Author Topic: Vinegar anyone?  (Read 3372 times)

Offline tschmidlin

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Vinegar anyone?
« on: August 08, 2010, 02:35:29 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.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2010, 02:38:37 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.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2010, 03:50:45 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!
Tom Schmidlin

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2010, 04:06:11 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.
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Offline babalu87

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2010, 05:04:16 PM »
No way!

I got a Jim Beam barrel full of RIS in my basement!
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2010, 11:09:23 PM »
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!
Tom Schmidlin

Offline babalu87

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2010, 04:23:00 AM »
5 gallons is mine and its all going into bottles sometime in early Spring.

Jeff

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Offline ryang

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2010, 10:51:59 AM »
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?

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2010, 11:15:05 AM »
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
Tom Schmidlin

Offline capozzoli

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2010, 07:56:48 PM »
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..
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2010, 09:24:47 PM »
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?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline capozzoli

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2010, 09:41:35 PM »
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
Beer, its whats for dinner.

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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2010, 09:53:45 PM »
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).
Tom Schmidlin

Offline capozzoli

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2010, 04:28:46 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.





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.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 04:41:15 PM by capozzoli »
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Vinegar anyone?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2010, 04:48:26 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 :)
Tom Schmidlin