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Jan 30, 2009 03:17 PM

vinegar making

has anyone ever made vinegar? if so how....thanks.

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    1. re: wolfe

      thanks...i'm scetchy on exactly what "mother" is. but i assume when i see it i'll recognize it.

      1. re: heyjude344

        Mother is a gelatenous glob of goo that forms on vinegar. it has enough aceobacter on and in it to start new vinegar.

        I used to be a brewmaster so I'd get gallons and gallons of waste beer that were just going to go down the drain. I quite often made malt vinegar from one of our dark ales that turned out great--much better than the malt vinegar garbage you get in the store.

    2. I started last spring. Easy to do. Very happy with results. Bought a vinegar making container (made in Italy, holds about 3-4 gallons, has flexible spout out of the bottom, and linen cloth to cover top - about $70 via internet - I think source was Grape and Granary, or something like that). Added in left over red (never white) wine to container; no mother. It got about two gallons full, and two months into project, and mother began to appear, from natural yeasts in the air. Mother grew, sniffing at the top gradually changed from wine fragrance, to lucious vinegar. Kept tasting (1 tbsp every couple of weeks), and adding new left over wine. After about five months, got a flavor that made our mouths water. At that point, lifted out the mother, strained the vinegar, and bottled in left over bottles from Heitz, Silver Oak, Stags Leap, etc. (Only the best goes in those bottles!) Corked them with recycled wine corks. gave some away to close relatives) Then reloaded with some Chas. Shaw merlot, and added back about a cup of the mother from first batch. The rest of the mother went into the herb garden, and onto the chives. They EXPLODED with growth, so stand back! Then, the process of adding left over reds continues. Not very precision, but easy and rewarding.
      Note: keep the linen in place with rubber band, elastic or string. We left it off one day, and had fruit flies invade. After covering again, and skimming out dead flies, the 'fruit fly fragrance' (which I smell, but my wife can't) went away. Just like when I make wine.

      All in all: Nature at work, and you get a big, delicious payoff for minimal effort. Enjoy!

      5 Replies
      1. re: blterman

        Here's how I did it....but if you can't get vinegar mother from a some Braggs vinegar (the kind advertised "with the mother") at a natural food store and drain off most of the vinegar and start your vinegar from the sediment left from will work well, I promise...note that most wine will not grow vinegar like the person above posted because of sulfites, so don't try to grow your own unless you have some wine that doesn't have preservatives in it....
        Here's how I did itL

        1. re: momskitchen

          i'm going to look for bragg's today....thanks!

        2. re: blterman

          When you said that you never added white wine to the container, did you mean that you just never did add any or that there is some reason not to add it? I was taught to make wine in France and they added both white and red to their container. They also gave me a pint of their mother vinegar to bring home. My vinegar has both red and white in it and it tastes very good. Also, they told me that pasteurized wine should not be used as it will not turn to vinegar. The local wine shop told me that the only pasteurized wine is kosher wine. I'm sure that I have probably dumped some wines containing sulfates into my container, but have had no problems with getting it to produce vinegar. Good luck with your vinegar.

          1. re: kandmls

            Good question: I read not to add white on someone's blog, but have no scientific reason that I haven't. I was passing along what (little, I guess) I knew about the subject. Hearing your experience, I might try to add white, too. The whites generally are drained by evenings end, so there might be a practical reason ... lack of ready supply. I agree that pastuerized wine is a no-no. I thought most wineries use sulphites to sterilize bottles and corks. Also, a lot of growers use sulphur to dust crops .. have to believe that some makes its way into the wine via skins, and yet, wine fermentation persists. So, I haven't paid much attention to the sulphur/ate/ite discussion.

            1. re: blterman

              I always mix red and white wine and it works just fine. I throw in whatever leftover wine I have into my crock.