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Making wine vinegar

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So I seem to have successfully made some red wine vinegar. Probably have about a quart or so in the jar that has been brewing for 3 or 4 months. I'm looking for advice on how to know when it's ready - just taste? And then what? Strain (filter) and bottle? I have made maple vinegar (excellent stuff!) and I just waited until it tasted vinegarish and then ran it through a coffee filter and bottled it. Is it basically the same process with wine vinegar? I didn't do any further processing with the maple vinegar so I assume it doesn't need it. No one has died yet. From my vinegar, I mean.

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  1. I make wine vinegar, too. I just run it through a coffee filter and pour it into a bottle. If you don't want what is in the bottle to continue growing gunky stuff (I am pretty sure that is the correct technical term), you can heat it in a pan or microwave it. Don't bottle it all. Keep some because it obviously has some mother in it. Just feed it a little more wine every now and then.. BTW, heating it my make it stay prettier, but all of the beneficial things will die. If you want to avoid gunky things, just use it faster!

    5 Replies
    1. re: tim irvine

      Thanks. No I'm not afraid of gunky things. That's how I got it started in the first place - pulled out a bit of gunk from maple vinegar bottle and plunked it into wine. The gunk is supposed to be full of all kinds of good stuff, but I have no idea what.

      1. re: Nyleve

        How do you develop the gunk in the first place? I've never made wine vinegar but I probably should.

        1. re: tcamp

          Most homebrew stores carry the mother...

          ...or, you find a helpful little fruit fly to introduce the acetobacter.

          The first option is more dependable.

          Aloha,
          Kaleo

          1. re: tcamp

            The gunk is actually cellulose made by the bacteria. I cruised grocery store aisles for vinegar that said things like unfiltered, unpasteurized, etc. and looked in bottle after bottle for telltale wisps. I found one white and one red. The rest is history.

            1. re: tcamp

              I bought a bottle of I pasteurized cider vinegar in a health food store. I needed to use it to start the maple vinegar, and then it developed into a weird livery mat. Such a strange organism.