Question about making vinegar...
There have been several topics about making vinegar, but this one, I think, might be a bit off the beaten path, at least, I saw no similar topics in my search...
I was considering making vinegar. There are plenty of articles on making wine and cider vinegar, and articles mention you can make vinegar out of most every spirit, but I have seen no articles about making vinegar of stronger spirits. These are some ideas I have gleaned from some research, but I cannot be sure it is correct, as I am no expert.
I was interested in making vinegar out of stronger. First, I thought trying to make sherry vinegar might be fun to try, but it seems nearly impossible, as it is made using the same solera method as sherry production. Odd and labor intensive methods, and requires three separate barrels.
Brandy seems the better alternative, you can get it for a reasonable price, XO E and J goes for about $14, and you can get 5 Liter oak barrels for about $120.
The Orleans method seems the better way. Sure, you will be measuring vinegar time in months, instead of weeks with the more modern methods, but it is supposed to make the more mellow, complex vinegar.
My question is, would this be feasible? I am wondering because one of the main historical reasons for making brandy was to make concentrated wine to get around taxes, that can be diluted on location. This is important, as it seems from what I have read that you need to dilute any spirits to 5-7% alcohol content to allow the mother to thrive.
I am no expert. Would this be worth it? Would any possible advantage of making vinegar from brandy/port/fino/sherry/madeira/masala/kirschwasser be lost when the brandy is diluted from 40% alcohol to 7%? Or is it better to just stick with making straight wine vinegar? Or would the richer flavors of brandy be saved, making this process worth it? Or is my information wrong, invalidating my questions?