A DIY Experiment Between Vanilla Extract Folds
In February of 2022, we met (through our Facebook group) one of the most talented, curious, kind, energetic and helpful DIY extract makers in the world. Laura is from Great Britain and she has brought an incredible amount of energy and insight into our group of 1000,000+ extract makers.
Order The Art of Extract Making. The first professionally published extract-making book of its kind.
In April of 2022, Laura decided to begin an experiment at home between vanilla extract folds. She created a single fold, double fold, triple fold and double fold with sugar. She made them all at the same time, using the same bottles, the same spirits and the same vanilla beans and she stored them all in the same place.
Her findings are a great demonstration of how long it takes for the extracts to turn dark, how long it really takes for the sweetness of the extract to come through, the difference between folds, and so much more.
She was posting so much content in our Facebook group, we felt it would be easier to access all of her findings and information on a single website page dedicated to her efforts.
We are so excited to present Laura's findings to you chronologically below in her words and with her pictures, shared with her permission.
Thank you Laura for sharing so many of your talents and valuable insights with us!
All the experiments I saw made me want to do my own. I had 4oz of Tahiti grade B beans left, and couldn't figure out what to do with them. So I thought to experiment a bit. Long post but wanted to be detailed
Made a single, double & triple fold. And a double fold with 5gram of sugar added. Saw someone tried it so thought why not. All bottles contain 2.7oz of Vodka, except the triple fold which has only 2.54oz. Needed some more space for this one. Single has 0.3oz of beans, doubles 0m6 and triple 0.9 All beans are split and cut to pieces.
The leftover beans are in another experiment with my leftover booze. 1.5oz each of Buffalo trace, Captain Morgan White, Captain Morgan Spiced and vodka. I know Tahiti beans might be to light for the stronger spirits, but if it fails it will be the beginning of my Mother jar
Below is a picture of the beans weighed out in front of the bottles. The collage is
- When added beans but didn't shake it.
- After shaking it, still day 0
- After 24 hours
After shaking you can see the caviar floating about, was trying to shake them and take a quick picture as it looked so nice. The double and triple already seem to start coloring.
At 24 hours the single and double folds look similar. The double with sugar seems to be a bit lighter. And the triple is the darkest
Really looking forward to see them evolving. I am gonna try to take a picture every week, if i don't forget. But at least every month. To document the change in them. I kinda feel like a mad scientist, but know you all will understand me
It's been 3 weeks now since I started this experiment. As you can see the color has changed quite a bit over these weeks. I also did a smell test.
Quick recap, link to start of it is at the bottom. I made a single, double, triple fold and double fold with 5gram sugar added. I used Tahiti grade B beans and vodka. Bottled them up and shake every other day. And try to remember to take a picture every week.
Single fold is a lot lighter in color and still smells a lot like alcohol, not much vanilla smell yet.
Double fold is darker and starts to smell like vanilla, but still some alcohol smell.
Triple fold is the darkest and smells like vanilla with a little hint of alcohol.
Double fold with sugar is a little bit darker than the normal double fold. But smells the same as the double fold.
It's nice to see how they are getting along. And how they smell different. Can't wait to see them develop more over the next months. I will try to take my weekly pictures of it. So you all can follow how it changes over time.
6 weeks into my experiment, only 46 more weeks to go
The extracts are changing color nicely. I know on week 5 the triple looks darker than on week 6. But that has to do with light took weeks 6 picture in the morning. Normally I take them in the afternoon.
As to how they smell here are my findings.
Single, still strong smell of booze, but you can get a little bit of vanilla.
Double a stronger vanilla smell than the single, but still quite a boozy smell.
Triple a very faint booze smell. Mostly vanilla smell.
Double with sugar same as the double, but smells a bit sweeter
Love how they are coming along, and that I haven't forgotten a weekly picture yet so can't go on holiday for a year or I will miss a picture
Quick recap. I made a single, double, tripe fold extract and one double fold with a bit of sugar.
They all have the same bean and booze in them. I have been taking weekly pictures to see them progress and am sharing updates every 3 weeks. Since I can put 3 pictures on top of each other.
Short update this time.
So 9 weeks in now and the color is getting darker. Only smelled the triple fold one and oh my it smells amazing. Can't wait for them to be ready.
I really love these bottles, I got them for gifting. But use them for experimenting till I am ready to gift some vanilla extract.
Forgot to do an update on my experiments. They will be 13 weeks today.
So made different folds with the same bean, Tahiti grade B, and same alcohol, Five Vodka, which is a locally made one. And one I use for all my first extracts.
So last week I took another picture, still not missed one will have to take them with me if I go on holiday
The single seems to be catching up in smell, but still strong alcohol smell. And lighter color
The double is becoming more vanilla smell and nice rounded color.
The triple is smelling really strong of vanilla and is really dark.
The double with sugar smells a bit better than the regular double, but color wise is about the same.
It is sometimes hard to judge the color on a picture as it all depends on the background lighting. Can't wait till they are ready. Maybe at the next update I will do a little taste test to see how they are getting along.
Forgot to post an update last week about my experiment. So a short update this time. It's currently at 16 weeks.
The color is getting darker still. And really love how it's progressing so far.
The single fold is starting to smell more like vanilla now.
The double fold already smelled like vanilla but is getting stronger each week
The triple fold smells like vanilla with a hint if alcohol and is the darkest color. It looks to be almost ready
The double fold with sugar smells sweeter than the normal double fold.
I will be doing a taste test at the 6month mark to see how they are coming along
Another 3 weeks have passed in my experiment so thought to share the pictures again. I changed the layout so the oldest week sots at the top. Makes it easier to scroll through them and see the progress.
Didn't smell them this time as I am busy prepping my berries to make more jelly.
So only the pictures this time to see the progress.
Happy Friday everyone!
Alright another 3 weeks has flown by so time for another update on my experiment.
As you can see the color is developing nicely and the smell is getting better too
Single fold still mostly booze smell and lighter than the rest
Double fold is a split between booze and vanilla, they are battling it out
Triple fold slight booze but vanilla at the front
Double with sugar is same smell as the normal double.
For the newbies you don't add sugar to your extract, this is just an experiment since I read someone doing this and wanted to see how it turns out.
Happy extracting everyone and a have a lovely weekend!
Another 3 weeks have gone, how time flies.
So again a little update on my experiments
Next time I will be doing a taste test too, since we are at the halfway mark for them. Very curious about testing them to see how they get along.
The color keeps getting richer, and so does the smell. Didn't open them all to smell, only the double and triple fold. And they smell amazing.
We are halfway through the experiment so time for a little taste test. I put 5drops of each in a little bit of milk with a pinch of sugar. Let it rest for a bit before tasting.
Here are my findings:
Single folds still smells a lot like alcohol. Taste milk with a tiny hint of vanilla in the background.
Double fold stronger vanilla smell. But still some alcohol too. Taste a bit stronger vanilla flavor, but still not really strong.
Triple amazing vanilla smell already. Taste vanilla milk, yum can't wait to see how this one will improve.
Double fold with sugar. Smell similar to the double fold. Taste very sweet with a hint of vanilla.
Added 5 more drops to the lefrover milk to see if this will give me better flavor.
Single fold still very light hint of Vanilla
Double fold better than 5 drops so more vanilla flavor
Tripe fold very yum and strong vanilla flavor
Double sugar very sweet taste with light vanilla flavor
So know I have something to compare it to once they are fully ready in 6 months.
Check back again soon as more posts are made!
The final taste test will happen in April or May, 2023!