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Old 09-12-2006, 10:12 PM   #1
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Vinegar Mother

A friend brought me a vinegar mother back from France. Its in a glass jug, and she said occasionally to add more wine to it, then let it set for a few weeks until it turns to vinegar. She said leave the cap open on the jug and keep it in a cool dark place. PROBLEM...the vinegar/wine has attracted what appears to be gnats around and in the jug. QUESTION...Is there any way to get rid of and/or keep from getting these pests in my vinegar? I love the idea of making my own vinegar, but won't put up with infestation for it.

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Old 09-12-2006, 10:22 PM   #2
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Cover the open bottle with some cheesecloth or a clean piece of nylon stocking.
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:00 PM   #3
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hey sarge!

those "gnats" are probably fruit flies of some sort. it's difficult to get rid of them without completely tossing the whole batch. i tend to get them around my bird cages when it's more warm and humid, and i've been lazy with cleaning out my parrots' cages. just a day or so of rotted fruit (or wine in your case), and they appear.
i've found a good strong vacuum works in helping to suck the little buggers out of the air as they are not particularly adroit flyers. suck as many as you can into the vacuum, then dump it or change the bag, and reduce the humidity in the room to help control them.

hope this helps.
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:07 PM   #4
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I made vinegar years ago and found if I kept it in my pantry which is dark and cool,covered the top as Andy said to do I was ok. If left uncovered, you never know what might crawl in and not get out!!
Good luck,vinegar making is fun to do and give in pretty containers as gifts.

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Old 09-13-2006, 09:45 AM   #5
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Here all this time, I have put a little saucer of vinegar out to keep gnats away - lol Learn something every day !
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Old 09-20-2006, 02:27 PM   #6
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All the vinegar that I have comes in bottles or has corks on top of the glass bottle. I have no ideas for you but I am sure someone else will be able to help you.

Jill and Jolie
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Old 04-30-2007, 02:21 PM   #7
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You can buy an air lock from any home beer making supply company. When we make hot sauce at home I use them for the same reason you need one, to keep out fruit flies etc. You can see mine at the top of the bottle. It has water in it and allows air out but nothing can get past the water and get into your vinegar.



You can buy one online from NORTHERN BREWER. Just put "air lock" in the search box. I think they cost about a dollar.
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:26 PM   #8
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Zzzzzzzt! Zzzzzzzzzt!
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:30 PM   #9
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My grandfather and father always had a barrel of vinegar in the back shed. I, too, have one "brewing". I like to keep my vinegar in an oak barrel -- good taste. You can purchase used barrels in varying sizes that fit your needs. As mentioned above an airlock is great for keeping out gnats, etc. Cheese cloth also works well. I just use a good old cork. You'll notice that the gnats disappear once you close off the vinegar and don't worrry about them spoiling the vinegar -- they're too small to make a difference -- anyway, a little protein doesn't hurt, huh!?!?!?! Ha!! Ha!! Good Luck and have fun!!
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bknox
You can buy an air lock from any home beer making supply company. When we make hot sauce at home I use them for the same reason you need one, to keep out fruit flies etc. You can see mine at the top of the bottle. It has water in it and allows air out but nothing can get past the water and get into your vinegar.



You can buy one online from NORTHERN BREWER. Just put "air lock" in the search box. I think they cost about a dollar.

Oooohhh, that hot sauce does look divine!!! Do share!!!

And as for the vinegar, I had no idea that you could keep producing it using the same starter???
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:22 AM   #11
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The Hot sauce as pictured above can be made as follows:

Since the size of peppers etc vary I create recipes by weight. I use my postal scale.

6 oz Habanero Peppers, stems removed
1 Pineapple, skinned and core removed
3 oz. Japones Chilis, stemmed removed and re-hydrated for 1 hour
2 Tablespoons Molasses
4 oz. Salt, liquid measure
2 Tablespoons Thyme
1 Tablespoon Cracked Allspice
1/3 cup Packed Brown Sugar
2 cups vinegar

Grind up the peppers with the pineapple and mix in everything else. Let sit in a clean jar with an air lock for a month or longer shaking every couple to 4 days. This recipe varies depending on what I can get fresh but basically this is it. It is fairly hot and you can adjust the thickness by adding more vinegar.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:01 AM   #12
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Oh My! That sauce sounds absolutely fabulous, bknox!
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:18 AM   #13
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^It really does! I love hot sauce!
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:47 AM   #14
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Jan,

It is really good. Spicy and tasty not just hot. It will last a really long time so I usually send it to my relatives as gifts.

Take care,
Bryan
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:54 PM   #15
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You just keep coming up with more good ideas...thank you, Bryan!

Now I know 2 people who spell their name Bryan!

I ran into a vinegar mother once and was so grossed out because I had no idea what it was, that I threw it down the garbage disposal.
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Baked
I ran into a vinegar mother once and was so grossed out because I had no idea what it was, that I threw it down the garbage disposal.
The airlocks are a good idea, but if I ever find ANY clue of a vinegar mother in the house I'll be pouring it down the drain, and then chasing that with bleach!! (Not to mention sanitizing the container it came from!)

Vinegar mother in a house full of fermenting beer and wine is, ah.. bad.


John
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:17 AM   #17
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Calm down, John! The vinegar mother is a good thing! She is not going to come after you at night leaving a slimy trail behind. You really need her for vinegar and honestly, she doesn't slither out of the vinegar barrel looking for prey!! AND ... you don't have to sanitize or use bleach where "mother" has been --vinegar is a natural sanitizer. It kills germs and bacteria on contact!! Mix it with baking soda into a paste and use as a cleanser for sinks, tubs, showers, etc.-- a great alternative to those chemical cleaners.
Now, remember, John, be nice to "Mother" or ...?!?!

(Yes, you are correct -- never have your vinegar barrel in the same area if you are fermenting wine or beer -- otherwise the airborne vinegar spores will turn everything to vinegar!!)
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:38 PM   #18
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Would anyone like to try a bottle of ronjohn's Tarrapin vinegar?

I know, not too funny!

Yes, I have thrown a vinegar mother down the drain before too - I'm just waiting for another one........and waiting.........and waiting.
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bknox View Post
The Hot sauce as pictured above can be made as follows:

4 oz. Salt, liquid measure

I hate to ask, but what do you mean by salt, liquid measure?
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:44 AM   #20
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It is measured in measuring cup and not as wieght. The peppers etc are listed by weight.

Many times I use weight instead of a measuring cup and get in the habit of listing ingredients as liquid measure.

Enjoy!
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