How do you make vinegar?

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by gunbunny, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I tried the search function, and I can't come up with anything. I talked to my father, he remembers his aunt using what she called "mother vinegar" that looked like necco wafers in a jar to make vinegar. It can't be too hard...
  2. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I've made white vinegar and cider vinegar. Very easy - just takes patience.

    Cider vinegar from my grandmother's recipe:
    Crush appleas and drain off liquid. Pressure strain through several layers of cheesecloth.

    Add cultivated yearst, not bread yeast and not mandatory, to cider.

    Pour the liquid into large container. I used a large crock. Put the crock in dark basement at 70 to 80 degrees.

    Cover with cheesecloth. The liquid must be exposed to the air.

    Stir every day for about 6 weeks as it ferments and turns into vinegar.

    When fully fermented, strain with cheesecloth. You can use it unpasterized but it won't keep as long as it will if you heat it and put it in sterile bottles then a water bath.

    For white vinegar, I did about the same thing except I used water, sugar, and cultivated yeast. I don't remember the exact proportions of sugar & water but I think it was about 2 to 1 water to sugar.

    I used the same crocks to make sauerkraut one year. The flavor was much better than store bought.

    As any of the old SM members can tell you, I'm a avid user of vinegar for everything from cooking to cleaning.

    It's not a big investment so go ahead and experiment.
  3. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Thanks, Righthand. My wife uses vinegar for quite a number of things. Sometimes she overfills a Downy Ball in the wash machine and the clothes smell. She says it is a natural fabric softener. I can still remember Chevy Chase on Saturday Night Live: "Vinegar, it's a salad dressing, window cleaner, AND a feminine product!"
  4. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe Guest

    A very sure way of making it is to start with a "mother." This is a vinegar culture that you can buy and it will ensure that you get exactly what you want. You add this to a crock of wine and let nature take over.

    This will NOT make plain white vinegar. I didn't think that you can really make that at home.

    But after TSHTF, the way RightHand explained is about the only way you will get started. Once you get a batch of vinegar going, you can pretty much keep going forever.
  5. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Thanks, Fritz. I just found this page:
    They don't seem to like the idea of starting with a sugar/water combo, but even if it doesn't work, who cares? I'll just throw it out.

    I've been having trouble finding a non-bread making yeast, but after reading that site, I'm going to try the wine stand at the local farmer's market.

    I also found this great reference on Google books the other night:

    This is a great book and has a chapter that explains quite a bit about what a yeast actually is. I'm just realizing how amazing the Lord's natural system is and how interconnected everything is.
  6. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe Guest

    For non-bread yeast, look up homebrew stores. They will have wine and beer yeast. You can also order it online (of course) from one of the many homebrew stores.
  7. Sharpie44

    Sharpie44 Monkey++

  8. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    FYI to pasteurize heat to 180 degrees F for atleast 5 minutes (sea level)
  9. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Here's who WG does it. Take uncleaned fruit, wild berries, apples, or anything thats grown with out sprays/poison. Crush it up and put it in a large jar or crook. Cover with a thin piece of cloth, she uses flour sack towels. Stir well everyday. It will take a few weeks to months for the natural yeast thats on the fruit to take off but it will develop a mother of vinger. You can take some liquid off after the mother has shown up. You just need to add fruit and water to replace what you have taken every so often. The mother may get so big that it will colapse and sink to the bottom but a new one will form.

  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The simple anwser is you do it just like makeing wine then just let it kep going untill it turns. All you realley need is sugar (natural like from fruits/berries/etc, honey, store bought or whatever), yeast which can be wild or of any kind, water and time. As far as I know ANY combination of those 3 ingredients will eventualy produce some type of alcohol then some type of vinigar.
  11. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    Yep, because the yeasties are fermenting the sugar (dextrose aka glucose which is best, table sugar is sucrose which is a fructose and a glucose) so it'll work but slower because they have to break it apart first to use it (expend more energy breaking it instead of making alcohol/vinegar). into alcohol and then the alcohol into vinegar. If you have the temperature and pH at the perfect levels it will speed it up. By increasing the temperature 1 degree you can speed up the fermentation by like a factor of 10. Do not go over 120 degrees F or you will kill the yeasties. But to make sure it's clean clean, i.e. won;t make you sick, go above 180, most pathogens can survive 120 but not 180F. The mother is a slimy jello like thing that'll float, then sink. When it sinks I think it means the fermentation is close to being finished. If you save the mother, you can jump start future fermentations. Just keep it cold, the colder the longer it'll last. They'll last FOREVER. Flieschmens yeast is the same strain, over 100 yrs old.

    The natural way works but just takes longer. but you've gotta start some where or you can buy mother on the web.

    What is cool is there are literally 1,000's of microorganisms that can be used to ferment almost any naturally found chemical. You can ferment butanol, acetone, vitamin C, if you have the right bugs and enzymes.
  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I think that I understand what was being said throughout most of this topic. FYI: Most of you guys have poor grammar and terrible spelling. :lol:
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