I'm working on my first ever season of ferments of the alcoholic and vinegar variety. Like most newbs I'm poking at things suspiciously. I've done liqueur steeps for years. Lactobacillus fermentation for about a year, so I sorta have some concept of what fermentation is all about, but this stuff hits me a little sideways because- especially the vinegar making- it is a lot like the stuff you find in your kids lunch box 3 days later.
So, I'm looking for seasoned advice. I already threw iout one "project because I didn't think it had enough sugar to ferment properly.
1. What should one expect from vinegar and when is it rotten enough to be safe to consume? The recipesin line sound so pleasant, but really?? Is it so gentle it won't stink up your house and look like your trying to breed the next super virus?
i ferment a lot of things and i think the vinegar is probably the least rank of all of them!!
Given, the first few days, when I`m making fruit vinegar, the container is outside since it attracts all the fruitflies in the world, but then it goes in a cabinet in the dark for a while and it`s great. This is a recipe I tried that was pretty accurate and honest. http://hipgirls.squarespace.com/blog/2013/5/4/home-fermented-strawberry-vinegar.html (as for how long it takes- I tried it at the 1 month mark and it wasn`t strong enough. just tried it again recently at about 6 months and muuuuuuuch better).
Beer is a good starting point- you learn making beer that leaving something to sit for another month is often the cure (and you`re more likely to do so than throw it away after all the time and effort you expend making that brew). And that sometimes contamination is okay anyway (I had no idea how much I liked sour beers til one of mine went sour, for example).