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Old 06-27-2014, 09:08 PM   #1
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Homemade vinegar experts

I have spent part of this week researching how to turn wine into vinegar. I currently have these on the go (they use cider apple vinegar with mother, wine, fruit--ratio is 1 c wine to 3 T to vinegar with mother). I have cherry, pomegranate--both of these are with white wine; raspberry (this is with raspberry wine and cider vinegar); beet wine (this is with cider vinegar (6T), and 2 c beet wine. Does anyone have any ratios re: how to turn wine into vinegar they'd like to share? I am going to start a few more batches tomorrow--including grapefruit vinegar and roasted strawberries.
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Old 06-29-2014, 04:17 AM   #2
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I once tried to make vinegar from homemade wine with no success.
I did my research, and failed miserably.

Years ago, I picked over 800 kiwis of the vine in my backyard
Made pies, jam and anything else i could think of, and still was left with over 400 kiwis, so I made homemade kiwi wine.

Not really someone who drinks alcohol, and the fact that it tasted like crappy wine ( at best), I figured, why not try and make vinegar out of it.

One way I saw online, was to leave a bottle of wine open in a warm place and over time it will convert.

So I took one (out of my 48) bottles of wine, brought it into the boiler room, and left it uncovered. Tasted it from time to time, but no conversion in site.

I had forgotten about it, an one day we needed to get our boiler serviced, and sure enough, the guy who came to service the boiler probably thought I was a closet drunk, who went of and binged in the basement boiler room off of homemade moonshine.

Anyway, I would also love to convert my wine to vinegar, as I would have much more use out of it.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:26 AM   #3
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I certainly don't consider myself an expert on homemade vinegar, but I did once make a wonderful batch of it unintentionally.

As some of you may know, I'm a home winemaker. At any given time, I have 100-150 gallons on the go in my cellar. The vast majority of it turns out great, but there are nevertheless the occasional.... well... mishaps.

Back in 2006 I made a batch of Zinfandel that, for whatever reason, I wasn't totally thrilled with. It was drinkable, but that's about the best that could be said for it. It was thin and didn't have a lot of body and color. So I set the 3-gallon carboy under my workbench with the intention of dealing with it later (the winemaker's equivalent of sweeping things under the rug).

The container had a water-filled airlock on the top. At some point, I'm assuming months later, the water evaporated from the airlock, leaving the wine inside exposed to air, although the airlock cap continued to keep out insects and other nasties.

It must have been several months later that, while cleaning up and reorganizing, I discovered the neglected carboy with the empty airlock. It had a waxy layer of mycoderma (vinegar) bacteria growing on the surface of the wine, which, in retrospect, probably helped protect it from total oxidation. My first thought was that maybe this was still somehow salvageable. I instinctively took the top off and had a whiff. Vinegar. Argh.

I almost dumped it out, but after making a couple of calls and being reassured by a professional winemaker acquaintance that it was indeed safe, I tasted a sample. It was fantastic. The best red wine vinegar I've ever tasted - much more concentrated, complex, and smoother than most commercial products. So I strained it and cold stabilized in the garage over the winter to let any excess tartaric acid settle out. The next spring I ran it through my filtering setup and packaged it up in some nice dessert-style wine bottles. I ended up with 30 375ml bottles.

In addition to the dozen or so bottles we went through ourselves, I also gave quite a bit of it away to friends and family. Everyone really enjoyed it and asked when I would be making it again. Up to this point, I had only told a few people that it was an accident.

Now that it's gone, I wish that I had saved some of that vinegar to make more. The stuff I buy at the store now just doesn't hold a candle to it.
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:52 PM   #4
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Steve--if you can get mother at your wine-making supply store, you can make more vinegar. I have been adding 3T raw apple cider vinegar with mother in it (Braggs) to 1 c wine, muddled fruit. So far, it seems to be working. I will report back mid-August (it has to sit for 6 weeks in the dark--I am using mason jars with cheesecloth instead of the lid but using the ring to hold the cheesecloth in place). This is not infused vinegar because I am starting with wine, not vinegar.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:30 AM   #5
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Done! I have the following jars of vinegar ripening in the dark corner of a cupboard:
raspberry
roasted strawberry
pomegranate
date (used sherry for that one)
cherry
grapefruit
red wine
roasted rhubarb

Can't wait for the middle of August when I can taste them! And, once the tomatoes start to overwhelm me, I'm going to do a sun-dried tomato white wine vinegar. The DH is housing three apple presses for a client, so will be trying to make apple cider vinegar during apple season. Fingers crossed.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:58 AM   #6
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I'm giving the cherry vinegar a thumb's up!
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:24 AM   #7
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My mother had a cruet of vinegar that had the largest Mother you could want. She had that up until the day she died. I have often wondered where she got it or how did she make it happen. I doubt very much that she bought it.

So how do you make a Mother for vinegar?
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:12 AM   #8
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Not sure, Addie, but I have a white wine vinegar with Mother and the beet wine seems to be making mother as well...but one can buy mother (odd, one can buy a mother...) at wine and beer making supply stores.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:10 AM   #9
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All my organic apple cider has or develops mother. In fact, I should look for a bottle that doesn't have it. It's a nuisance to have to filter it, so I can use the vinegar.

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Old 07-08-2014, 04:50 PM   #10
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All my organic apple cider has or develops mother. In fact, I should look for a bottle that doesn't have it. It's a nuisance to have to filter it, so I can use the vinegar.

I wonder if the pasteurization process destroys the vinegar's ability to make its own Mother. We used to be able to buy pure pressed apple juice made from the apples that just came in from the orchard. Then someone got sick and now it is a rule made by the State Dept. of Health that all apple juice or cider has to be pasteurized. My sister and I used to go to a farm on the North Shore several times during the summer and buy bottles of it just as it was being pressed. They couldn't keep it on the shelves. Of course we had to get a cup of hot cocoa with a cider doughnut!
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:41 PM   #11
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Today's experiment is sherry vinegar. Now I just have to wait 6 weeks to see if it worked.
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:02 PM   #12
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The pomegranate vinegar and the cherry vinegar you gave me are delicious. I tried the sugar cube test, but had to try without. They weren't sour enough to need the sugar.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:10 AM   #13
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The pomegranate vinegar and the cherry vinegar you gave me are delicious. I tried the sugar cube test, but had to try without. They weren't sour enough to need the sugar.
Glad you like them.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:00 PM   #14
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TL--the blueberry vinegar is very good! It is sour enough to need the sugar cube. This has been one of the more fun "play in the kitchen" things I've done in a long time.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:02 PM   #15
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Congratulations on your success with the homemade vinegars. I too ( as a result of this thread) gave it a try with my 6 gallons of homemade kiwi wine I have in the cellar. I bought the Braggs apple cider vinegar and mixed equal amounts of kiwi wine in a wide mouthed glass jar covered with cheese cloth secured with a rubber band.

I placed it in a dark warm room ( boiler room) which consistently stays at about 75 - 80 degrees. I shook it every few days, then forgot about it for a week. So now, its about 2 weeks old, I just went down stairs to check, and it has developed a mother and smells very vinegary. Haven't given it a taste test yet, but Im looking forward too it. It has to taste better than the crappy kiwi wine I made.

Once I am satisfied with the taste, how do I store the homemade vinegar?

Does it need to be refrigerated? If so, how long will it last in the fridge?

Can I flavor it with rosemary or some other herb/ spice? If so, how should that be stored ?

If it doesn't need to be refrigerated, can I just cork it up in a bottle, as I did with the wine ?

Thanks,

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Old 09-02-2014, 10:49 PM   #16
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You either have to store it in the fridge or pasteurize it and can it, then, once opened, it should be stored in the fridge. I looked that up, but haven't gotten there, yet. You can let it age for up to 5-6 months. I'm hoping that crappy beet wine turns into good vinegar! I eventually want to make maple syrup vinegar from some not great maple syrup from the year following the drought in Minnesota. That recipe involves dark rum (200 grams to 950 of maple syrup--I'd have to dig out the recipe). Although the syrup isn't grade A, I don't want to waste it.

I didn't shake any of mine--I totally have ignored them. It is time for me to deal with them, but first I'm dealing with corn, etc.

I like different vinegars, but they are so hard to find here (and if found, can be quite spendy), so I thought I'd give this a whirl. It is way too much fun.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:56 PM   #17
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I hear ya, the instructions I followed ( or at least tried to follow) called for giving it a little shake every few days. Ive been away quite a bit the past 2 weeks and forgot about it. today was the first time I went to check on it in 2 weeks, and when I saw the mother I was excited. Then gave it the sniff test, and definitely strong vinegar scent. My kiwi wine is ok to cook with, but Im sure Ill use it more once converted to vinegar, And yes, this time of year, my mind is more focussed on the garden ( harvesting, planting fall crops) so the vinegar takes a back seat.
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:38 PM   #18
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Finally got around to decanting more of the vinegars today. The roasted-dehydrated-fresh strawberry vinegar is FANTASTIC. TL, the cherry-black pepper vinegar worked, the blueberry vinegar is amazing, as is the grapefruit vinegar. I've got so many vinegars to play with! I'm going to be making my own "gourmet" vinegars from now on. So easy, and the results are amazing. I started dried tomato with white wine vinegar and a bottle of cranberry with white wine today...
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Old 10-11-2014, 03:54 PM   #19
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Finally got around to decanting more of the vinegars today. The roasted-dehydrated-fresh strawberry vinegar is FANTASTIC. TL, the cherry-black pepper vinegar worked, the blueberry vinegar is amazing, as is the grapefruit vinegar. I've got so many vinegars to play with! I'm going to be making my own "gourmet" vinegars from now on. So easy, and the results are amazing. I started dried tomato with white wine vinegar and a bottle of cranberry with white wine today...
Sounds like you can think of a fancy bottle with a ribbon and a titled label on the front, and you have Christmas gifts for the making. Even if only to give to your customers in appreciation for their being a faithful customer.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:55 AM   #20
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This is not homemade vinegar, but I have absolutely fallen in love with dark chocolate white balsamic vinegar...on grilled asparagus, on spinach-strawberry-roasted sesame salad...even on chocolate ice cream...made into a glaze with a few drops of birch syrup...oh, love this stuff.
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