From July 2011

Vinegar from above

How to make Red Wine Vinegar at home

Vinegar from aboveI’ve had some success with brewing my own ‘Hedgerow Red’ Elderberry & Blackberry wine for the past couple of years, but a few months ago I wondered whether it is possible to easily produce your own vinegar at home. Of course, this being the age of Google – I found the answer very quickly… basically – yes. But before I tell you how I did it, let’s start at the beginning. You might save yourself some Googling…

What exactly is vinegar? Well, it’s acetic acid – usually about 5% (the minimum strength required for pickling) and water and a few other trace elements. You probably know that alcohol is produced by encouraging yeast to convert sugar into alcohol, well vinegar is produced by converting ethanol (alcohol) into acetic acid using another handy micro-organism. Acetobacter in this case. This bacteria, like its fungal co-dependant yeast, occurs naturally in the wild and can be airborne – or carried by insects like the nemesis of homebrewers – the fruit or vinegar fly. Read more