Magical Vinegar

Some view vinegar as a failure… if you were trying to make wine. I like to make it on purpose, and am excited by the prospect of having a continuous supply of living vinegar!

Last Autumn i helped in the harvest of hundreds of apples and the pressing of delicious raw cider. I made some hard cider (meh) as well as some cider vinegar (yeah!). To make the original vinegar i simply left a half gallon mason jar of unpasteurized apple cider out on the counter, covered with a cloth to keep the flies out. That’s it! It didn’t really develop a “mother” per say, at the time, but fermentation did it’s thing to create delicious vinegar that developed a floaty ‘gunk’ suspended in the bottle over time. Sadly, i’m out of that original vinegar. I used it up, it was so delicious! Luckily, vinegar is a living creature and that swirl of nasty gunk might just lend itself to procreation….  i had a theory… and i tested it!

It’s not time for apple pressing yet, and i’m not much of a juicer of other things, so my theory was that i could make more vinegar using store bought, pasteurized apple cider and adding the gunk from my wild cider jar. I’ve had my vinegar in a sealed bottle for months, though so i wasn’t sure if the vinegar fairies would still be alive. BUT It seems to be working! Look at the mothers developing, it shouldn’t be long until that cider has fermented its way to vinegar. Delicious, probiotic vinegar. I added a little more cider to the large jar and the mother is starting again at the surface. Guess i didn’t have to worry about its viability – it’s growing like gang busters!

If i’m careful, i can nurture these mothers for years to come, sharing them with friends and fermenting all kinds of different vinegars. I’d love to make some blackberry or plum vinegar this Summer…. i think it’s time to invest in a food mill. I have plenty to learn about making vinegar, as well. I used to brew Kombucha, but mother of vinegar is different than the SCOBY that brews that other fermented drink. What makes vinegar magically transform something sweet to something tangy with a myriad of health benefits? I’m not sure, but i do know that i keep apple cider vinegar (or ACV) on hand at all times and I use it for many things beyond salad. I use ACV as as a facial toner, a rinse for my scalp dermatitis, a health booster in my chickens’ water and as a home cleaner. I know many people who swear by drinking a spoonful of vinegar every day to keep ailments at bay. This link has some interesting information about the uses and health benefits of vinegar from cancer resistance to weight loss and this blog post has some other ‘top tens’ for using your vinegar.

Have you ever made vinegar? Did you do it on purpose? Is vinegar a part of your family’s health regime? If you’re knowledgeable on the topic of vinegar I’d love to hear your comments!

11 Comments

Filed under Fermented

11 Responses to Magical Vinegar

  1. Pingback: Who’s Your Mother? « Not Dabbling In Normal

  2. Kim

    I use organic ACV 1 tbsp in water at night or after any foods I don’t feel I’m digesting well. It’s a great help. I like it on greens with a bit of drizzled olive oil too. Also have done infused vinegars with herbs. Loved your entry and I’m going to try it too!! thank you.

  3. xavvv

    greetings from Spain, i´m a fermentation and natural food fan and i will try your tricks

  4. Pingback: Simple Lives Thursday, #111 - A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa

  5. Pingback: Simple Lives Thursday #111

  6. I make my own ACV too. Here’s a post I did on making a mother: http://mossgrownstone.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/apple-cider-vinegar-making-a-mother/
    I usually make mine using juice but I’m experimenting with using fruit peels/cores so hopefully I can make ACV for free, plus I’d like to try some other flavors too…like pineapple!
    mossy stone recently posted…Fermenting

  7. Judy Van Acker

    Anyone try making organic white vinegar? I can pickles, but don’t want to use apple cider vinegar. I really don’t like using store bought white vinegar either. Thanks!

  8. I made apple cider vinegar and grape vinegar from foraged wild grapes last year. It took a year. This year I left some grape juice for jelly too long in the fridge, so it’s going the vinegar route as well. I think some of the apple juice may join it. I almost hope so!
    Sarah B. Hood recently posted…Chefs at Work at the Grate Canadian Grilled Cheese Cook-Off

  9. Lara

    I am trying to do this as well but instead of letting my juice sit out and ferment naturally I want to add yeast to it, and then vinegar but I’m not sure how much yeast to add. Do you know anything about this?

  10. hi Miranda — I am your Arc friend -
    just came across your blog –
    I make vinegar every year – it just happens after leftover cider stands around — I take a tbsp every night in a glass of water and pretend it is a good glas of vine….I am a 7 year pancreatic cancer survivor… you think it might be my vinegar cocktail??? lol

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