I have more wild grape juice than I will ever use in a year and it's taking up room. I also have just finished my first batch of homemade applecider vinegar. Now that I have a live vinegar mother I was wondering how easily I could transfer it to other liquids to turn them into vinegar as well. The grape juice I have is super dark wild and full of flavor. It's thick and pretty sweet. Will my ACV mother do the proper job in the grape juice or should I start over by making a mother specifically for the grape juice?
I just finished moving the mother to the grape juice. We'll see how it goes I guess. The juice is so dark that even though the mother is floating, I still can't see it. If all goes well, this should be a rather intense vinegar. Now the waiting game begins again.
It turns out that this is working so far. I've got a good looking scoby working along tirelessly, transforming this super dark juice into vinegar. It still smells quite full of alcohol but it's moving along at just the same pace as my first apple cider vinegar. I decided to make a second batch with the last of the juice I had in the fridge. There are so many containers with living creatures in my kitchen. It's a good way to pass the winter.
William Bronson wrote: I was inspired by your first posts to try this with some too bitter orange juice.
Does it have to be converted to alcohol first?
I also have some old wine, thought I might try it with that as well!
I'm not sure about the orange juice, but I'd say that wine is a good first choice to try making vinegar. Go for it.
My vinegar is still bubbling along and is just now starting to get that slightly acidic smell. It's still so dark that I can't see into it too well. I can see some stuff has settled to the bottom. It's probably little bits of pulp and skins bound together by the mother, which really looks a lot like a sea anemone at this point. It's pretty neat looking. I have a second smaller jar that is also doing well. Once there's enough room in the big jar, I'm going to combine the two jars. I just have to wait for enough water to evaporate first. So far... so good.
I filtered it and bottled it a few weeks ago and it's a super awesome! It's a delicious wild grape vinegar that I look forward to making again. It's very similar to a balsamic vinegar but with more of a tart wild grape taste. I suspect that if I let it continue to reduce down by evaporation, that it would be more intense. While that would be great, I really like this as it is. My family likes it straight-up on salads. A little goes a long way so even though I only have just over a quart or so, I expect it to last for a while.
I've taken the "mother" from it and used it to start a batch of dandelion vinegar in the spring which also looks and smells like it's going to be great. Why didn't anyone tell me that making vinegar was so fun?
I just signed up for a copy of an e-book from Oak Hill Homestead that's about making vinegar. It's a short read but it's got a bunch of good basic tips on getting started with the process of making vinegar. Here's a quote from the e book:
One of the most versatile liquids in history was probably discovered by accident when someone left wine to ferment too long. The sour taste was probably an unwelcome surprise to the procrastinating vintner, but his mistake was an important discovery to ancient civilizations.
I've had a good time making vinegar and this little e book would be a good place to start if you're thinking about starting to make your own. It's available for free if you sign up for the author's newsletter.