Jan 3, 2009

make your own apple cider vinegar

Here's the scenario:

It is New Year's Eve. You are at a friend's house and have offered to make the Guacamole. Your friend hands you the perfect avocado, the pottle of cream cheese and gives you directions to the chives in the backyard. They then reach for the apple cider vinegar from their cupboard and say "Ew gross, what is that?!" You come over for a look and see a floating disk of slime in their bottle of vinegar.

What. do. you. do?

If you have been following Rhonda's wonderful blog, you reach for it and say "Oh Cool! You've got a Vinegar Mother! Do you want it? Cos if you don't can I have it? Please?"

Yes, truly.

Rhonda's got a couple of posts on making your own vinegar here and here. I was so inspired I decided to try it myself. I had been idly thinking about making my own vinegar using one of the recipes that don't start with a 'mother', since I've been feeling like vinegary things lately (mmmmm, pickles), but after having such a lucky find on Wednesday I was propelled from idle thoughts into definite action.

vinegar ingredients

So here's what you start with. Apple juice (the bottle on the left), a sterile container to make the vinegar in (on the right), and your 'mother of vinegar' (in the centre). I used 3L of apple juice and a gallon container. Use less if that's what you've got.

the 'mother of vinegar'

Here's what the 'mother of vinegar' looks like when poured out into a small bowl. I vaguely remember an old boyfriend making 'kombucha' - some odd mushroom drink thing that's supposed to be fabulously good for you. It looks a bit like that.

apple juice and red wine, with mother added to each

Then I split the mother, by gently pulling it apart with a couple of butter knives. Then poured one half into the apple juice and the other half into a half-litre of red wine leftover from a dinner earlier in the week (I figured I might as well make red wine vinegar while I was about it!). You can see the mother floating in the apple juice.

the vinegars-to-be, in the hotwater cupboard

The jars were covered with muslin cloth to allow them to breathe while keeping the vinegar flies out, labelled with the contents and the date, and put safely away in my hotwater cupboard. Rhonda says you can leave it on the bench to ferment happily, but I don't have that much bench space, my little projects need to be kept away from inquisitive hands, and frankly my bench top is not the warm 25-30degC that she enjoys in her northern Australian climate. The hotwater cupboard will do nicely.

Now all I need to do is be patient for anywhere between 2 and 6 months.

It's very exciting. I'm not sure I can wait that long!

1 comment:

cannopener said...

I'm glad I could add so much excitement to your life! :)

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