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This is a continuation of my last question.

the recipe I have is:

2 1/2 cups water
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 moist vanilla bean, preferably Mexican or Bourbon (Madagascar)

Combine the sugars and water in a saucepan.

Boil for at least 10 minutes.

Let cool. When solution has cooled, add the extract and stir well.

After I make my syrup, how long of a shelf life does it have? Do I need to refrigerate it, or can I keep it on my countertop?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Sugar syrup of such high concentration has practically the same shelf life as candy. You don't have to refrigerate it. Bacteria practically can't live in it. You can keep it for months, and it expires because its taste goes off at some point, not because it becomes unsafe.

If something goes wrong and the sugar concentration isn't high enough after all, the first thing which will colonize your syrup will be mould. It is very visible, and you will be able to just throw it out. No need to worry that you eat normally-looking product teeming with pathogens (which is the largest problem in food safety).

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