making vinegar

Chino Valley, AZ

I am trying to make vinegar ( any kind to start with and then use the mother to make malt vinegar) I need to get a mother. Any sure ways to start one at home? Cathy

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

What EXACTLY is 'mother' LOL
Inquiring minds want to know.
How do you make vinegar anyway? And wouldn't it just be cheaper to buy some at the store?
or the health food store?
I have been using distilled white vinegar in my laundry and I have to admit it just keeps getting more and more $$ !

I think a gallon is like $3 now. I use a 1/4 cup in each load, so it adds up.

Chino Valley, AZ

"mother" is the bacteria starter to make vinegar. Simular process to yogart makingor sour dough bread making.
I want to make vinegar because I love malt vinegar and it is expensive. White vinegar has it uses but cooking with rice, malt, wine and cidar vinegar is rather much fun. The fermentation process interests me. ttfn, cathy

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Walmart runs it on sale pretty regularly. Worth watching for. I use it for laundry & cleaning too. I know what you mean.

Plano, TX

i like malt vinegar too but never made it
i have taken regular vinegar and flavored it for gifts--rosemary vinegar-etc

Litchfield, ME(Zone 5a)

This is a great thread I cant wait to see if someone comes up with the recipe.

Chino Valley, AZ

Got it !!!! Someone suggested Briggs cidar vinegar which is not cooked and has active culture or mother in it. I added Guinnes Ale ( no hopps) and it has a mother growing on the top. It smells great. I think I have to wait a while for it to fully develope. Some one from Dave's garden forums ( I post vinegar on a bunch) gave a way to test the acity. I am thrilled. Love talking with you all. Cathy

(Zone 6b)

Still no recipe.

Columbia Station, OH(Zone 5a)

use Google search..and type in
how to make vinegar
This is the 2nd URL that looks usable.
Hope this helps.

Virginia Beach, VA

I am in the process of making vinegar and has perhaps 10 gallons mostly fruits. Some are smelling nice. i used blended fruits from the yard, brown sugar water and off course yeast. i stir it everyday. I am on vacation right now and can not wait ito check. I know tht vinegar is cheap but I had to use pears from the yard and them mushy apples that are not eaten. i/ tend to buy a lot when I go for groceries and now i know what to do with them rather than composting them. I even used outdated ketsup so I will let you know. belle

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

I make apple cider vinegar and save the mother from year to year in a canning jar in a cool storage place. It takes much less time to make new vinegar when you have a "mother".

Virginia Beach, VA

What is a mother? Had you ever had one that did not become vinegar? How often do you make some? thanks, Belle

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

We have lots of apple trees on our place and we have an heirloom apple cider press. So, in the fall, some of the squeeze of the apples goes into my vinegar. I make it in a large pickle crock. After nearly filling the crock, I slip in the mother. I cover the crock with a clean towel and tie it nice and tight with string. It is placed in the cool basement. Then, we wait.
It takes several months even with a mother. Without the mother, it would take several more month yet. The fermentation smells heavenly. I think if it smells bad it is bad. This apple cider vinegar is just wonderful for cooking, dressings and, of course, your gums will love you for it. Yes, gums. Nothing better for gums. I some in the bathroom and swish it through my gums.
The mother floats on the top of the vinegar and gets thick as time goes by. Before removing the vinegar, you take out the mother and put her in a jar for next year. Don't worry about some getting in the vinegar...The mother is the healthiest part.
I do not know if an apple cider vinegar mother could be used for other vinegars.

Virginia Beach, VA

I still does not understand a mother and what is a gum. I hate to be a nuisance with these ?? Thank you, Belle

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

Belle--Here is the definition from Wikopedia
Mother of vinegar is a substance composed of a form of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that develops on fermenting alcoholic liquids, which turns alcohol into acetic acid with the help of oxygen from the air. It is added to wine, cider, or other alcoholic liquids to produce vinegar.

Mother of vinegar can also form in store-bought vinegar if there is some non-fermented sugar and/or alcohol contained in the vinegar. While not appetizing in appearance, mother of vinegar is completely harmless and the surrounding vinegar does not have to be discarded because of it. It can be filtered out using a coffee filter, used to start a bottle of vinegar, or simply left in and ignored.
The gum's that surround your teeth. LOL

Virginia Beach, VA

I thank you for the explanatio. sometimes I get very dense!! LOL!!! Had you ever had anything turn bad on you? I stir them everyday and they all smell good. Belle

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

No Belle---I have not had a batch go bad, but I left it alone and never stirred it. Do your instructions say to stir every day?
If you could find the Sept./Oct 1998 issue of Organic Gardening you will find the most wonderful article about How To Make Apple Cider Vinegar complete with lots of pictures and an explanation of a Mother. I just refound my saved magazine.
I will type in from the article GROWING A MOTHER
Place 2 T's of vinegar in a bowl and add half a bottle of wine. The type and color is not important. Cover with cheese cloth or muslin to ensure that the liquid receives a good supply of oxygen. Leave the mixture in a sunny spot for two weeks. The skin that forms on the surface of the liquid is the vinegar mother, which is the starter that can be added to fruit juice to speed up the process of making vinegar.

Whee--I'm getting into it again for this year. I had kind of decided not to this year, but now I'm excited!

Hope this helps.....

Virginia Beach, VA

I got my recipe at the internet and to stir it everyday. after 11 days on vacation I stirred it today but found a lot of fruit flies near the containers. It smells good though. My jars are all in the garage. Belle

Litchfield, ME(Zone 5a)

I have been watching this thread since you started. I think I will try it soon myself. Thank You for all of the information.My daughter loves vinegar she dips chips in it, soaks it up with bread drinks it. She loves it.

Virginia Beach, VA

Hi Robin, i am also experimenting and if this is successful I have enough vinegar to last me 10 years. We have peaches and most of it is blended fruits and even outdated ketchup!! LOL!!! Belle

Flora, IN(Zone 5a)

This is a great time of year to get a great start for vinegar .
Find an orchard that sells cider make sure they do not use preservatives or heat their cider. Enjoy half the fresh cider then save the rest it will turn hard then to vinegar.When you use the cider vinegar keep the residue ( mother) in the bottom for a starter.
I take my parents 6 gallons each year my Mom freezes 2 (for later) drinks 1 and the other 3 become vinegar.

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

What a great idea. Easier by far than making your own cider.

Virginia Beach, VA

DH strained my pear vinegar and it is soooo sour. It is just 45 days!! Belle

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

Ok, this sounds great. I live right by an orchard that has raw cider for sale. Yum. I freeze quite a bit for later, but if I just leave it, it turns hard then into vinegar right? My question is, do you keep it in the fridge to harden or ripen, or do you leave it out? Does it need to breathe, or is it capped while aging? Can it be bottled like wine when done for gifts?
Sorry for all the questions.

Virginia Beach, VA

I now have several gallons in the garage and I am experimenting and no recipe. I have several kinds, pear, apple, persimmon, tomato, cantaloupe, watermelon etc etc. I blend the fruit and add water to liquify, I add brown sugar and yeast. At first I stirred them everyday but now maybe twice a week.I put them in plastic bottles with cloth so it can breath and after 60 days i have wonderful vinegar. i had been using them for cooking, how much sugar to a gallon? maybe 2-3 cups. yeast!! 3-4 packets. Get the cheapest yeast because some are pricey!!. i must have 15 gallons!!! LOL!!! Good luck!! Belle

Flora, IN(Zone 5a)

Cider vinegar, yes goes hard then vinegar.
I keep mine in the garage, it goes faster if not refrigerated.You could leave it in the kitchen under a cabinet or something if you have room. I leave the cap on but not tight , it may explode the plastic ( a real mess) learned form experience.
Yes it can be bottled but make sure it is finished working or again a real mess (more experence) ^_^

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

Will just the cider turning create pressure on the bottle? I know with the yeast it would. I have made wine and beer. I thought adding yeast to sugar and fruit made alcohol, I didn't know it could make vinegar.

Flora, IN(Zone 5a)

I never add anything to the cider , it has its own ''stuff''
The pressure is from the fermenting process , when it is hard , before it goes to vinegar.
It is stable once it is finished turning.

Virginia Beach, VA

I have apple juice with the same recipe and the acidity is almost 100 %. LOL!!! Belle

Virginia Beach, VA

I work at our
church food pantry and yesterday we had lots of over ripe soft pears from the food bank. i told everyone to save it for me and after lunch I blended them and made more vinegar!! I must have made 5 gallons. did I tell you i am using the vinegars from
June and they are awesome. i know vinegar is cheap to buy but why waste and right now it is an obsession not to waste!! LOL!! Belle

This message was edited Dec 25, 2009 7:01 AM

This message was edited Dec 25, 2009 7:02 AM

Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

Someone above mentioned a fruit fly infestation. I compost and often have banana peels and other food stuffs sitting in a bowl waiting for me to take it out to the compost bin between rain showers (or just plain laziness ^_^ ) I keep a small mason jar with about a quarter cup cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap stirred in with it on the counter. Punch a few small holes in the cap and you have a perfect fruit fly trap. The punched lid isn't critical and you can also use plastic wrap with holes in it. Switch out the bait (you can use anything the little devils love like old fruit or wine) about once a week and the annoyance will be significantly reduced. And don't worry, the drosophila melanogaster will never be an endangered species. Z

This message was edited Nov 12, 2009 4:42 AM

Virginia Beach, VA

Yes there are always fruit flies but I have plenty of the sticky trap . I just enjoy making the vinegar. what will i do with them? I will give them away and share to my friends and might donate it to the food pantry. Belle

Portland, OR

Responding to the comment " I thought adding yeast to sugar and fruit made alcohol, I didn't know it could make vinegar."

You are correct, however you airlock wine but for vinegar you need it to breathe. Just think about what happens when you are making wine and it gets exposed to too much oxygen. You get vinegar.

It really is a fascinating process.

Virginia Beach, VA

I am still making them when we have fruits that are over ripe. rather than com posting them i blend them. I do not have an exact recipe but so far they are sour. I made persimmon last fall and boy they are very acidic!!! I already told my friends about them and they want to buy some. A dollar for a water size bot and will donate to the food pantry!! Not bad for a new hobby!!! Have a merry Christmas!!! Belle

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

Thanks Frugal, for the info about the alcohol vs vinegar. I didn't think about that important difference.

When you make beer, the alcohol is made the same way, then you add a little more sugar and cap, then it becomes carbonated. Yeast and sugar can do much.

Phoenix, AZ

I *love* vinegar - all kinds - and this is about the most fascinating thread I've read on DG! Thanks to you, I've learned so much and I may be brave enough to try making my own. I have a question I haven't seen addressed: How do you test the acidity?

Cathy, I use Bragg's vinegar all the time and I adore Guinness ale. How do you mix the two to make the mother?

About now, I'm thinking I need an orchard!

Virginia Beach, VA

I test the acidity by tasting it after 4 weeks. I stir them often for 2-3 weeks and you can tell it is fermenting just by the smell. I have all kinds now and will sell next summer for the food pantry that i volunteer to. Our Church spends a fortune on our food pantry. One day we gave groceries to 91 families . Let us know how yours does. Good luck Belle

Virginia Beach, VA

It is almost a year since i made vinegar from fruits and had used tons of them.

I am again in the process of making some but not as much as last year because our pears this year went to the food pantry. Belle

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Just found this thread... I don't surf DG the way I once did.

I'm in the process of making real fruit vinegars like those made in France, Spain and Italy. To do that, I have to first make the fruit into wine. After that, exposed to the air, the alcohol is converted to acetic acid by acetic acid bacteria (the airborne bacteria that derive their energy from the oxidation of ethanol to acetic acid). One of the BIG benefits is increased nutrition from the lacto-fermentation (more vitamins and probiotics). That's probably what bellieg did with the pears, etc.

So far I have plum and blueberry working. I'm out of town right now but when I get home, I have red raspberries, elderberries, peaches and Damson plums in the freezer to start. I may even do some cranberries this fall.

I understand that real fruit vinegars are quite tasty and a few drops go a long way. I hope mine turn out at least acceptable for my first try. I love a good vinegar on a salad.

I've done the ACV thing using Bragg's and cider and it works.

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

Quote from cfrei :
Got it !!!! Someone suggested Briggs cidar vinegar which is not cooked and has active culture or mother in it. I added Guinnes Ale ( no hopps) and it has a mother growing on the top. It smells great. I think I have to wait a while for it to fully develope. Some one from Dave's garden forums ( I post vinegar on a bunch) gave a way to test the acity. I am thrilled. Love talking with you all. Cathy

Could we get a recipe for the vinegar using Guinnes Ale, and a link to the DG thread that discusses how to check the acidity, please?

I'm glad this thread resurfaced! I hope some of you let us know how your vinegars turned out. Darius, let us know how your vinegars go, too!


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