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Extract: Mexican vanilla bean to alcohol ratio

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Since Mexican vanilla is said to have a stronger flavor than Madagascar vanilla does one use less beans per cup of alcohol?
post #2 of 14
The reality is, you can make it whatever way you want. The FDA sets the standards for the weight of beans used per gallon. It doesn't care about their nationality.

If you make the different varieties the same way, you can then tell the true differences in them. Then you can decide what type of vanilla and how much to use.

In my opinion, Mexican vanilla is not stronger, it is a different flavor. To me it has a caramel flavor to it.

So try the different varieties, but make them the same way to get a true comparison.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewkyrankelly

The reality is, you can make it whatever way you want. The FDA sets the standards for the weight of beans used per gallon. It doesn't care about their nationality.

If you make the different varieties the same way, you can then tell the true differences in them. Then you can decide what type of vanilla and how much to use.

In my opinion, Mexican vanilla is not stronger, it is a different flavor. To me it has a caramel flavor to it.

So try the different varieties, but make them the same way to get a true comparison.



That's a great idea. I never thought to compare the two myself. This experiment looks like it will be more fun than I had planned.
post #4 of 14
You can easily pick up some Tahitian vanilla as well. It is lighter and more floral. Have fun with it. I have.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I had high hopes for Tahitian vanilla but was underwhelmed by it. Maybe because I bought the extract rather than making my own. I find it tends to get lost in baked goods so I use it mainly in my BC. My first bottle of Madagascar vanilla is brewing. If I like how it turns out I might make some tahitian vanilla extract.
post #6 of 14
I have heard that Tahitian is best used in finished products because it is so light. I love vanilla so I want the strong stuff.
post #7 of 14
The Tahititian is lighter. But they are all like any fine product. Use them where you need them and like them. If you are making a lighter more subtle dessert, the tahitian can add great note alone to it.

Sometimes I'll use Madagascar in the cake and filling and use either Tahitian or Mexican in the frosting. Sometimes a splash of each goes in. It creates a complexity that can elevate a really nice dessert.

It is just one more area to add an artistic touch to what we do
post #8 of 14
Mexican Vanilla is my favorite, it does have a more caramel flavor to it. I, personally would use the same ratio for Mexican as I would for Madagascar.

I am currently using Mexican, and have Madagascar steeping. I chose to make Madagascar this time around because Mexican beans are much more expensive right now (and extract grade mexican beans are hard to find). They are both excellent. I've read that Tahitian has a lighter flavor, and is best suited for "scenting".
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I have a scratch baking blog! www.bakingbetter.com
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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the responses. I never did get any notifications, I'm glad I checked back. I got some Mexican vanilla beans from Arizona vanilla co. and those suckers cost SO MUCH MORE than Madagascar vanilla beans. This vanilla better knock my socks off or else....
post #10 of 14
Keep us informed.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yep... in 6 months icon_lol.gif
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

My vanilla extracts will be 6 months old in a few days. Any tips for separating the extract from the beans? I'd like to get out the 'debris' but still have vanilla beans floating in the extract. A coffee filter will kinda make that impossible.

post #13 of 14

I have been making my own vanilla extract for a few years.  I use rum or vodka.  I let the whole beans soak for a month, then I chop them up by hand and let them soak another month.

 

One batch, I made the mistake of blending the beans with rum in a blender.  This caused all kinds of fibres that even a coffee filter couldn't get rid of.  UGH...

 

What worked very well is that I added some sugar to one batch after the regular two month soaking.  I had a grinder jar of vanilla bean bits and 2 ounces of sugar and I just dumped the whole thing into the 12 ounce of vodka batch.  It seemed to make the extract "stronger" in a way that I can't describe. 

 

I have borrowed an ultrasonic cleaner (lab strength) to extract the last drop of resin from chopped beans.  I then use the coarse leftover beans in a first pass for a new bottle of alcohol, and after squeezing the liquid out by hand, it finally goes into the kitchen compost.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks BakingIrene. I'm glad I checked back cos CC didn't notify me of your response. I've always wondered why Nielsen Massey adds sugar to their vanilla extract, maybe your reason is why. I'll have to try that on a small batch next time and compare.

 

Edit: Found this online

The extract may also contain sugar, corn syrup, caramel, colors, or stabilizers. All additives must be on the label, but the FDA doesn't require that the percentage of additives be listed. As vanilla is naturally sweet, it isn't necessary to use additional sweeteners, though some companies use 25% or more sugar in their extracts and some use only a small percentage of sugar as a stabilizer. Adding 20% or more sugar to a newly made extract is like fortifying any alcoholic product. It takes the edge off the harshness of the un-aged product, which is, at least partially, why some companies continue to use a significant amount sugar in their flavorings. Extracts made with premium beans and little to no sugar offer a fresh clean flavor to cuisine. Though these extracts may be expensive, the flavor is cleaner and it carries well to the finished product. 

 

Updated here: http://www.vanilla.com/index.php/Tropical-Foods/Vanilla/vanilla-extract-an-insiders-view.html


Edited by vgcea - 11/21/12 at 12:14am
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