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Thread: Honey Vinegar

  1. #1
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    Apr 2004
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    Default Honey Vinegar

    This may not fit in this category but it seems as close as any.
    I've heard that there is a product called honey vinegar. I can't seem to find adequate info on how to start a batch. Any help here?
    I think I understand the basics, but where would one find a "mother" from a true mead source? Would using say an apple cider mother eventually become a mead mother simply as a result of feeding only mead?
    Appreciate any help.
    Dale
    My mind works like lightning. One brilliant flash and it\'s gone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Honey Vinegar

    You make it the same as any vinegar and the mother would be the same bacteria that causes vinegar. It needs "mother" and air and the right dilution or at least enough dilution.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Postville, Iowa, USA
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    Default Re: Honey Vinegar

    I am not any kind of expert on this, but I stumbled across an old pamphlet at Project Guttenberg that might be useful. The author glosses over some steps that I would have liked more information on, but, hey, it's a start:

    The Production of Vinegar from Honey, by Gerard W Bancks, 1905
    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24510

    Bancks explains that vinegar is formed in two stages -- first, sugars are converted into ethyl alcohol, then the alcohol is converted into acetic acid.

    He says, "...Proof Vinegar contains 54 per cent. [acetic acid], with a specific gravity of 1006 to 1019. For all ordinary purposes this is a convenient strength and first-class vinegars contain about this percentage....

    He continues, "...supposing the conditions favourable, it is possible to obtain from an aqueous solution of 1 part honey to 8 of water, about 5 per cent acetic acid. A suitable proportion will thus be 1 part honey to 7 to 8 parts of water by weight....

    "In due course, if left alone, alcoholic fermentation, by a natural process, will be set up; but I am inclined to think, from my own experience, that it is best to add, in the first instance, a small quantity of yeast. If, as sometimes happens, the fermentative action be too slow, putrefaction of a portion is liable to take place, and the vinegar is spoilt.

    "The acetic fermentation is accelerated by the addition of vinegar plant, and also by the presence from the commencement of a small quantity of vinegar.

    "...A suitable temperature is 70 deg. Fah., or from that to 80 deg.... At a little over 100 deg. Fah. the development of the acetic germ ceases, while below 68 deg. it is gradually arrested.

    "The length of time before the completion of the process varies according to circumstances. While usually, under completely favourable conditions, in from six to eight weeks sufficient acetification has taken place, [but] not unfrequently a longer period is required...."

    Hope there are some useful tidbits...

    DeeAnna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Postville, Iowa, USA
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    Default Re: Honey Vinegar

    I should also add:

    The "mother" is a body created by the bacteria that form the vinegar, not the original liquid (apple cider, wine, etc.) that the vinegar comes from. You could add a mother from any other kind of vinegar to your fermented honey and get honey vinegar.

    You don't strictly need a mother to make vinegar ... you really need a source of the bacteria. Obviously a mother will do that, but any naturally-formed unpasteurized vinegar (health food store?) should work too, with or without a mother.

    --DeeAnna

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Honey Vinegar

    Health food stores have vinegar "with the mother" which should have what you need...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Skull Valley, Az
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    Default Re: Honey Vinegar

    One year I ended up with a fifty gallon oak barrel of apple cider vinegar...by default. I'd planned on the drinking kind. Seems I waited too long to bottle and the barrel may have contributed to the process. There was the biggest mother floating in there--all by itself.
    I'm just about out of vinegar.......a smaller batch will be sufficient for normal use.
    Best of luck
    BBZZZZZ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
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    638

    Default Re: Honey Vinegar

    at any health food store take a look at the different vinegars and buy one that looks like someone blew there nose into the bottle. The nasty looking stuff is mother.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Honey Vinegar

    Wines get turned to vinegars (acetic acid) with additional stuff, I think acetobactor species. So to make "honey vinegar" you first make mead then add mother with the acetobactor species to make your vinegar.

    One might be able to make vinegar straight from honey and water but it is not how I have done it. In the case of accidental changes it could just as well come from a fruit fly.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Postville, Iowa, USA
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    Default Re: Honey Vinegar

    "...One might be able to make vinegar straight from honey and water..."

    Well, no, it really doesn't work that way, Nursebee. In naturally formed vinegars, sugars are converted into ethyl alcohol which is then converted into acetic acid.

    The alcohol is required as an intermediate step -- the bacteria cannot convert sugars straight to acetic acid. No alcohol ... no vinegar.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    499

    Default Re: Honey Vinegar

    Quote Originally Posted by Hayseed View Post
    This may not fit in this category but it seems as close as any.
    I've heard that there is a product called honey vinegar. I can't seem to find adequate info on how to start a batch. Any help here?
    I think I understand the basics, but where would one find a "mother" from a true mead source? Would using say an apple cider mother eventually become a mead mother simply as a result of feeding only mead?
    Appreciate any help.
    Dale
    Vinegar requires three things:

    Oxygen
    Aceobater
    Alcohol.

    The first can be provided by agitating (shaking) your carboy. The second can be hand-delivered on the dirty little feet of fruit fliest who will happily visit a a carboy without a waterlock closing the top.

    In short: Remove plug, shake, wait.

    There's the science. Here comes the art:

    The batch of mead I was preparing for my wedding got infected with fruit flies. I was devastated. Against all brewing logic i turned out to be the best batch of mead I'd ever made.

    YMMV. Really.

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