HERB - Fw: Making vanilla extract/infused oil

sunshinegirl sunshinegirl at steward-net.com
Fri Nov 3 20:13:56 PST 2000

I'm not sure how many lists this has gone through to get to me, at least
two, but I thought  some of you might be interested in it...


> Here is recipe for making Vanilla Extract from a very sweet lady named
Tess, she is on several soap and toiletry lists and is very knowledgable.
> Vanilla Oil/extract
> Ingredients/supplies needed:
> 8 Vanilla Beans
> 4 oz - 100% Pure Pressed Sweet Almond Oil
> 6 oz.- Vodka (40% ALC/VOL - (80proof)
> 4 - 6 oz. - Distilled Water
> 1 tsp. Vitamin E (optional)
> 16 oz. Wide Mouth, Clean, Glass, Airtight container
> with a secure leak proof
> cover.
> Turkey baster & "Glass" eye dropper
> Fine "Wire" mesh strainer / cheese cloth
> Kitchen shears
> Small tea or dessert spoon
> Several Clean, dry Glass Boston browns (1 oz. -- 4 oz.)
> or other containers
> suitable for storing the finished products.
> 1. You will need 2 Vanilla Beans to start. Cutting them with kitchen
shears, Cut them into approximately 1/4 inch small pieces.
> Don't cut all the Vanilla Beans in advance. You will cut them as you use
> 2. Place the cut vanilla beans into a Clean, glass, Airtight, Container.
> 3. Drizzle your Vitamin E. Oil onto the Cut Vanilla Beans. Then, Pour The
pre-measured - 4 oz of 100% Pure Pressed Refined Sweet Almond Oil on top.
> 4. Add the 6 oz. of Vodka. Cover and secure. Shake Vigorously. Open the
Cover to release any pressure. Recap and secure the Cover.
> 5. Take a piece of Masking tape or a Label and Record The contents and
>                Example:
>                                 Vanilla Oil/Extract
>                                 November 7, 1960
>                                              2 - beans
> 6. Store in a Warm, Dry, Dark Place.
> 7. Once a day Shake Vigorously. Open the Cover To release any pressure.
> oils/alcohol are volatile and pressure is created from the fumes. Recap
and secure the Cover. The mixture will appear Cloudy when shaken and during
the process you will see particles within the fluid. This is normal.
> 8. Once a week, Cut 2 Vanilla Beans. Cut them with kitchen shears, Cutting
them into approximately 1/4 inch small pieces. Add these *new* Vanilla Beans
to the Ones already Soaking. Cover The container. Shake Vigorously. Open the
Cover To release any pressure. Recap and secure the Cover.
> This process is repeated every week until the end (8 weeks or longer if so
desired). Draw a line through the #2 under your quantity of Vanilla beans
and change it to #4.
> Repeat this until the end so you will have an accurate count (& cost) of
your product "used" to produce your vanilla oil/extract.
> Should you need more product prior to it's completion and you pay more for
it, make a note of it.
> This will reflect the end cost of the product.
> 9. At the end of the 8 weeks of "soaking," Shake the solution vigorously
and then uncap and smell. Ask yourself if the scent is as strong as you
would like it to be. Take a spoon and dip it into the mixture and taste it.
Is the taste and aroma as strong as you would like it to be?
> If the answer is no, continue the soaking process for an additional 2 to 4
weeks (#8). If the answer is yes you are ready to proceed. You are now ready
to separate the oils and fluids. Pour All Contents of the Container Through
the Fine "wire" Strainer.  Wire is used because at this point because the
Vanilla Oil & small particles of vanilla bean will cling to  plastic/cloth.
You don't wish to "loose" any of your precious Vanilla oil. Using a "fine"
Wire mesh Strainer, Both the Fluids and Oils will flow freely through the
Strainer and will trap the particles. Don't be alarmed that some very fine
particles may get through but will
> be removed later. Once Strained. Place the Glass Container into the back
of your Refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours. This will allow the layers to
separate, The oils will thicken, and any sediment or particles of Vanilla
beans will settle to the bottom of
> the container. A few hours prior to you wishing to separate the oils, you
"can" place the container in the freezer for a few hours. Be careful not to
shake it up and disturb the contents of your container.
> 10. Remove the container from the refrigerator/freezer gently. Try not to
shake or disturb the contents. Place the container onto a flat, even,
surface. Gently remove the cover of the container. You will note, by looking
directly at the side of the container, there are 3
> separate layers visible.
> The bottom, (largest) layer is the extract Solution.
> Above that, is a thin layer (smallest) that separates the layer of Oil
from the extract solution.  This middle layer, I call the pomade. It is
clearly thicker and more concentrated than the top layer of oil. The top
layer is your Vanilla Oil.  The Vanilla Oil can be removed if you use a
(good quality) Turkey Baster to gently syringe out some of the oil and Spoon
off the balance with your dessert or Tea spoon, gently, placing it in
prearranged and prepared bottles.
> When you get close to the middle ring of the thicker oil (pomade), use the
glass eye dropper to extract as much of the Vanilla oil as possible without
mixing the oils and fluids. If you think you might mix up the solutions
while using a Turkey Baster, Don't use it. Instead use just the spoon and
glass eye dropper.
> 11. If the process of removing the oil was time consuming for you, you may
wish to place the "open" container, gently within your Freezer for an hour
or two, to thicken the thicker oil and allow any of the disturbed particles
or sediments to settle. When you are ready, Gently, with a clean, glass eye
dropper remove as much of the Thicker oil as you possibly can without mixing
up the extract.
> Place this in a separate bottle than the thinner Vanilla oil. Don't be
alarmed, you may see speckles of vanilla particles within the thicker
"pomade." That is normal.
> To try to remove those ultra tiny bits you will loose oil. So that is a
matter of choice. I like it in there, personally.
> 12. Take a layer of Cheese cloth and place it into the metal strainer.
Using the Turkey Baster, syringe the extract the solution into the prepared
strainer. Strain into a Clean glass container. Be Careful not to dump any
particles or sediment that may be in the bottom of the
> container, into the strainer. You may need to Strain the solution several
times. The last time you strain the extract, and pour it into the "final"
container(s) fill it only halfway. This will allow room for dilution, should
you need/chose to dilute the extract.
> 11. Taste the extract for strength, mix "distilled water" slowly and in
small quantities, as much as needed for diluting to taste.
> When you are satisfied with the taste. Cap the bottles securely. You are
> Give yourself a pat on the back and a hug. You did a great job and made it
all yourself!  But wait!...
> Before you throw away the sediment and Vanilla Bean pieces, you may wish
to mix it with some pieces of nutmeg, ginger root, cinnamon stick, a few
cloves etc. Pour in distilled water and place the mixture in a simmering
potpourri pot and fragrance your air. If you don't have a simmering
potpourri pot you can put it in the smallest 1 quart pot that usually
> comes with your set of pots and pans and rarely gets used and put it on
the stove top on Low and let it simmer. (watch that the water doesn't boil
out)  Make a cup of Tea, add some honey and "Fresh" Vanilla extract, put up
your feet and relax with the fragrance and flavor of "your vanilla"~~~
> There are many uses for the vanilla extract and oils.  The extract can be
used in Baking and Beverages. You can further dilute some and use it as an
after bath splash. The Vanilla oil can be used in countless things as well.
You can use it as a scent to wear. You can use it in making soap. Since
Vanilla is not a strong scent to begin with you may wish to mix it
> with another oil to make a blend. Or you may wish to add the Vanilla Oil
to a Rebatch so the Sponification (lye) process doesn't diminish the aroma.
You can use it in the Salt Bath Blend to make a heavenly bath Salt. Or you
can use it in making some lotions. The imagination is huge!
> The pomade part of the oil I mix with melted bee's wax.
> I use some as a salve on dry elbows and callused feet. I have also mixed
it with melted bee's wax and honey and made a yummy lip salve. I have mixed
it with melted bee's wax
> and made a solid scent to carry in my purse. I have also used it "as is"
and applied it to the dry ends of my hair and left it in over night. Vanilla
is very soothing & calming to the senses. Whatever you choose to do with it,
remember to patch test your skin if it's extremely
> sensitive ~~~ "Enjoy!"
> Love you all...always and more Tess
> T.C.Jones - Mother Hubbards Garden-1998

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