Making Natural Vinegar

A handful of discouragement before we begin.

Making vinegar involves two completely separate process. First is wine process, the second is vinegar process. I mean wine should be created first before vinegar.

Wine is pricier than other. So why bother jumping to second process if you can sell the first for more money, with lesser inputs.

Microorganisms are hard to work with. Saccharomyces cerevisiae for wine and Acetobacter aceti for vinegar. Make mistake on first and you fail, make mistake on second and you still fail. It is either all or nothing.

Natural and synthetic vinegar contain the very same acid. The acetic acid. The first has a tedious process while the latter can simply be made by mixing 4% acetic acid anhydrous (powder) to potable water. The price difference between the two is high. You’re going to have a hard time marketing the natural, unless your target is class A and B.

And here are some tips.

Many vinegar vendors along street sides claim their vinegar are naturally made. The truth is, they are selling one of the three. Synthetic, natural or combination. Natural vinegar lose their cloudiness overtime and has sediments in bottom. On the other hand, synthetic vinegar stays cloudy because of chemical cloudifier. Combination will also stay cloudy.

If you are into wine business, it is wise to convert low alcohol content batch to vinegar. If your target is about 14% alcohol, batches which have lower should be fermented to vinegar.

Palm vinegars such as coconut, sugar palm and buri take spontaneous process where wine and acetic acid fermentation occur simultaneously without human intervention. However, again, if you know how to make a distilled liquor, the popular lambanog of coconut, you’ll never take the vinegar route.

Vinegar can be produced out of any fruits, fruit peels, woods, grass stalks or root crops with appreciable amount of sweet juice.  Yacon for root crops, sugar cane for grass and pineapple for peels.

Continue reading if you insist.

The Wine Process

Follow the wine making steps… by end… you have two choices. 1) Wait until the bubbling stops and adjust down the alcohol content down to 6% by adding water. 2) Monitor alcohol content and halt fermentation at 6%. Use alcohol hydrometer or alcohol refractometer for this purpose.

The Vinegar Process

Heat the solution up to 90°C. Then transfer to wide mouth container. Leave about five inches head space. Add mother vinegar, a little may do. Cover with cheese cloth and allow to ferment for one week.

The recommended ratio of wine to mother liquor is 1:2. You have to bear with the above method for the start. Gather mother liquor from different source such as coconut or sugar palm. If succeeded, harvest only 1/3 and fill the container to volume with freshly prepared wine.

Mother liquor is vinegar with live Acetobacter aceti.

Legal vinegar has acetic acid content of about 4%. You must know how to determine titrable acidity to know its value. The manner of adjustment is by adding water or mixing batches of different values.


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