Monday, April 24, 2023

How to Make Vanilla Extract Without Alcohol

Learn how to make vanilla extract without alcohol.  This is a wonderful alternative to vanilla extract made with vodka for those who want to avoid using alcohol for any reason.  This is also a good substitute to use for drinks or other recipes where the alcohol does not cook off.

Alcohol Free Vanilla Extract

I've been making my own vanilla extract for years.  I typically make it with vodka or rum, but I wanted to make a vanilla extract with glycerin.

I add vanilla extract to my coffee, so I didn't want to use the vodka.  Even though it's a small amount, I wasn't comfortable with my kids drinking it or me drinking it during the day.  

I don't like using an imitation extract because it doesn't taste as good, but this alcohol free vanilla extract recipe tastes great!

For more cooking from scratch recipes, check out these posts:

Can Vanilla Be Extracted Without Alcohol?

Yes, you absolutely can extract vanilla without using alcohol. To do this, you use food grade glycerin and distilled water instead of alcohol. 

This article will show you how to make alcohol free vanilla extract and help answer any questions you may have.

If you want to make it with alcohol, you can learn how to make vanilla extract from vanilla beans or Instant Pot vanilla extract.

How Does Glycerin Extract Vanilla To Make Vanilla Extract?

Vegetable glycerin works very similar to alcohol in that it can be used to extract the color, aroma, and flavor of vanilla beans.

This is because glycerin is a sugar alcohol. It contains both alcohol and sugar groups but does not have any ethanol, which is the alcohol that causes intoxication. This makes it safe for alcoholics or those that just want to avoid ethanol alcohol for one reason or another. 

Is Alcohol Free Vanilla Extract Better?

Strictly speaking, making vanilla extract with alcohol is often the better choice as alcohol based vanilla extract will extract faster and be more potent. However, this alcohol free alternative is still a great vanilla to use.

While you may need to wait a longer or use more of this recipe to get the same effect as you would with standard vanilla extract, the fact that it does not have alcohol is appealing to many who wish to avoid it for a variety of reasons. 

Learning how to make vanilla extract without alcohol is always a great idea as it is another way to make this common household ingredient. Plus, there are many reasons to make alcohol free vanilla extract.

Does Alcohol Free Vanilla Taste Different

When learning how to make alcohol free vanilla extract, one of the biggest questions is how it will taste. This alcohol free vanilla recipe does not really taste all too different from a traditional alcohol based vanilla extract recipe. 

It will be more dull in its sweetness and less potent, so you may have to use a bit more in your recipes for the same taste.  

However, it's still a fantastic recipe for those who want to avoid alcohol in their vanilla extract.  

What Does Vanilla Extract Without Alcohol Taste Like?

Vanilla Extract made without alcohol tastes very similar to regular vanilla extract. The only fundamental difference is that this vanilla extract with glycerin will taste sweeter.  Some people think it has more of a caramel flavor.

How Is Vanilla Extract Made Without Alcohol?

In order to make this recipe, you will need distilled water and glycerin. Glycerin has many of the same properties as traditional alcohol does, however, it does not contain the ingredients necessary for intoxication or drunkenness. As such, the process is nearly identical to making regular vanilla extract. 

Is Alcohol Free Vanilla Extract Shelf Stable?

One of the best things about glycerin is that, similar to alcohol, it has preserving qualities. When used at more than 55% in a concentration it will help to preserve the product that you are making.

This means that glycerin is a superb alternative to grain alcohols when you want to make a vanilla extract that is useful for cooking and baking, and can be kept long term.  

However, I do not recommend using more than one part water to three parts glycerin. If you keep the concentration of glycerin higher, it helps to ensure that the vanilla extract will last longer. 

Which Glycerin Is Best for Vanilla Extract With Glycerin

For this vanilla extract with glycerin recipe, I recommend using food grade vegetable glycerin. This is because it is the most effective at extracting the flavor from the beans so the process will be faster and more fruitful in the long run. 

You can also look for a USP grade glycerin.  This meets or exceeds the requirements in the United States for food, drug, or medicinal uses.

Which Vanilla Beans are Best for Making Vanilla Extract 

There are three primary types of beans that are often recommended for making alcohol free vanilla extract recipe . 

The most popular kind is the Madagascar vanilla beans. You can also use the Tahitian vanilla beans or the Mexican vanilla beans for this recipe. 

Tips for Making Vanilla Extract Without Alcohol

Here are some tips for making vanilla extract with glycerin:

  • You can use this alcohol free vanilla extract recipe in lieu of regular vanilla extract in cooking and baking recipes. The flavor of this recipe may be a bit more subtle, and you may need to use more of it than you would need to if you were using standard alcohol based vanilla extract in order to get the same flavor.
  • Glycerin is very sweet (about three quarters as sweet as sucrose) and, as such, you may wish to use a bit less sugar in the recipe you are making, depending on the recipe of course.
  • As you use the vanilla glycerin, you can refill your bottle with more glycerin to continue to extract flavor from the same vanilla beans. Extraction in this recipe takes a lot longer than it does with ethanol alcohol. 
  • In order to get a richer flavor, I recommend leaving the beans in the mixture for a year. However, at any time you can taste the extract to see if it is ready for use or if it needs more time. 
  • Once you have used your beans, remove them from the glycerin and let dry.  Then use them to learn how to make vanilla powder or how to make vanilla sugar. 

Vanilla Extract With Glycerin Ingredients

Following are all the supplies and ingredients that you will need to learn how to make vanilla extract without alcohol. This recipe makes about 8 oz of vanilla extract.

How To Make Vanilla Extract Without Alcohol

Step One

To get started, mix the vegetable glycerin and distilled water together until they are completely combined.

Step Two

Then, pour the mixture into a glass jar.

Step Three

Now, you will want to slice your vanilla beans in half horizontally. Once they have been sliced, cut them open vertically but do not cut through the bean all the way.

Step Four

Place your beans into your glass jar and mix well. Let the jar sit for several months (up to a year). You will want to shake the jar every few days or so.

Step Five

After several months have passed, you can pour the mixture into a dropper bottle for personal use. You can choose to either strain the vanilla beans or keep them in so as to extract more flavor from them over time.

Now you know how to make vanilla extract with glycerin!

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