Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Other Fermentables => Topic started by: tschmidlin on August 08, 2010, 09:35:29 PM

Title: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on August 08, 2010, 09:35:29 PM
Is anyone making any vinegar (intentionally)?

My LHBS doesn't carry mothers because of low demand and they're $20-$25 anyway.  So I went to the local Whole Foods and bought a bottle of raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized red wine vinegar.  It even said on the bottle that the sediment in the bottle was bits of mother.  It was less than $2.

I dumped the vinegar into a jar with a spigot, and added some old red wine.  I checked it after a couple of months, and sure enough I had a whole bunch more vinegar.  I keep adding wine to it and it smells great.  Eventually I'll decant some off, dilute it to 4-5% acidity, and use it.

Is anyone doing anything similar?  I'm considering starting a cider vinegar jar too.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: euge on August 08, 2010, 09:38:37 PM
That's a good idea. I use lot's of vinegar- cider mainly. I guess it would work with beer or apple juice. Malt vinegar sounds nice.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on August 08, 2010, 10:50:45 PM
Acetobacter convert ethanol to acetic acid, so you'll need to ferment that apple juice first to make cider vinegar.  It would be interesting to play around with different types of beer to make malt vinegar, but it would seem like a crime to make vinegar out of good RIS!
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: dbeechum on August 08, 2010, 11:06:11 PM
Yeah, I haven't dared to make vinegar since I started brewing. Knowing my damn luck the acetobacter would find some way into the brewhouse.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: babalu87 on August 09, 2010, 12:04:16 AM
No way!

I got a Jim Beam barrel full of RIS in my basement!
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on August 09, 2010, 06:09:23 AM
Come on Drew, in your new digs you should have a closet you can dedicate to vinegar and sour beers, right?!

Hey babalu, how much of that RIS is yours and how much belongs to friends?  If it were all mine I could spare a gallon for RIS vinegar, but if only 5 gallons were mine, no way!
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: babalu87 on August 09, 2010, 11:23:00 AM
5 gallons is mine and its all going into bottles sometime in early Spring.

Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: ryang on September 20, 2010, 05:51:59 PM
how are you testing acidity?  just with ph strips or something of the like?

what kind of crock do you have(ceramic, plastic, etc)?  what size?

have you looked into making balsamic?  my lhbs is getting their fresh grapes in for 2010 later this month.  I've never paid attention to what they get since I'm not into wine, but I wonder what kind of grapes I could get locally would work for balsamic?
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 20, 2010, 06:15:05 PM
It's just a glass jar with a spigot, I'm guessing it's about 2 gallons and it's maybe 1/4 to 1/3 full.  It's only over the level of the spigot by a little bit, so I haven't pulled any out yet.  I've just smelled it when I add some leftover wine, which isn't all that often since most people who come to my house drink beer.  At this point I haven't bothered to test the acidity and I'm not sure I ever will.  The alcohol is getting turned into acetic acid, 1 for 1, CH3CH2OH becomes CH3COOH, right?  Since all of the wine I'm adding is 11-13%+, I'm going to assume it balances out to about 12% or more acidity.  So if I dilute it with 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar it will be in roughly the right range.  I'll just taste it side by side with something of known acidity and see how my guess holds up.  I probably have an acid test kit I could use though, and probably should test it at some point.  I like the idea of not testing it though :)

I haven't really considered making balsamic.  My understanding is that it is from white grapes cooked down, then aged solera style - starting in a large cask and moving to smaller and smaller casks as it ages and some evaporates.  The authentic stuff is supposed to be amazing, but I've only ever had the cheaply made imitation stuff.  It sounds like a cool project, I'm just not sure I'm up for it only to make vinegar  ;D
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: capozzoli on September 21, 2010, 02:56:48 AM
Im thinking about this too. Tried to grow some mothers spontaneously with beer without success.

For cider vinegar, wont the acetobactor covert the sugar of un-fermented apple juice to acids as well?

I heard peach vinegar is freaking fantastic. I love rice vinegar, I wonder if they make saki first?

There are some good "cheapo" balsamic vinegars available out there these days. To be balsamic it has to be from the region of Italy and from those grapes. It will say so on the label. They sell the stuff that doesnt make the cut for the 100 dollar bottles.I think it is blended batches that were rejected. They ship it over here in tall thin bottles. You will see the same bottles with different brand labels but I think it is all from the same place..
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 21, 2010, 04:24:47 AM
For cider vinegar, wont the acetobactor covert the sugar of un-fermented apple juice to acids as well?
I don't think so cap.  I think the yeast on the apples first ferment the sugars, then the acetobacter convert the ethanol to acetic acid.  I could be wrong though.


I heard peach vinegar is freaking fantastic. I love rice vinegar, I wonder if they make saki first?
Peach vinegar?  Like from peach juice?  Or is there some other base with peach added?
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: capozzoli on September 21, 2010, 04:41:35 AM
We got the commercial peach vinegar as a gift. Wow.

Here is the vinegar site I have been checking out. http://www.versatilevinegar.org/faqs.html
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 21, 2010, 04:53:45 AM
Great site, thanks for the link.

I highly recommend trying it if you are at all inclined to do so.  It's ridiculously easy if you do it the way I did (with just a jar of raw vinegar from the store).
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: capozzoli on September 21, 2010, 11:28:46 PM
I didnt mean to say I heard peach vinegar was good. Not sure why I made that typo.

We had it. I just went looking for it but seems it is gone. IT was very nice. Great on veg salads and fruit salads too.

Im gonna give it a try. So just raw unfiltered vinegar has a mother in it?

How long did it take to convert to vinegar?

I heard if the mother grows large it works must faster. You can save it and just transfer it as needed. There are some mothers out there that they say are a hundred years old, maybe hundreds of years.

(http://lostmeadowvt.com/images/blogs/vinegar3.jpg)

(http://www.homebysunset.com/photos/uncategorized/2009/01/27/mothers_in_strainer.jpg)

I love malt vinegar,its delicious on homemade chips. Fish and chips to be exact.

Now you have to try making your own yogurt. We do that in the winter, make it on top of the radiators wrapped in towels.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 21, 2010, 11:48:26 PM
The jar I got specifically said on the label it had mother in it, so just look for that.  It said something to the effect of "the sediment in the jar is the mother".  There was not some huge floating blob or anything like that in the jar, nor is there in my jar.  But it's definitely vinegar, the aroma is really powerful.

I don't really know how long it took, I just dumped stuff in, checked it after a week or so, then forgot about it for a month or two.  When I checked again it smelled strongly of acetic acid, nothing really noticeable after a week.

I'm sure a larger mother will work faster, there would be more bacteria to convert the EtOH to acetic acid.

Malt vinegar is an interesting thing to think about making - I never really have any leftover beer to add to the jar :)  Plus I don't know what affect the hops would have on the acetobacter.  But you could pull some off after your mash and before you hop it, ferment it separately, and then add it to the jar.  That would probably be much better than trying to make it out of something like BMC, I think you want a full-flavored malt beverage to go into making the vinegar.  I'm having visions of a RIS vinegar that sounds delicious . . . or imagine how using a Belgian yeast strain to ferment the beer before feeding it to the mother . . . I might need a lot more jars :)
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: capozzoli on September 21, 2010, 11:57:39 PM
Its my understanding that malt vinegar is made without hops and beer vinegar is made with hops.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 22, 2010, 12:49:52 AM
Ah, ok, I've never heard of beer vinegar.  That's cool, have you ever had any?  I might make some soon, do some test batches in mason jars with loose fitting lids.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 22, 2010, 03:57:33 AM
Now you have to try making your own yogurt. We do that in the winter, make it on top of the radiators wrapped in towels.
Sorry cap, forgot to respond to this.  I've been looking at making yogurt, I checked out a few websites and considered a yogurt maker.  Those are pretty pricey and probably not worth it to me, but we don't have any radiators either :)

But I do have an incubator I can use, which I normally use for fermenting ales in my garage in the winter.  It should hold temp that high well enough to make some, so I'll probably give that a try.  What method do you use?

I'm thinking about making kefir too . . .
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: capozzoli on September 22, 2010, 12:18:50 PM
You can use an electric heat pad too. Might use a lot less electricity. Ball Mason jars work great.

I heat my milk up to about 110. Then remove it and let it cool to below 100. Then I introduce some culture from a commercial yogurt. Close the lid, wrap it in towels and put it on a heat source that will keep it warm. 8 hurs later you will have the best yogurt in the world.

Plain milk will make a runny finished product. Low fat milk will make a beverage like product. Half an half will make a thicker solid type product.

You can even add lots of powdered milk to regular milk to get a thicker finished product.

Then after you get that there are all kinds of things to do like adding fruit on the bottom. Or things like Russian baked milk. That is milk that has been reduced to remove lots of the water before culturing it. .
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: Steve on September 22, 2010, 01:28:03 PM
Any one have any good online sources for vinegar mothers? I will probably try the Whole Foods method, but the one-hour drive to Whole Foods vs. ordering online.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 22, 2010, 04:26:37 PM
You can get vinegar from Eden Organics, among other places:
http://www.edenfoods.com/store/index.php?cPath=27_53
http://www.swansonvitamins.com/DYH012/ItemDetail?SourceCode=INTL406

For actual mothers, you might try Local Harvest:
http://www.localharvest.org/organic-red-wine-mother-of-vinegar-starter-C10988
http://www.localharvest.org/malt-vinegar-culture-mother-of-vinegar-C11100

Or these places:
http://www.beer-winemaking.com/catalog/vinegar-starters
http://www.beer-wine.com/products/vinegar-cultures

You can even find some vinegar with mother on ebay!  But you should be able to get some at any natural food store in the area.  It will be a lot cheaper than buying online and paying for shipping.

I haven't bought anything from any of those links, btw.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: euge on September 22, 2010, 05:47:18 PM
I've made yogurt before, and top of the fridge covered with a towel is usually warm enough. Made it from nonfat dry milk, which on it's own makes more of a slimy product- but it's yogurt!

My dad used top make it from fresh water-buffalo milk.

Crème fraiche is real easy to make and should be in any kitchen. Very versatile. I make it with whole cream and buttermilk.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 22, 2010, 06:43:31 PM
Plain milk will make a runny finished product. Low fat milk will make a beverage like product. Half an half will make a thicker solid type product.

You can even add lots of powdered milk to regular milk to get a thicker finished product.

Yeah, a mason jar and some milk with fresh yogurt in it.  I don't mind beverage like, that's why I like kefir so much.  But powdered milk to make it thicker would be good too, sometimes.  I'll have to figure out a good spot for it.  I don't understand these yogurt makes with their little jars - it's essentially a slow cooker with temperature control.  Make me one of those where I can dial it to 110F and put whatever size jars I want in a little bit of a water bath, and I'm good to go.  Maybe I'll just do it in a cooler, or with a heating pad.  After I try the top of the fridge :)

Crème fraiche is real easy to make and should be in any kitchen. Very versatile. I make it with whole cream and buttermilk.
I'm going to have to give this a try too!  Sounds like a good thing to serve at Thanksgiving, last year I baked bread and made nutter, in addition to the turkey, stuffing, etc.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: corkybstewart on September 22, 2010, 08:41:18 PM
I turned a batch of very mediocre pale ale into a very good malt vinegar a few years ago.  I also made a batch of cider just for vinegar.  It was truly amazing with crab or shrimp, it made the best West Indies I've ever tasted.  Right now I have a batch of malt vinegar almost ready to pasteurize and bottle, and I'm about to start batches of red and white wine vinegars.
I fermented the cider vinegar in one of my cornies, I left it in there over a year.  Back then I was very ignorant of the dangers of letting acetobacter loose in the brewery, but there's no way to know how many dozen batches of beer have gone through that particular keg over the past 10 years and yet I've never had an infected keg of beer. 
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 22, 2010, 08:53:39 PM
That sounds awesome, vinegar is so easy :)

i'm curious, why do you bother pasteurizing the vinegar when you bottle it?   It's not like anything is going to grow . . .
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: capozzoli on September 22, 2010, 08:55:35 PM
I've made yogurt before, and top of the fridge covered with a towel is usually warm enough. Made it from nonfat dry milk, which on it's own makes more of a slimy product- but it's yogurt!

My dad used top make it from fresh water-buffalo milk.

Crème fraiche is real easy to make and should be in any kitchen. Very versatile. I make it with whole cream and buttermilk.

I found creme fresh to be very hard. Not so much to do but the "real thing" has to be made with cream that has not been pasteurized. Real hard to find for me. I have gotten it a couple of times from people I know.

The idea is to get whole un-pasturized milk then let the real thick cream settle to the top. Then skim it off and let it sit out at about 100 degrees for twenty four hours. It will get thick.

euge if you used cream and then cultured it with butter milk. That is just sour cream.

Now, butter milk is another story, most butter milk in this country is actually kefir. Real butter milk is the whey left over from churning butter.

Im a real nit picker aint I?

Funny you mention the fridge, I used to make it on the back of an old frige where the heat exchanger grill was. Made a shelf for the to yogurt to sit on the condenser. Worked great.  

Maybe we need a new thread?
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: corkybstewart on September 22, 2010, 09:58:14 PM
That sounds awesome, vinegar is so easy :)

i'm curious, why do you bother pasteurizing the vinegar when you bottle it?   It's not like anything is going to grow . . .
I'm an old guy, I went to the library and looked at a couple of books on vinegar making and they both said to increase shelf life the vinegar should be heated to 170F for 20 minutes, then cooled quickly before bottling.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: capozzoli on September 22, 2010, 11:29:14 PM
Thats interesting.

I always heard that leaving the mother in there will increase shelf life. As long as it has done all of its work converting alcohol to acid and you remove oxygen by closing the lid, they say.

I like seeing the mother in there.

Oh yeah, No, I have never had the beer vinegar.But we were talking about this before. Not sure if it ws this forum though.

Another thing to remember though, if you make beer vinegar with hops in there you must protect it from the light, just like with beer the vinegar could get skunked.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: euge on September 23, 2010, 06:17:56 AM
Anyone watch Swamp People? One scene in a family kitchen there were maybe three one gallon growlers with fermentation locks sitting on the counter. I was like "beer?" but then naw... maybe mead, but now I think it could be vinegar.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 23, 2010, 06:45:04 AM
Never heard of it - but why put a fermentation lock on vinegar?  The acetobacter need the O2 to convert the ethanol to acetic acid, so it seems unlikely.

Probably homebrew of some sort.  I have a hard time picturing mead in a show called "swamp people" (what is this show?) but I'd guess it's some fermented sugar of some sort that will later be "concentrated" through some heating and  . . . "selection" of the fumes.  Just a guess though.  :)
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: euge on September 23, 2010, 06:50:30 AM
Oh "Swamp People" is a show on The History Channel. These folk hunt gators like gangbusters. Fascinating.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 23, 2010, 07:03:49 AM
Huh.  Ok.  I really have no idea what to say about that.  :-\
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tygo on September 23, 2010, 11:20:33 AM
Huh.  Ok.  I really have no idea what to say about that.  :-\

This is how Tom averages 14 posts per day.  ;)
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on September 23, 2010, 05:13:50 PM
Huh.  Ok.  I really have no idea what to say about that.  :-\

This is how Tom averages 14 posts per day.  ;)
I don't know what to say about that either ;)
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: bluesman on September 23, 2010, 07:06:56 PM
I like Aged Balsamic Vinegar.

Traditional balsamic vinegar is produced from the juice of white grapes, boiled down to approximately 30% which is then fermented with a slow aging process which concentrates the flavours. The flavour intensifies over the years, with the vinegar being stored in wooden casks, becoming sweet, viscous and very concentrated.

None of the product may be withdrawn until the end of the minimum aging period of 12 years. At the end of the aging period (12, 18, or 25 years) a small portion is drawn from the smallest cask and each cask is then topped up with the contents of the preceding (next smallest) cask. Freshly reduced cooked must is added to the largest cask and in every subsequent year the drawing and topping up process is repeated. This process where the product is distributed from the oldest cask and then refilled from the next oldest vintage cask is called solera or in perpetuum.

Consortium-sealed Tradizionale balsamic vinegar 100 ml bottles can cost between US$150 and $400 each.  :o

I want to try some.

Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: capozzoli on October 16, 2010, 12:23:34 AM
So to transfer the mother from the jar of vinegar do I just scoop it out and introduce it to what ever Im making vinegar with. Beer first. Then Im gonna start some peach vinegar.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: euge on October 16, 2010, 02:31:39 AM
That episode has been on several times since. They're fermenting something. If I can do a gallon or two a year then that'd be great. Just about what may consumption would be plus some "gifts" to friends...
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on October 16, 2010, 05:35:10 AM
So to transfer the mother from the jar of vinegar do I just scoop it out and introduce it to what ever Im making vinegar with. Beer first. Then Im gonna start some peach vinegar.
Yes, you should be able to scoop it out and move it, or you can siphon the vinegar out and add fresh stuff to be turned.  No worries if it breaks or anything, it'll be fine.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: capozzoli on October 19, 2010, 09:53:10 PM
So I have the vinegar with the mother. Its just cloudy and no sign of a congealed mass. Guess it is mixed up from shipping.

Gonna start some beer vinegar and cider vinegar tonight. Guess I just have to mix it up and pour some into the stuff to be turned? 

Will that be enough to introduce?
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on October 19, 2010, 09:56:48 PM
That's all I did.  Mine has been going for several months and I still don't see any sign of a gelatinous mother on the surface, so maybe it will never show.  No matter, the vinegar aroma is very strong.

I'm probably going to turn a batch of beer I have sitting around and see how it goes, Irish stout vinegar :)
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: capozzoli on October 19, 2010, 10:09:08 PM
How do you get one of these things going?

(http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSxFlEQ87ug34PtYeQazg0FtbABdAF90nQP8YcrJN5MTxxDf9E&t=1&usg=__q6S4tEKfeCMiTHeblBsZp9fUngE=)

(http://www.chezus.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/white-vinegar-mother-0608.jpg)

(http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSq-ipK8yTIJIa-5_y09b9YcNiOuVrJlhuN7JFDDsf_JQTuMZs&t=1&usg=__RnyZ5Od1pq1UkVTFFeHGtOwAt7U=)

Got my kefir grains,so I may get that started too. Maybe Ill post some pics in the Milk thread.


Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: capozzoli on October 28, 2010, 12:41:33 AM
So, interesting afternoon. I set out to bottle my long aging cider. I made a point to age it for a long time. It is made of fresh pressed cider from the orchard. Through a mix up I ended up using a Belgian ale yeast. Over the past two or more years I have gone down to sniff test it maybe twice.It smelled wonderful both times. I intentionally put it on a back shelf in the basement to forget about it.

It had a bubbler type ferm.lock on it but I switched to some seran wrap and rubber bands for aging so I didn't have to keep checking it. Maybe that was a bad idea?

Now the funny part, I got some vinegar with mother to make some vinegar. I go down in the basement to siphon off a few bottles of cider for conversion. I give a sniff and wow. Five gallons of cider vinegar.

Where did I go wrong? Or is that where did I go right?

Looks like a giant blob of a mother floating at the bottom too, I think?  Ill post picks after I bottle some up.

Funny.

Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on October 28, 2010, 02:10:37 AM
I'm guessing the acetobacter were present on the apples to begin with.  If you had bottled it and drank it or just kept it colder you might never have noticed, but given the long time it spent aging at cellar temps and the plastic wrap allowing air to enter, it allowed the acetobacter to go to work.

That's just a guess.  But at least now you have some cider vinegar  ;D
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: capozzoli on November 03, 2010, 01:03:31 AM
Wow.I have a carboy of beer that is next to the cider that is vinegar too. Or well on its way to be. WTF.

Looks like I have five gallons of cider vinegar and five gallons of beer vinegar. I better make a lot of fish and chips soon.

Guess I killed the vinegar making hobby. Any one want any vinegar?  ::)

I still want to make some peach vinegar, and tomato vinegar.

I think a lot of the fruit vinegars are made from their sugar without being converted to alcohol first.

Here is some good vinegar info.

http://www.vinegarman.com/VinegarMaking.shtml

http://www.msstate.edu/org/silvalab/vinegar_lactic.pdf
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on November 03, 2010, 05:45:05 AM
Bummer.  Vinegar is a great weed killer on a sunny day, just mix it with some liquid dish soap and spray it on.  It will kill the leaves in a short amount of time, depending on the sun.   :-\

Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: ryang on November 09, 2010, 04:55:10 AM
My wife let me buy some future vinegar crocks while shopping for a wedding shower at bed bath beyond...

(http://images.bedbathandbeyond.com/assets/product_images/230/13093717122185P.JPG)

One will be cider vingear and the other will be red wine vinegar.  Now just gotta get some hard cider and wine in there.  They are one gallon in volume.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: morticaixavier on November 09, 2010, 04:27:58 PM
Eventually I'll decant some off, dilute it to 4-5% acidity, and use it.

Unless you break out the acid tester I wouldn't use it for preservation over the long haul (Pickles and such) unless you know the actual % acid it can be dangerous (botulism etc.) other than that sounds yum.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on November 09, 2010, 06:13:27 PM
My wife let me buy some future vinegar crocks while shopping for a wedding shower at bed bath beyond...
Those look great, and a good size too.  Nice grab.

Unless you break out the acid tester I wouldn't use it for preservation over the long haul (Pickles and such) unless you know the actual % acid it can be dangerous (botulism etc.) other than that sounds yum.
I just plan on using it for marinades and salad dressing and stuff. ;)
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: ryang on November 09, 2010, 06:15:41 PM
I just plan on using it for marinades and salad dressing and stuff. ;)
Same, and maybe throwing some in flip top bottles to give away to friends/family for the same purpose.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: corkybstewart on November 09, 2010, 06:28:07 PM
I've got a batch of crabapple cider brewing right now.  When it's done I'll buy some WalMart apple juice, pour it onto the yeast cake and then turn it into cider vinegar. 
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: ryang on November 10, 2010, 05:42:46 PM
so here's a thought I just had for the cider vinegar.

say I ferment in my jars I just got, then pitch the vinegar 'mother' and everything turns nicely.  Is the yeast in there from initial fermentation any good?  Reason being, I'm wondering if you could then just add plain apple juice to top things up and still get fermentation and then conversion to acetic acid.

 ???
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: corkybstewart on November 10, 2010, 05:53:15 PM
I don't think that would work at all but maybe somebody else will tell you it will work. 
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: tschmidlin on November 10, 2010, 06:10:57 PM
It probably depends on how long it's been sitting.  Chronological aging of yeast (which is its ability to re-enter the cell cycle after a period of no-growth) is affected to a large extent by pH and specifically acetic acid.  Some friends of mine proved it quite nicely.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19305133

Keep in mind, the concentration of acetic acid in their experiments is much lower than you'll find in your vinegar.  They didn't do any tests at that level of acidity, or in cider, or with wild yeasts, so their finding may not apply to your case.
Title: Re: Vinegar anyone?
Post by: ryang on November 10, 2010, 09:25:12 PM
interesting.  thanks for the blurb on that tom.  Based on that, I would have to believe that it wouldn't work.  Acidity would probably be around 5.5%.  That probably wouldn't bode well for the little critters.