[NAFEX] Vinegar

Stephen Sadler Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Sat Jul 1 00:21:54 EDT 2006

I used to always have a few vinegars in the making, and others stored.

If you can make a hard cider, you can make vinegar.  Although you can buy
apple cider in health food stores with live mother of vinegar, I've had
better success buying the cultured mother of vinegar.  Your vinegar ends up
with a thick, lively culture you can use for the next batch.  You can also
capture mother of vinegar from the air - which I did my fist time - but who
knows what other microbugs you're catching?  

A lot of fruit vinegars are white vinegar (store-bought, not homemade - you
want a standardized pH for food safety) with fruit added.  For raspberry
vinegar, for example, you would add fresh or dried raspberries to the
vinegar, let it sit for at least several days, then strain it.  Longer
infusion, stronger fruit taste.  I'm of the opinion that dried fruits impart
more flavor faster.  

Homemade vinegars are gentler than store-bought, generally, and some are
quite drinkable.  They are unsafe for pickling, as the pH varies. Of course,
you can meter your own vinegar to see if the pH is in the safe range.

Fruit-infused vinegars will not be better if made with homemade or
high-falutin' vinegars.  Aging the strained vinegar will improve the flavor
more than starting with a good base; the process of infusing and aging turns
cheap store-bought vinegar into a high quality product (the same holds true
for making liqueurs).  

Homemade vinegars are wonderful in salad dressings, and other non-preserve
foodstuffs - or in preserves where the pH is sufficiently low.

Of course, you can add the mother to wines to make a variety of wine
vinegars.  Better wines absolutely make better vinegars; aging won't get you
the chemical changes you do with aging fruit-infused vinegars.  Not bottle
aging, anyway.   


-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Naomi
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 7:21 PM
To: 'North American Fruit Explorers'
Subject: [NAFEX] Vinegar -Saskatoon Pemmican

Has anyone had experience making good vinegar from fruit?  I am thinking
about it.


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