Originally Posted by will
I just wonder how someone would go about collecting extracts? More so curiousity than actually wanting to do it.
For instance, how would someone get vanilla extract from the vanilla beans or how would one get capsicum extract from habanero peppers... those just stick out but you get my drift...
How does that process work?
Some flavors come from essential oils, but many flavors are extracted from the fruit or seeds by soaking them in alcohol. I use cheap vodka or grain alchohol(I prefer the vodka for some reason) and merely chop up the item(like vanilla beans and cover them with vodka--you can cut beans in half and stand them up in a bottle and cover them, or do it in a small jar or crock--something glass and seal it up well so it doesn't evaporate. shake it gently every couple of days and after a week or two smell it, if it smells like the flavor you want, you're done. Strain it and bottle it in small brown glass bottles, to preserve the quality.
The next level of extraction leads to cordial making--I extract the color and flavor of a couple or three pints of raspberries, or blueberries, or other berries or fresh ripe fruits in a quart of vodka for three weeks, then mix it with equal volume of simple syrup and a 1/2 c light Karo(for body--some people use some amount of glycerine). Strain it well through cheesecloth and bottle it. It's best after sitting for a couple of months.
This summer's raspberries will be ready for Xmas gift-giving!
French Roast coffee beans roughly crushed and extracted make killer Kahlua-like liqueur.