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      When Should I Start My Extracts?
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      Vanilla extracts
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      Some extracts take just a few weeks to make, while others take up to 18 months or even longer. So when is the best time to begin making extracts so they are ready for use when I need them? See our calendar below to help you know when to begin. 
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      Goal:
      I want my extracts ready by October 1st every year so I can begin using them in holiday baking, starting with Halloween. 
      .
      Extract Type Extract Spirit Extract Time (Months) Month to Begin
      Vanilla Bourbon 12-18 April - October
      Vanilla Vodka 12 October
      Vanilla White Rum 12-18
      April - October
      Vanilla Dark Rum 12-18 April - October
      Vanilla Whiskey 12-18 April - October
      Vanilla Tequila/Gin 12-18
      April - October
      Vanilla Brandy/Cognac 12-18 April - October
      Vanilla Spiced Rum 12 October
      Cinnamon/Spices
      Bourbon
      1-6 March - August
      Cinnamon/Spices
      Vodka 
      1-4 May - August
       Cinnamon/Spices
      White Rum
      1-4
      May - August
       Cinnamon/Spices
      Dark Rum
      1-6
      March - August
       Cinnamon/Spices
      Whiskey
      1-6
      March - August
      Cinnamon/Spices
      Tequila/Gin 
      1-4
      May - August
      Cinnamon/Spices
      Brandy/Cognac 
      1-6
      March - August 
      Cacao/Mocha/Coffee
      Vodka
      4-12 May - October
      Cacao/Mocha/Coffee
      White Rum
      4-12 May - October
      Fruits/Citrus/Herbs
      Vodka
      1-3 June - August
      Fruits/Citrus/Herbs
      Everclear 1-3
      June - August

       

      Why is there such a big range in the time it takes for extracts to be ready?

      The answer to that question lies in a few variables:

      1. Darker spirits tend to take a little longer. Extraction happens at the same pace, but to overcome the smokiness of a dark rum, a whiskey, a Bourbon or a cognac, most agree that it simply takes longer. Some people wait up to 2 years for their darker spirit vanilla extract to be ready. 
      2. Individual tastes and palates. While we feel certain that vanilla extract in vodka reaches peak sweetness in a year, we have spoken and read comments from thousands of people that love their extracts after just 90 days. So it's really up to each individual extract maker. 
      3. Vanilla beans seem to be the slowest of all extracts. It simply takes much more time to extract all of the vanilla sweetness from a vanilla pod, than it does to extract cinnamon, cacao, coffee, citrus, herbs and fruit. 

      For all of the above reasons, taste testing your extract is really the most important step after ensuring that you have the correct quantities and types of ingredients. Taste test frequently. If you like the taste, start to use it. If you don't, then wait a little longer and taste test again. When it's ready is up to you!

      Taste testing extracts

      Lastly, as you can see from the chart above, it's important to plan ahead when you make your extracts. In the summer months before the holiday baking season begins, there are many extracts that you can start making that will be ready in the fall, and there are many extracts that you can begin that will be ready for the holidays the following year. Indeed, every month of the year is a great time to begin making some sort of extract!

      For more tips and tricks about extract making, be sure to visit our free extract-making guide center to make sure that every extract you make turns out just right every time.

      Happy Extracting!!