Combine the water and sugar together in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add 3 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1 star anise. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gently add the kumquats, and allow to cook 18-20 minutes, until tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the kumquats to 2 1-quart jars. Add 3 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise, and half of the vanilla bean to each jar.
Return the sugar mixture to a boil for 4 minutes. Strain, discarding the spices. Pour 2 cups of the liquid into each jar, followed by 1/2 cup of brandy in each jar. Seal jars and shake well. Keep in refrigerator; wait two weeks before enjoying.