Making Your Own Vinegar & MOVs
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To start with this topic will be covered partially with pictures. To get up to speed on vinegars and fermentations, you may be interested in Shivani Arjuna Fermentation Pointers at ShivaniFerments which she has generously allowed to be shared with attribution!

Also, you may go to Sandor Katz for his wonderful articles and from his book on "Wild Fermentations" at SandorKatzWILD. As you will gather from the pictures of my continuous brew process here, I have included basic instructions within the pictures to help show the process.

OK: Here is a simple starter recipe: I would recommend starting with either a 1/2 gallon glass jar, or a 1 gallon depending on how much you wish to brew. I am giving amounts for 1/2 gal. which will just be doubled for a gallon. I recommend having the top opening fairly large since your MOV (Mother of Vinegar) is going to form across the top surface of whatever container you are using. Do not pour liquid clear to the top .. leave some headspace.

The easiest and perhaps the most satisfying to do is to buy some 100% frozen fruit juice preferably so as not to be all citrus. The Old Orchard brand is 100% juice and has good selections of Cranberry-Apple, Raspberry, Peach, Cherry/Apple, some brands have pomegranate, blueberry, grapes. I would advise the dark grapes as opposed to the white primarily because I like to get all the benefits the dark antioxidants have and the resveratrol. Buy 2 cans for the 1/2 gal. container. IF you don't have a MOV to start with, pick up a bottle of Braggs vinegar from the Health Food Store, or your grocery if they have a section.

You do not want to use regular store vinegar as it is pasteurized and/or otherwise treated. Have good, non-chlorinated drinking water on hand to make the vinegar with. Place about 12 oz. of the Braggs vinegar or your other starter with MOV into the bottle. Now add your juice mixed per directions on its label. Place a cap on the bottle which is porous, but that will keep out any vinegar or fruit flies. I use coffee filters rubber-banded in place. See pictures. They can be written on with the date and variety of fruit juice within.

Now, set the covered jar with the mix in it into a dark cupboard or back on the back of your room temperature cupboard. It is preferable it NOT set in direct sunlight and that it be relatively dark. I accomplish this by having it in my north windowed pantry and covered with a towel to keep the microflora in the dark to do their thing. Over the coming weeks they will convert the sugars into acetic acid and other vinegar bacteria.

Here is where directions and brewers disagree as to the procedures they prefer. Some will invest in "air locks" to place the vinegar in after the initial brewing. I go for a "continuous brew" where after it gets to tasting as vinegary as you like, you can start taking out a bottle full at a time and use from it. Always leave at least 1/4 to 1/3 of your brewing bottle in it's container to keep your next batch going. After you've withdrawn your vinegar for your smaller bottle to use, then replenish the amount you took out again with the 100% frozen juice mixed with appropriate kind and amount of water. Again recap and write the new date on it.

The amount of time for your first "vinegar" to get to strength will probably be about at least 2 months. After that, it can go faster for the replaced amount because you will have the MOV in it. You can remove part of the MOV if you wish and use it for new vinegar brews or for other purposes.

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