Homemade Vinegar what could be better. I am not sure how I missed not making my own vinegar earlier. For a preserver of food it is a gift that will keep on giving. There are so many thing's we buy and just really never think of making. It seems like every time I go to a new store that honor's the old traditions of long ago I find something new.
I go up North so much and they opened this great store a while back. Preserved and as they so eloquently put it "They are the hardware store for developing your Pantry".
I have so many tools for my food preservation that it is ridiculous but do not take this wrong it is just enough. I do not indulge in new fangled shit and try to stick with the basic tools to get the job done. SO with that let us get started.
I have a small crock I use to fermented hot pepper's for Hot Sauce which from that you can make your own Cheyenne Powder it is endless. The point being I decided to use the same jug for this project. The pictures show you it but it is 6" x 7". I happened to get it at a housewares store. I think it is used for holding large utensils on the counter. Well regardless it works. The tools you will need top get started are simple.
Tools and Ingredients
A crock to size
Liquid Ethanol (Alcohol)
The recipe I am using is for a Balsamic Vinegar is easy it is a1 to 3 ratio . 1 part Mother and 3 parts Ethanol (Alcohol).
The portions are Universal 1 to 3 !
The Vinegar Mother is used for all your red based vinegar's. You can reuse it. I used a Red Wine Mother for my balsamic only so far because it was the first one I had ever purchased. But like I said prior you can use other's to get started.
I am waiting for my order of Apple Vinegar starter and White Wine starter.
So proportionally most vinegar's use identical portion's from one to another. So once you get started and get the results you want you can just copy your recipe with the appropriate Vinegar Mother and Alcohol (Ethanol). I use a dark Merlot 2 buck Chuck from Trader Joe's to be exact.
Let us get started I started out with an 8 oz. jar of Red Wine Vinegar Mother. I put this into my vessel and added one bottle of Merlot wine. This filled up my little crick just fine. I gave it a little stir. I then cover it with a double layer of cheese cloth then secured it with a rubber band. Make sure you keep your vessel in a cool dark place.
A few tips here.
A dark area is because to much light can slow and even stop the process.
The cheese cloth keep the air flow and keep out any fruit flies that may want to find a home.
I keep most all of my homemade recipes as simple as possible I find to many tools just get in the way.
Alright-y you will let this sit for three weeks. Then bring it out and check if it is what you want. Take a small piece of white bread and put a few small drop on the bread and taste. The bread takes the harsh taste away letting you taste the flavor and avoid the acid or throat burn. It can happen if the acid is to high.
If it taste good then it is time to strain it. If you want a more pungent vinegar just put the cheese cloth back on and let it sit longer. Test it each week.
Once you have the taste you like it is time to strain. You can strain it using something as simple as a coffee filter, cheese cloth or paper towel. I have a strainer I use for my Pomegranate Jam as well as my Grape Jam.
I left my vinegar to drain for a few hours in a strainer it is a longer process. I do not mind this because of the purity of the strain no cloudy stuff. And just a note do not smooch it.
If you smooch it you will ruin your original mother and get cloudy. Nothing wrong with that but the mother is good forever when it comes to making more vinegar.
Once your vinegar has strained take the cheese cloth from the original jug and rubber band it back on the crock. Dump the mother and liquid onto that cheese cloth and then return it to the original jar with added liquid for your next vinegar. You do not want to squeeze the mother.
I know looks disgusting but it is the mother and we must respect our mother's. I put my mother back into the original jar using a funnel add enough liquid from the batch I made to keep it happy. It is like a sourdough starter it is going to make you endless vinegar.
There is my beautiful Balsamic (red wine) Vinegar. I found that the Merlot makes the tastiest Balsamic Vinegar and it really brought my Strawberry Balsamic Jam up a notch. I also make a killer Cherry Balsamic Jam during the season of Cherry.
This is just one of the bottles I saved in my bottle collection. I always save cork's for the purpose of bottles that do not have a top.
I sure hope this help if you have any question's just leave a comment or email me. The easiest way to figure out the vinegar ratio is it is 1 to 3 . One part Vinegar mother to 3 parts fresh (Alcohol) ethanol.
I just ordered two new Vinegar Mother's to experiment with. I ordered a Cider Mother, Plain Vinegar Mother. I will be making the Champagne Vinegar and a Apple Cider Vinegar with those. I hope this has inspired you to take on another simple DIY project. Nice thing is this one you can make leave and go on with your business for a few weeks. Love that!
Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes.