Thursday, December 10, 2009

homemade vanilla extract


My apologies if you are one of the future recipients of this homemade gift, but I couldn't wait any longer.  This one has been on the works for weeks and I'm ready to share.  For the past six weeks I have been brewing homemade vanilla extract in my very own kitchen.  It's a simple process: vodka + vanilla beans + six weeks = vanilla extract.  Well, it's a little more complicated.  directions here.

After whipping up the vanilla concoction in a large mason jar I had plenty of time to ponder packaging variables.  Boy, did I ponder.  I found the bottle right away, but the label took a bit more tinkering.  Due to the shape of the bottle, the label needed to be round.  My first attempt was  I uploaded a design and my order arrived a few days later (love the quickness).  Unfortunately, the stickers were a tiny bit too small.  I had enough time to find an alternative and although no one else on the planet would have noticed, I knew that those tiny labels would haunt my dreams forever.  So, I searched online and luckily found (correction, my boss found it) exactly what I was looking for.  Thanks Pike!

When all of the components were ready I strained the vanilla mixture (now vanilla extract), poured it into the individual jars and slapped on the labels.  It didn’t take me long to realize that the cork stopper was unsuitable for liquid (Doh!).  I traveled with three bottles recently and found that the cork cap soaked up the vanilla.  In fact, that cork LOVED my yummy homemade vanilla extract.  No matter how tight that cap was lodged into the bottle, the vanilla was still going to escape through the cap.  What is the lesson here people?  Cork is an unsuitable stopper for liquid.  The rest of the bottles have been repackaged into 3oz glass bottles with an airtight bail-and-seal hermetic closure.

This was a fun project.  I encountered some hiccups along the way but I’m happy with the end result.  Looking forward to handing these bad boys out!

Make vanilla extract at home and order my labels here.


Kathryn said...

I too found corked bottles. I was thinking about dipping the top of the bottle in wax. Do you think that would seal the cork and contents in? Also, did the cork effect the flavor at all?

Kelli said...

I bought glass bottles with cork stoppers too...I'm thinking I'm going to seal them with wax, but I know that there do exist plastic stoppers that would maybe work as well...I've not looked for them yet, but I may if the wax doesn't work out for me.