Wednesday, March 27, 2013

DIY Vinegar – How to Make Vinegar

The wide-range of uses vinegar has doesn't need to be mentioned. Making vinegar in your home is very simple. The expenses are down to as little as the needed for supplies and equipment.

To begin with, there are two staring points. You can either choose to make vinegar of wine, or of the food product. Hygiene is very important. All utensils, bowls, and products should be thoroughly cleaned. There are some other precautions, such as keeping the vinegar from contacting aluminium and some other metals. The used spoons, measuring cups, pots, etc. should be either made of plastic or wood. In addition, its acidic smell will be a tasty piece for bugs, which is why they should not be able to contact the liquid.

Bottles for Homemade Vinegars

You can buy bottles for vinegars at most houseware stores. Still, a container for vinegar can be any type of bottle as long as it is not made of metal. Glass bottles or jars, special decanters with plastic lids, rubber rings, glass tops, or corks are all fine.

The Main Ingredient

There are many fruits, and even berries that can be used for vinegar. The main rule is that they have enough sugar for fermentation. Grapes is the most popular product for making vinegar. Still, raspberry one is really tasty and smells very good.

The Simple Process

Making vinegar at home is simple. No expensive equipment is required. All you need to make wine vinegar is a clean jug, a little unpasteurized vinegar, a piece of cheesecloth, and a bottle of wine. Your homemade wine vinegar will taste better than anything you can buy at the grocery store if you start with good quality wine. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that no wine will be wasted around your house.

Acetobacter is the genus of bacteria that turns wine or any other alcoholic liquid into vinegar. These bacteria float freely in the air and settle into any open container of wine and go straight to work without any special coaxing. Basically they eat alcohol and turn it into acetic acid. This process requires oxygen, so place the container of wine in a location that gets plenty of fresh air. The working bacteria will start to form a whitish coloured veil, called mother of vinegar, on the surface of the liquid.

Temperature is also a factor when making wine vinegar. Acetobacters are not fond on extreme temperatures. They work slowly in temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and they also become less active at temperatures above 90 degrees.

Making Mother

When making wine vinegar, you can speed up the process by adding some mother of vinegar from another batch. If you don't have a batch of vinegar to use, you will have to do the following. Place two tablespoons of unpasteurized and unfiltered vinegar and 8 ounces of wine or cider in a bowl; leave the mixture in a warm, sunny windowsill for two weeks, during which a skin will have formed on top of the mixture. This is the needed bacteria, or mother, that is needed to speed the process of turning wine and other alcohols into vinegar.

Skim off the mother and transfer it with 8 ounces of the same type of alcohol to a widemouthed container or bowl. Cover the top with cheesecloth or with a thin dish towel to keep bugs and dust out of the liquid while allowing the liquid to get a good supply of oxygen. Leave the container in a warm place for one month. Skim off the mother and transfer it with 8 ounces of the same type of alcohol to make another batch of vinegar. Then, strain the vinegar through a double thickness of cheesecloth. You can continues this process as long as you add fresh alcohol to the mother each time. Pour the vinegar into a bottle, and it is ready when you need it.

In conclusion, the homemade vinegar can be used just as you would do with a bottle bought from the store. The only difference will be the level of acid.

Others from the DIY-Planet: vinegar and home cleaning.

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