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Anyone Making Their Own Vinegar

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woodwormm

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I know vinegar's not expensive... but i like the 'thrill' of making stuff myself.

anyone got a good recipe for plain old white vinegar? not looking for white wine or apple cider or red wine.. just plain old white vinegar I can put on my hot chips and use for cleaning the house with bicarb soda....

anyone got a failsafe method/recipe?

cheers
 

benno1973

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Ironically, white vinegar (as far as I'm aware) is the harder one to make, as it is a distilled product. White wine/Red wine/Malt/Cider vinegar are all far easier to make. I've made malt vinegar before and it's come out surpirisingly well!

Failsafe method is actually very easy...

1. Get a large bottle that you want to create the vinegar in. It'll be out of action for a few months, so make sure you won't need it for a while. Wider bottles are better, as they allow more surface area and therefore oxygen transfer, which is required for acetobacter.

2. Fill the bottle 1/2 full with beer. I used a dark mild that I wasn't too impressed with. Something low hopped is good, so the bitterness doesn't fight with the sourness. Allow the beer to warm to room temperature, and then shake to aerate.

3. Look through the vinegars in your cupboard, and see if any have a little floaty cloudy jellyfish in them. The jellyfish is the mother which is what will turn the alcohol into vinegar. I'm told that most vinegar is pasteurised, however almost every vinegar in my cupboard tends to form a mother, meaning that there's live cultures in there. If you haven't got any, you can probably buy a vinegar mother online from a homebrew or healthfood shop, or try tracking down an unpasteurised vinegar. *

4. Fill 1/4 of the bottle with the vinegar (try to include the cloudy mother) so it's now 3/4 full. Put cheesecloth over the top and stick it in the back of the cupboard for a few months.

Vinegar mothers like oxygen and a little warmth, so every so often give it a little swirl to ensure that there's a bit more oxygen getting to it. You'll notice, after a few weeks, that the mother rises to the surface, which is a good thing. Then after a few months you'll have a thick jellyfish sitting on top (as in the picture I linked to). Once it tastes as sour as you like, decant 1/2 the bottle into smaller bottles, refill with room temp beer, and repeat the process.

You can do all this with wine or cider, whatever you'd like. Experiment a little and try different beers. Despite the suggestion above, try an IPA vinegar and see how it tastes! I haven't done it, so if you do, let me know how it turns out!!

* For a hard-core alternative and distinctive tasting vinegar, try sourcing your own mother. Hang a vinegar fly trap out in the open in a shady location during the summer months. Fill the trap with some beer, maybe a splash of vinegar, a touch of fruit. The better the fermenting smell, the more chance you have of attracting vinegar flies. Allow it to sit for a few weeks until it's cloudy, then filter through some fine cheesecloth or a coffee filter. The filtered liquid will contain the acetobacter required to kickstart the mother creation, so just add this in place of the mother for step 4.
 

woodwormm

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hmm yes all the info i'm finding is around cider and wine and malt vinegar.. it does seem white vinegar is harder than most...

i have found some info on starting it with acetic acid, was thinking of using a basic sugar, acetic acid and trying to find as plain a tasting mother as possible..
 

Greg.L

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I tried making cider vinegar last winter but it was too cold and by the time summer came I lost interest. I think you need to keep it at 18c or above. You need one of the simple titration kits to check, you want 4-5% acid. If you leave some cider or beer uncovered you should get a mother starting, it turns rubbery after a while. The smell will tell you when it is starting to work, vinegar has a pretty distinctive smell.

To keep it warm you need to bring it indoors, but not many people want a vinegar mother in the house, so its better for folks in a warm climate.
 

woodwormm

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I tried making cider vinegar last winter but it was too cold and by the time summer came I lost interest. I think you need to keep it at 18c or above. You need one of the simple titration kits to check, you want 4-5% acid. If you leave some cider or beer uncovered you should get a mother starting, it turns rubbery after a while. The smell will tell you when it is starting to work, vinegar has a pretty distinctive smell.

To keep it warm you need to bring it indoors, but not many people want a vinegar mother in the house, so its better for folks in a warm climate.
I figured a heat mat and a blanket in the shed might work... don't want to tie up my ferment fridge for vinegar on purpose :icon_cheers:
 

benno1973

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i have found some info on starting it with acetic acid, was thinking of using a basic sugar, acetic acid and trying to find as plain a tasting mother as possible..
It's quite possible that it will work. Vinegar is basically acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced when acetobacter ferments alcohol. You could probably combine sugar, water and a vinegar mother and it would work, although it would take a little longer as I'm pretty sure that the sugars need to be converted to alcohol from wild yeasts before they can be converted to vinegar. The adition of acetic acid would really just make it more vinegary, which may be required, I'm not sure.

If you're after a true clear, non-distilled vinegar, maybe look up rice vinegar, as I'm pretty sure that's fermented and fairly flavourless?
 

benno1973

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I figured a heat mat and a blanket in the shed might work... don't want to tie up my ferment fridge for vinegar on purpose :icon_cheers:
Mine sat up the back of the pantry cupboard - dark and not too cold. Middle of winter, and it still worked fine.
 

QldKev

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I've made vinegar a couple of times, never on purpose thou sm_bawling.gif
 

Truman42

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Ironically, white vinegar (as far as I'm aware) is the harder one to make, as it is a distilled product. White wine/Red wine/Malt/Cider vinegar are all far easier to make. I've made malt vinegar before and it's come out surpirisingly well!

Failsafe method is actually very easy...

1. Get a large bottle that you want to create the vinegar in. It'll be out of action for a few months, so make sure you won't need it for a while. Wider bottles are better, as they allow more surface area and therefore oxygen transfer, which is required for acetobacter.

2. Fill the bottle 1/2 full with beer. I used a dark mild that I wasn't too impressed with. Something low hopped is good, so the bitterness doesn't fight with the sourness. Allow the beer to warm to room temperature, and then shake to aerate.

3. Look through the vinegars in your cupboard, and see if any have a little floaty cloudy jellyfish in them. The jellyfish is the mother which is what will turn the alcohol into vinegar. I'm told that most vinegar is pasteurised, however almost every vinegar in my cupboard tends to form a mother, meaning that there's live cultures in there. If you haven't got any, you can probably buy a vinegar mother online from a homebrew or healthfood shop, or try tracking down an unpasteurised vinegar. *

4. Fill 1/4 of the bottle with the vinegar (try to include the cloudy mother) so it's now 3/4 full. Put cheesecloth over the top and stick it in the back of the cupboard for a few months.

Vinegar mothers like oxygen and a little warmth, so every so often give it a little swirl to ensure that there's a bit more oxygen getting to it. You'll notice, after a few weeks, that the mother rises to the surface, which is a good thing. Then after a few months you'll have a thick jellyfish sitting on top (as in the picture I linked to). Once it tastes as sour as you like, decant 1/2 the bottle into smaller bottles, refill with room temp beer, and repeat the process.

You can do all this with wine or cider, whatever you'd like. Experiment a little and try different beers. Despite the suggestion above, try an IPA vinegar and see how it tastes! I haven't done it, so if you do, let me know how it turns out!!

* For a hard-core alternative and distinctive tasting vinegar, try sourcing your own mother. Hang a vinegar fly trap out in the open in a shady location during the summer months. Fill the trap with some beer, maybe a splash of vinegar, a touch of fruit. The better the fermenting smell, the more chance you have of attracting vinegar flies. Allow it to sit for a few weeks until it's cloudy, then filter through some fine cheesecloth or a coffee filter. The filtered liquid will contain the acetobacter required to kickstart the mother creation, so just add this in place of the mother for step 4.
Wow that is the most interesting thing I have read lately. I had no idea that is how you make vinegar or that it involved mothers and vinegar flies.

I almost thought you were just taking the piss for a second.
 

Screwtop

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I know vinegar's not expensive... but i like the 'thrill' of making stuff myself.

anyone got a good recipe for plain old white vinegar? not looking for white wine or apple cider or red wine.. just plain old white vinegar I can put on my hot chips and use for cleaning the house with bicarb soda....

anyone got a failsafe method/recipe?

cheers

Easy, used to make my own until a few years back. Use unpasteurised Cider Vinegar from a health shop as your mother. In a glass jar 500ml of mother 250ml of water and 250ml of wine. Cover with cloth and put away in a cupboard. Every time you have some left over wine add it to the jar. Makes a nice soft vinegar, great for dressing salads etc or just for drinking a tablespoon each morning.


Lots of different methods, plenty available by googling.

Screwy
 
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