Saturday, December 12, 2015

Make your own flavored vinegars

Wine fermenting into vinegar

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Vinegar is easy to make.  If you open a bottle of wine and let it sit too long, it will begin to ferment into vinegar.  You can take any leftover wine and add herbs to make your own flavored vinegars.

Fermentation is an aerobic process which means it needs oxygen.  To help the fermentation, you would put the wine in an open mouth jar and cover with cheesecloth.  Taste occasionally until it becomes to your liking.  The more alcohol in the wine, the more acid the vinegar will be.  If you see a film on the top of the liquid, this is normal.  It is a colony of vinegar making organisms.  It is called a “mother.”  It is edible and nutritious.  You can eat it or save it to jump start your next batch of vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar in the making
If you have a surplus of apples, you can make apple cider vinegar.  Many swear by its health benefits.  Just press the juice from the apples with an apple press.  Let sit in a wide mouth jar or jug with the lid off, covered with a cheese cloth.  It will begin to ferment all by itself.  Yeast is everywhere.  Taste it daily.  It will be bubbly in a few days, sweet and mildly alcoholic (a light cider).  It will get drier and then sour into vinegar within a couple of weeks.  It is that simple!

Apple presses
Or you can just buy apple cider when in season, let sit in a wide mouth jar, covered in cheesecloth, and it will ferment into vinegar as well.

You can infuse your vinegar with herbs or fruits.  Just add, seal tightly, let sit in cool dark place for 3-4 days, strain out solids and you have a fancy herbal or fruit vinegar!

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