About 3 weeks ago I shared my first venture into making vinegar. I had mentioned that I would be saving some of the vinegar mother to start a batch of white wine vinegar. Even though the project isn’t done, I’d like to go ahead and show you what I’ve started. We’re at the beginning of the growing season, and I want to get the information up for those who would like to take advantage of in season produce. Rhubarb is already in season here in Indiana, and strawberries should be coming along shortly.
Above is a picture of a batch of raspberry vinegar that I just started. The weird-looking stuff at the top is the mother from the apple vinegar that I made back in February. Here’s what it looks like on a plate before I added it to the raspberries.
I was scrounging through my freezer and found a gallon bag of raspberries from the summer of 2009. Some of them were starting to look a little freezer burned around the edges, so I wanted to get them used up. I’m hoping for a nice rich raspberry vinegar to use on summer salads. Once I thawed the berries, I placed them in a half gallon jar with a big dollop of raw local honey. To top up the container I needed less than a cup of water, so the berry juice is thick and not watered down. I have high hopes for this batch. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that I placed the mother in the top the jar, but you probably figured that out already.
I also started batches from some elderberry wine my parents made last summer, and some tomato wine that we’ve all decided wasn’t very nice to drink, but should make good vinegar. This reminds me that I had promised an update on the elderberry wine, so I will try not to forget to write about it soon.
And, here is the wine with a piece of the mother floating in it. Later in the summer I’ll get everything bottled up, and let you know how the batches turned out. If any of you decide to experiment with different vinegars, please do drop me a line.
10-14-11 Update: Unfortunately, the vinegar did not turn out. Some searching led me to the Leeners site, a company specializing in cultures and yeasts for fermented foods. It appears my big mistake with the raspberries was using so little water. After the initial ferment the raspberry developed mold. The problem with the wine was two fold. First, because my wine had an alcohol content in excess of 9%, I should have diluted it at the rate of one part water to two parts wine. Secondly, I discovered that there’s a better chance of converting wine to vinegar if you use an actual wine vinegar mother. I have plans to purchase mothers from Leeners, as well as the vinegar making book.