Melman I need you!! (Or anyone else who has Vanilla Experience!) I've had a bottle of vanilla 'brewing' since 9/1/01. It's a 375ml bottle of Smirnoff Vodka with approximately 6 Penzey's vanilla beans in it. It's still the same amber color it was in December, but it still smells WAY alcoholy! I started another bottle on 1/2/02 and it's the same color, but smells even more alcoholy. I'm afraid to use it 'cause of the way it smells!
To top it off, I had about 7 extra vanilla beans from my Penzey's bag so a few months ago I decided to try to make Vanilla Sugar since I want to put this in Christmas Baskets next year. I took someone's advice on this BB and bought SuperFine sugar. Now I have a giant clot of superfine sugar in a mason jar that will NOT move when I shake it! I'm wondering if I should just pick all the vanilla bean pieces out of the superfine and try those same beans with regular sugar? I mean it's clotted SOLID. Even if I dig at it with a spoon it's like cement. What in the world did I do wrong??? Both my vanilla experiments have left a lot to be desired, and I've got about $30 worth of vanilla beans wrapped up in these bottles and jars!