 AM   #3
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Portions are all subjective to how much flavor you want in the extract. I take a pint mason jar and will fill it with split and scraped vanilla beans (about 6-8) and top off with vodka and let sit at least 6 weeks if not longer. For coffee extract I will take good coffee grounds and add about hald a cup and add the vodka, this only needs to sit overnight and you can get a good 2-3 extractions from the same grounds. As for chocolate and other flavors I would follow the same techniques. If it comes out a little light just add more or let it sit a little longer. When I'm done extracting I use an old gold coffee filter to separate the solids. And while they are steeping I give it a good shake every now and again.
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:03 AM   #4
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Thanks rob, I ended up making chocolate extract before I read your reply by adding 2oz of dark chocolate with 70% cocoa to 10oz of vodka. I wanted to make a vanilla extract so I am really happy to know that I will need to age it that long. I ended up using the coffee filter as well I just wish that I had let it sit for longer.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:50 PM   #5
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I am making a hazelnut extract with vodka. I'll let you all know how it turns out in a few weeks. Roast the nuts, remove skins as much as possible, grind or chop nuts and add to mason jar with vodka level about an inch above the level of the nuts.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:02 PM   #6
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I make lime and lemon extracts by zesting 2 or 3, then adding vodka to cover in a closed container. After a couple of weeks, I filter it through a coffee filter.

Just tapped a Lime Wheat made with my extract.

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Old 11-30-2011, 12:16 AM   #7
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I did a pretty detailed write up for my blog on making extracts. The blog is linked in my sig if you want to check it out. I would post the link but I'm posting from my phone.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:58 PM   #8
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I've been using fresh cranberries for my Cranmoor (Cranberry Ale) and its turned out fine, but it really messes with my OG/FG due to the unfermentable sugars I suspect. I never know how to get a good read off it. So I was thinking of instead of added 3# of fresh cranberries to the fermenter, but making extract. What I saw was...

1/4 cup crushed fruit
1 cup vodka
Add together in sealed glass jar
Let sit for 3-6 weeks, swirl occassionally
Filter out fruit

...and I assume you'll have approx. 8 oz. of fruit extract, which I would add to the bottling bucket before I siphon the wort.

I may give this a try.
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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For vanilla I would use bourbon, not vodka. Bourbon already has a lot of vanilla flavor notes, so you get more bang for your buck than with vodka.
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Old 06-14-2014, 06:35 AM   #10
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Should it be grain or cane based vodka?
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