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Does anyone make vinegar?

Dmntd

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I started making vinegar a couple months ago, using the wine or mead thats left in a bottle. There's mother of vinegar covering the bottom of the jug it's made in, about 5 times the size it was when I got it.

Last week I added the last cup or so of a bottle of mead with about half as much water. A white film has formed, floating on top of the vinegar. it's the size and shape of the jug, when the jug is tipped the fiml holds its shape.

Any thoughts as to whats going on in there? or what this fiml is/might be?

Anthony
 

Dmntd

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You're right Norsker,

The price is great and one can never have to may books.

Anthony
 

Miriam

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Anthony,

The white film is a new mother of vinegar. It will darken and thicken, then eventually drop to the bottom of the jar. You can lift it out with a sanitized spoon and use it to start a new batch of vinegar - or give it away - or compost it. As long as your vinegar has live bacteria in it, new mothers will occasionally form. If you want to stop this activity, you can remove any new mothers, put your bottle in a water bath, and pasteurize for 20 minutes or so.

A batch of wine or mead that goes sour (not rotten-smelling, just sour) will make great vinegar. Put into attractive bottles with a simple label, it makes gifts that everyone appreciates - even people who don't drink wine. So if you ever have too much vinegar, it won't go to waste.

I used to keep a vinegar jar going into which I would dump ends of bottles, and that made fine vinegar, but then last summer a batch of prickly pear wine went sour on me. That yielded enough vinegar to keep me going for a long time. Before that, I had raspberry vinegar from a similar sour wine. That was before I learned that in the summertime, I have to pitch yeast 12 hours after sulfiting (not 24), and keep my primaries out of the hot kitchen. :)

Miriam
 

Dmntd

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Thanks Miriam,

I has thickened and it sank this morning, but it is still white. Started the vinegar in a gallon jug, removing the new mother may be a bit of a task, thinking I should pour it into a bowl and start a batch in a wide mouth crock.

Anthony
 

Miriam

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Unless the mother bothers you, it's hardly worth removing it, for another will start forming soon. If you want to kill the bacterial activity, pasteurize it, and for the future keep a couple of mothers in the fridge, or in a separate jar. You have to refresh the jar with new fluid once in a while, is all.

And remember to keep everything very clean...maybe not the same fanatic way we treat wine, but jars and spoons freshly washed with very hot water and dish soap.

Miriam
 

jab

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I have never understood this. I got my wife a mother because she always wanted to make her own vinegar. The problem is that I can't remember the last time we didn't finish off what ever we were drinking. I made some mead vinegar once but it wasn't with left overs, I just picked a bottle and decided that one was going to be vinegar.
 

Dmntd

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I have people over about every other month or so. Often there is a bottle that didn't get finished, or some left in glasses. When there is none left over, I simply add a little to the jug every other week or so.

I picked up a 2 1/2 gallon stoneware crock for making vinegar yesterday and plan to make a gallon batch for the crock.

Anthony
 

Miriam

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jab,

You can just pour a bottle of grape juice over the mother and it will become vinegar just fine. Or a bottle of apple juice, or any other natural, preservative-free juice that strikes your fancy. Never thought that prickly pear must would make good vinegar, but it's delicious.

Er, keep your jar covered with a towel or some layers of plastic wrap, of course. You may want to keep it in another room, not where your primaries are. I don't have enough room to keep all these things separate, so I keep the vinegar on top of the kitchen cabinets and so far (spitting three times - tfu, tfu, tfu) no must has been contaminated.

Some people insist on keeping two jars: one for white, one for red. Me, I just dump in any leftovers into one jar. People love my salad dressing!

Miriam
 

briankettering

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I've been making vinegars for about 6 years now, both for cooking and drinking. It is amazing how well a four-year-old cider vinegar can taste. ;D

The acetobacter like to live in an environment that is about 5% to 7% alcohol by volume. It also requires exposure to air to complete its conversion of alcohol to acetic acid.

I have a nice handout that I use in my vinegar-making class. PM me if you would like a copy emailed to you.

Brian K
 

Dmntd

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Couple more vinegar questions.

Every time I remove the towel to add mead to the vinegar crock a new mother has formed on the surface, pour the mead in it sinks, next time the same thing. The collection of MOV in the bottom of the crock is getting to be quite thick. Is there any reason not to let this collect in the bottom of the crock?

Whether I prime and bottle the braggot or not I plan on making at least one gallon of malt vinegar.

Everything I've read about vinegar making says to dillute the wine (mead in this case) to roughly 5% ABV, and to start out with not more then 2 cups of dillute wine, why is this, a few of these bugs can turn a magnum bottle of fine wine into vinegar. Why wouldn't a healthy MOV turn a gallon jug of braggot into vinegar?

The first batch of vinegar, is the best vinegar I've ever tasted. It's light pink in color, has a hint of honey in the aroma and the finish is honey sweet. Even after 3 filterings through doubled coffee filters a MOV formed on the surface in the bottle, been thinking when it's down to half full I'll add more mead to the bottle.

I've not been dilluting the mead before adding it to the crock, the result is stronger (more acidic) vinegar. I can hardly wait for the tupelo mead to finish so I can make a tupelo vinegar.

Anthony
 

Brewbear

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May 10, 2005
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Hey all,
I use a sun tea jar for vinegar. Easy to add to it, use the spigot to get vinegar. I found some wine at the 99 cents store, hope it makes good vinegar 'cause it makes a lousy wine :-\
Using mead to make vinegar on purpose???? Isn't that a sin? You may make mead vinegar, but not intentionally :'( :'(

Ted
 

Miriam

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I think that once Anthony has enough vinegar, he'll go back to straight mead. But hey, it's whatever makes a person happy, yes?

Anthony, you can remove the MOVs and compost them, or save them with a little vinegar in a separate jar to give away, or just guiltily dump them. Kind of hard to dump something called "Mother" though :'(

To avoid formation of new MOVs, pasteurize your vinegar. Put the bottle in a water bath, and allow the water to simmer for 20 minutes or so. Let it cool down by itself or put the hot bottle on a towel so it won't shatter.

I've never diluted the wine - just poured it all over a MOV. I like my vinegar sharp.

I recommend Brian's vinegar-making handout, which he kindly emails to anyone requesting it; it has pretty much all you need to know in a concise form.

Miriam
 

jab

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Brewbear said:
Using mead to make vinegar on purpose???? Isn't that a sin? You may make mead vinegar, but not intentionally :'( :'(
Not if you promptly use it in a marinade for a slab of dead cow.
 
T

tj

Guest
Guest
I am making wine vinegar in a glazed earthenwhare pot, with a vinegar mother. It tastes great (after a few months), but there is a slightly disturbing dry white deposit on the rim of the pot (20 cm above level of vinegar) and growing on the outside of the pot where the glased has fine cracks. Its been going for a few months. Could this be over excited vinegar mother or something else?
 

Fortuna_Wolf

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Oct 24, 2004
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tj,
Most earthenware will do this regardless of the liquid in it. Water seeps into the cracks in the glazing and wets the earthenware. It dissolves a small bit of the mostly insoluble salts and minerals, seeps out with them (or up and in), where it dries just outside of the cracks and forms a crust. It'll also impart a flavor to whatever is stored in them too. I've heard of a distilled liquor made in central america that is aged in earthenware pots just for this flavor. Like oak...
 

Jmattioli

Senior Member
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Hey Anthony,

I also make Vinegar and have been making it with the same mother for over 5 years. My father had been using it for 10 years. I just shook his up and carried half of it home in a Mason jar. Been using it ever since. I never dilute the wine or mead I add. The mother stays on the bottom and I carefully siphon off a few inches of the clear stuff (no filter) after a few months to another jug (labeled undiluted Vinegar) before I add new wine or mead. Never had a restart. Of course, I make sure it stays long enough in the original mother to use up all the alcohol so that won't be possible. It is always clear by itself and then I leave it up to the user to dilute it if desired. I like the acidity full strength but have on occasion diluted in 50/50 with water. No restarts should take place if all the alcohol is gone.

Joe