I agree it is very pretty. May I be so bold as to ask... How did you make it?
Ditto that Q. It'd be on my to-make list as well. So long as the acidity hits 5%.. Well.. Even if not. Be good for making hot pepper jelly.
I’ve been making and selling it for a few years now.
I do like it..
If you are really interested, pm me and I can forward a link to a 1935 extension bulletin from the University of Michigan that tells you everything you need to know.
One secret Dark Wolf is to make sure you start out with a high enough specific gravity so that the end product will have more than 5% acidity. Then you can dilute to 5% with distilled water.
The whole process takes nearly a year.
The only secret I’ll keep is how to determine exactly what the percent acidity is. The vinegar in the photo is 5.09%.
Here is the pdf to make a "barrel" of honey vinegar.
Backyard beekeeping and honey bees.
That's the paper eqnox. Keep in mind that in 1935 they 'cooked' vinegar in barrels. I use glass carboys.
Been seriously thinking of giving it a shot myself. I sell at farmers markets and was considering it since you don't need a license to sell vinegar - mead is another matter as it is considered wine and all the taxes and paperwork with it.
I notice specialty vinegars are fairly pricey and if I found a good market I think it would do alright.... Currently I am stuck in an area that is all about cheapest price, biggest quantity. Still I do use a fair amount of vinegar for pickling cukes and peppers and sometimes beets. Would be definitely different. I see it came out very clear looking.....Might have to give it a go this fall.
Another good read on honey vinegar. This is the article that first got me interested as the fellow was pretty enthusiastic.
Cade10…. it is very clear. The batch I bottled yesterday was a year and a half old. By then the debris from the fermentations have largely settled and so I’m very careful that the pickup doesn’t get close to the bottom of the carboy.
I sell mine at an upscale farmer’s market and now produce several variants. There’s blueberry, strawberry and apple cider honey vinegars. Several local chefs have used it in their recipes. I have a number of regulars who consume a teaspoonful each day for health benefits.
In the bulletin that eqnox posted the author recommends starting with a honey/water solution containing 15% sugars. This is important. You usually start an ordinary mead at a higher sugar content. If you go much higher than 15%, following the initial fermentation, your alcohol content will be so high that most acetobacters can’t survive. The second fermentation will take FOREVER to progress. 15% is about 1.060 on a wine maker’s hydrometer.
Here is a photo of several carboys with honey vinegar in various states of fermentation. Note the nice ‘mother’ on the top of several.
I keep getting notes asking for specific instructions.
So....here is my basic step by step.....trust me I spent many hours and had countless failures before I finally got the right combination. And here it is for free.
I use honey, water, wine yeast (I use a high alcohol tolerant yeast to assure complete fermentation) and yeast nutrient. The yeast and yeast nutrient I buy from winemaking supply outfits. To make a batch I decide how much I want to make. I‘ll fill a fermenting vessel (plastic bucket w/provision for airlock, or glass carboy). I begin adding honey, stirring it in well and taking measurements periodically using a winemaker’s hydrometer. When the mix reaches about 1.060, I stop adding honey. I then mix in yeast and yeast nutrient, cover and install an airlock. After about 6 weeks the initial fermentation should be complete. I check again with my hydrometer and it should read close to 1.000.
I rack the honey alcohol…I suppose I could call it a low alcohol content, raw mead…. into another carboy. I inoculate it with a living acetobacter ….in my case I use a couple of quarts from another completed batch of vinegar…but if you don’t have that, you can buy a bottle of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and use that (You can't simply go buy ordinary vinegar as most have been heated and the acetobacters are dead. Braggs isn't pasteurized). I put a cloth over the hole in the carboy and secure it with a strong rubber band. The cloth allows the bacteria to breathe at the same time it keeps bugs and other undesirable stuff out.
I put the carboy in a dark, well ventilated place where it can remain undisturbed for the next 8 or 10 months. I check periodically to make sure that a ‘mother’ forms on the top…and that the mother doesn’t sink. Don't bump or move it...all it takes is the slightest motion to sink the mother...and then you need to rerack the whole batch into another carboy.
After much trial and error, this has proven to be a reliable method. It should produce a honey vinegar with an acid content of 6 - 7%....a bit hot on the tongue but pretty good for canning.
That’s it pretty much…step by step. .
anybody who has made wine with an airlock that went dry knows how to make vinegar. Ph strips will tell you the acidity.
Thanks for posting.
How important is it to maintain at a stable 70 degrees?
Without a dedicated refrigerator lower than 70 is a tough think to pull off year round here.
I have a friend that is an aspiring chef and she is always on the lookout for new, high quality stuff, local if possible.........
I am sure there is much more I wanted to say but I will give you that drinking a triple berry mead right now isn't helping the though process alot.
I seldom drink but it is hot and dull here tonight, waiting for rain. Trying REALLY hard not to kick on the air conditioner.
Thank you so much for sharing this pH strips will give you the pH ...the lower the number below neutral the more acidic it is. apple cidar vinegar is ususlly 4.25-5. NaOH titration will give you the % acetic acid which you can adjust at the end...apple cidar vinegar is usually 5% as apparently that is what is required for food preservation.
I have so many plumbs..is there enough sugar in them to ferment them to plumb wine and then make plumb vinegar? Can you make the wine with pits and skin left on?
The cooler the temp, the longer the fermentation takes & the more delicate aromas and flavors are preserved
Ther higher the temp, the more vigorous fermentation will be, potentially 'blowing off' these delicate aromas and flavors, as well as potentially altering the flavor of any fruit present (from a fresh-character to something of a cooked-character)
Some wine yeasts do better at cooler temps (typically white wine yeasts) and others at higher temps without so many negatives (red wine yeasts)
The SG reading of the 'must', the temp of the ferment, and the nutrient/nitrogen content of the 'must' (honey has none, basically), all influence the amount of yeast nutrient needed as well.
Just throwing that out there
A yeast not fed well, fermented at too high of a temp or trying to work through too much sugar without enough nutrients, can throw off several off-putting smells and flavors - rotten egg smells being the most common (H2S), and has a direct link to not enough nitrogen for the yeast.
A pH meter will test the strength of the acids in a solution while the Titration Kit will measure the amount of acids in a solution, expressed in g/L or a percentage
For your plums, take a dozen or so and mashed them up good, then strain the juice off & measure the amount of juice.
If its not enough liquid to float a hydrometer in, but you dont wanna mash any more plums without an answer, you can add an equal amount of water which will cut your Specific Gravity reading in half but may give you enough liquid to float the hydrometer.. Just simply double this SG for a more-accurate reading. I find most fruits, when ripe, have an SG in the 1.035 - 1.050 range, so I would suspect that you'd have to add a touch of honey to reach the aforementioned 1.060 SG.
Nice post Deezil.
Thanks for you step by step.
I have some "mead" which started life with a 1.08-1.09, so it should be around 11-12% alcohol. The advice I've found online is to bring the alcohol content down to around 8% by mixing in water. The total volume is going to be around 4ish gallons. Would 2 pints of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar be enough?
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