Monday, January 31, 2011

Making White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar about to start, malt (beer) vinegar a year into the process.
About a year ago I started a half gallon batch of malt/beer vinegar (my first batch of any type of vinegar).  I pitched a baby mother (acetobacter culture) harvested from a bottle of sherry vinegar, but after six months the "vinegar" just tasted like stale beer.  Luckily in late September my bug-man (Matt) handed me a small culture of the bacteria he uses to make vinegar.  I pitched it into the growler, and just four months later the vinegar has a sharply acetic flavor.  I strained the liquid through cheesecloth into an old 750 ml bottle for storage.  Time to fry some fish and chips now that I've got the homemade vinegar to spritz on it (Planning on some coleslaw as well, any other ideas?).

The same night, I happened to be racking my first batch of wine (a German white), and had an extra half gallon that couldn't fit into the secondary. I decided the best use of it would be to pour that extra wine into the last cup of dregs from the malt vinegar (and replace the rubber band and cheesecloth).  With the acetobacter culture already established it shouldn't take more than a few months for it to convert the ethanol in the wine into acetic acid.  I added the wine before sulfite/sorbate "stabilizing" additions, so there won't be any chemicals to disrupt the microbes.  In a couple months this vinegar should be ready for vinaigrettes and marinades. 

Once the white wine vinegar is ready to bottle either my sour cider or (watered down) sake will be the next meal for the bugs (after that I might even make vinegar from mead if I ever get around to making another batch).  Not really sure what I'm going to do with all of that vinegar, but I'm looking forward to figuring it out.


Anonymous said...

Use some of the vinegar to make a shrub.
"Shrub is a colonial-day drink whose name is derived from the Arabic word sharab, to drink. It is a concentrated syrup made from fruit, vinegar, and sugar that is traditionally mixed with water to create a refreshing drink that is simultaneously tart and sweet."

Matt said...

I was actually just talking about this the other day I was going to ask you how yours turned out? Did you wait for the aceto to start sinking? Taste is the best indicator of when it's done. I filtered by latest batch the other day and stored it in flip tops.

Anyway, I'm glad it worked out for you.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Shurb certainly sounds like a kombucha, I'll have to give it a try when the weather gets nicer.

The mother had dropped, but there was a thin pellicle on top (not sure if it was aceto or something else). Where was the culture from?

Matt said...

I had a bottle of redwine vinegar with a mer growing in it but that didn't do anything so I got an acetobacter culture and grew it up on a media that contained 5% ethanol in the presence of oxygen, it seemed to be working out so I put it into the growler. I gave you some of the stuff that was from the original culture, not from the growler. I'm just happy it worked, for both of us.