Why Yes, We WERE Mad Scientists in Another Life: DIY Vanilla Extract and Hard Cider

I've always loved crafty projects, and tend to have a bad habit of going "Hmm I could make that..." on a regular basis.  My husband's DIY streak is of a much more of a science-y variety, which is totally cool with me since I seriously considered majoring in chemistry in college, and already had a habit of conducting science experiments in my kitchen from my homeschooled high school years.

Which is all to say, the husband and I were totally mad scientists in a previous life.

Our most recent projects are homemade vanilla extract (inspired by Simple Dollar, but these instructions were actually a lot more helpful) and homemade Hard Cider (inspired by Paupered Chef, who has excellent directions and a very science-y four-variation experimental run).

As you can see, we went with the big ol' jug of 365 Organic Apple Juice and have the fancy schmancy air lock mechanism (that thing that looks a bit like a torture device at the top) as well.  We even bought the lager yeast that the Paupered Chef ended up preferring.  Yeah, we're groupies like that.

We add a good bit of cinnamon as well, which should add a fun kick.  Its about half done now, but we already sampled it just to, you know, see how it was going.  It's... going.  As far as we can tell.

I'm also super excited about our homemade vanilla extract... we started the process about a week ago, and our vodka has already turned a promising vanilla-brown.

I just HAD to get the organic vodka, but hey there was a rebate offer on it so it was actually about as cheap as Smirnoff would have been... (and, spazzy girl moment: isn't this bottle just SO much prettier?)

We bought the vanilla beans at Costco.  They were pretty affordable but not organic... I'll probably hunt down organic ones online in the future.

As you can see, our apartment is quite the temple to culinary experimentation at the moment.  If you've heard of any other interesting/weird edible/drinkable DIY projects lately, do please tell... we might try them next.

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  1. If you refill the vodka as you use the extract I hear the beans can last a few years.

  2. Yeah, nifty huh? We'll be buying more regardless though, since we watch a bigger batch in the works for Christmas presents. :)

  3. What fun projects! Yes, that vodka bottle is so much prettier :)

  4. You are brave! I veto the science experiments (inside the house) after Hubby had an exploding root beer fiasco several years back.

    Thanks for delurking BTW, I am glad to have found your blog!


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