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Old 10-02-2006, 11:54 AM   #51
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I agree with RP that if you are going to make your own vanilla, Everclear is better, as it will simulate real vanilla extract much more closely.

I can always taste the vodka in home made vanilla, and I don't care for it too much.

Anyone remember Everclear and Hawaiian Punch parties in college??
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Old 10-02-2006, 12:24 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
Everclear is a brand name of grain alcohol. It is illegal in some states. In know that it is illegal in MA so we need to go to NH to buy it. Usually it is not in plain sight. You would have to ask an employee for it. They would go in the back room and get it for you. It can be very dangerous stuff if used carelessly.

...and you use it to make your own vanilla extract???
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:03 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
Everclear is a brand name of grain alcohol. It is illegal in some states. In know that it is illegal in MA so we need to go to NH to buy it. Usually it is not in plain sight. You would have to ask an employee for it. They would go in the back room and get it for you. It can be very dangerous stuff if used carelessly.
I still don't know what kind of a store to go to. Pharmacy or liquor, hardware or gas station? Maybe I should just stick to vodka. My taste buds are jaded anyway. Besides, I like vodka.
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:17 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by JoAnn L.
Do you have a favorite brand of vanilla? I was at WalMart this morning and found that they carry the Watkins Brand. They had 3 different types, Imitation, Pure and Double Flavor. There are so many different brands in the stores and so many different prices. Are they all pretty much the same? What do you recommend?
I usually go with McCormick's, as it's readily available in my area, and have never been disappointed.
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:32 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bevkile
I still don't know what kind of a store to go to. Pharmacy or liquor, hardware or gas station? Maybe I should just stick to vodka. My taste buds are jaded anyway. Besides, I like vodka.
Sorry bevkile! I got so caught up in answering your question that I never actually answered it

A liquor store is where you would find it.
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:34 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
...and you use it to make your own vanilla extract???
I have never made my own, but my wives bridesmaids maid it as favors for her shower. They used vodka. If I were to make it and grain alcohol was available then that is what I would use. I would not make a special trip to NH for it though. I would just use vodka if grain was not easily accessible.
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Old 10-02-2006, 03:04 PM   #57
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They sell Everclear in Illinois so I put a bottle in my luggage, which come to think of it probably wasn't a very good idea . The vanilla I made was pretty good, but it does really depend on the amount and quality of the vanilla beans you are using.

Besides making vanilla (or other extracts, I suppose), there isn't a whole lot to use Everclear for if you are over the age of 25.
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:54 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
They sell Everclear in Illinois so I put a bottle in my luggage, which come to think of it probably wasn't a very good idea . The vanilla I made was pretty good, but it does really depend on the amount and quality of the vanilla beans you are using.

Besides making vanilla (or other extracts, I suppose), there isn't a whole lot to use Everclear for if you are over the age of 25.
It's also used for making such delights as limoncello, an Italian dessert liqueur. You put strips of lemon zest in a bottle of grain alcohol, leave it to soak for a couple of months, then strain out the peels and cut it with sugar water to taste. Like vodka, you store it in the freezer and serve it very cold. Done right, it's like liquid lemon drops, but with a kick...
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:44 AM   #59
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Vanilla

I buy fresh vanilla, in the pods. I think the fresh real ones taste better, and are healthier. I dont know any particular brand name. But fresh is fresh. Any brand would be good.
Mel
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Old 10-04-2006, 10:59 PM   #60
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Actually, Everclear is over-kill ... at 95% Ethanol (grain alcohol) = 190 Proof. It is illegal in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Washington, California, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Virginia and West Virginia (and that might not be a complete list) ... although some of those states may allow the sale of the "low octane" 151 -Proof (75.5%).

Pure vanilla extract is generally made from 35% ethanol (70-proof) alcohol ... check the labels. Most "homemade" vanilla extract is made from grinding up vanilla beans and soaking them in Bourbon.

Double-Flavor vanilla flavorings are actually lower in alcohol (around 8.5%) - but contain "impurities" - added sugars and artificial vanillan flavorings.

Arificial vanialla is "usually" alcohol free and composed of synthetic "stuff" but doesn't really taste like real vanilla - usually based on the fundamental vanallian andsome sugars but lacks the true depth of flavor which is composed of over 200 different "flavoids".

I buy Watkins "Pure V. Extract" because that's what I grew up with - I've tried store brands and they were really crap.

Now, to be honest - I've never tried the stuff from Neilsen-Massey. But, I'm thinking of taking the plunge and giving it a try this Christmas to see if it is any better than Watkins (which is also made from the same beans).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel!
I buy fresh vanilla, in the pods. I think the fresh real ones taste better, and are healthier. I dont know any particular brand name. But fresh is fresh. Any brand would be good.
Actually, Mel - if you ever got a "fresh" vanilla bean it would be green and you wouldn't like the taste! As far as being "healthier" - I sincerly doubt you can show where one bean is "healthier" than another - or that one extraction method is better than another. Vanilla beans are not fresh produce ...
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