Can a mash of fruit develop enough alcohol,vinegar or lactic acid to make a shelf stable product?
I am thinking of a product with no added sugar.
A yeast, vinegar mother,or some brine from a sauerkraut would start the process.
Without adding salt to favor the lactic acid producers,or sugar to feed the yeast,I am leaning towards adding a mother.
But would even that work?
What do you think?
The aim here is not to produce wine or vinegar,but to preserve the fruit.
William Bronson wrote: Can a mash of fruit develop enough alcohol,vinegar or lactic acid to make a shelf stable product? I am thinking of a product with no added sugar. [...] The aim here is not to produce wine or vinegar, but to preserve the fruit.
A fruit mash containing 22% sugar (very sweet fruits) will yield a wine containing about 10% alcohol. The fruit will be consumed and turn to mush during fermenting. If exposed to air, the alcohol may turn to vinegar if a mother is present. If exposed to air for even longer, the vinegar may be consumed leaving water behind.
There are types of fermenting that involve fruit. This would last longer in the winter of course, when the fruit harvest has completed. Part of the deal is that there are storage fruits that will store as whole fruits. Apples first, some Asian pears, Japanese flowering quinces, winter squash is technically a fruit. The storage lasts longest in the places where it stays cold the longest, but if you can prevent it from freezing.
Joseph is right in that if it ferments quickly, it will turn to wine then vinegar.
Sandor Katz had some info on this in "The art of fermentation." I don't remember all of it though.
Hmm, things to think about.
I don't mind fruit mush, as long as it is tasty!
10% alcohol seems low for preservation purposes.
Can we skip the alcohol step?
Or is it needed for the mother to make vinegar?
I would love a vinegar fruit mush as a flavor enhancer,base for sauces, diluted in drinks, etc.
Right now I have a tea/fruit juice/sugar mix fermenting in a 5 gallon cooler.
It started as an iced tea with lemons in it.
It started to get fizzy and extra yummy, so I have been adding vinegar with the mother, beet kvass,and brewers yeast, plus simple syrups,lemon juice,and strong tea.
I also freeze quarts of the mix and add it back into the cooler.
So far,still tasty and I'm feeling fine.
So I wondered, what if I just preserve entire fruits?
There is the rumpot/bachelor's jam, but that adds sugar and 80 proof booze, thus not so self sufficient.
If you leave fruit, it naturally turns to alcohol. You can taste the booze in old fruit sometimes.
Of course, you can freeze it. Quality varies greatly.
I freeze quince, dogwoods, and cherries almost every year. Blueberries and other berries freeze well, but it's a question of time.
I usually freeze them individually on a cookie sheet so they don't all stick together.
The last couple of quarters that I froze and then returned to the cooler had unfrozen liquid on top. I tasted it ,hoping for booze,but it tasted more like vinegar.
I removed the lemons,putting them back into the freezer,and added sugar and yeast. I might start some apple sauce ,adding yeast and vinegar mother,and just see what happens.