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Making vinegar from beer

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Curtis2010

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Sounds like you've got 2.5 gallons of malt vinegar to me.
 

Curtis2010

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Ive read through this thread but can't seem to find a situation like mine.

I was cleaning up the basement and found a 5 gal carboy with ~ 2.5 gal of a Flanders Red that I seem to have misplaced about 2 years ago. It is very vinegary with some interesting background notes. It doesn't taste or smell "off" in any way.

Any issues with using this as a condiment - salad dressing, fish and chips and such?
Thats a similar scenario to how I got started making vinegar. I had a beer that got acetobact contamination, no fixing that...so I just inoculated with more and took it all the way to vinegar. Turned out great!
 

unionrdr

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A malty, low ABV beer is said to be the best for making vinegar. My gallon of Cooper's English bitter with 1/2C cider vinegar mother is still going. Should be good! I brewed it to the usual Cooper's recipe volume of 23L, or 6.072 USG. Bottled 5 gallons...
 

A2HB

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So my two batches have become tasty malt vinegar, so I have a question what to do at this point. Should I cover the jars with their lids now that the conversion has taken place, or should I leave it exposed to air with the lid off? Also for dilution should I use distilled or RO water for that?
 

Curtis2010

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So my two batches have become tasty malt vinegar, so I have a question what to do at this point. Should I cover the jars with their lids now that the conversion has taken place, or should I leave it exposed to air with the lid off? Also for dilution should I use distilled or RO water for that?
Once fermentation is finished there is no need to keep it exposed to air (regardless you do want it covered so nothing else gets in there). I usually let mine "finish" for 1 month, lid on loosely to allow air exchange, and then bottle.

Any good quality water, without significant mineral content/taste, should be fine. I use RO water, but just because thats what we have in place already for drinking.
 

A2HB

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Once fermentation is finished there is no need to keep it exposed to air (regardless you do want it covered so nothing else gets in there). I usually let mine "finish" for 1 month, lid on loosely to allow air exchange, and then bottle.

Any good quality water, without significant mineral content/taste, should be fine. I use RO water, but just because thats what we have in place already for drinking.
Ok thanks for the tips, I'll cover it up with the lid (loosely) and let it ride from there.

Fish and chips this weekend for sure though! :)
 

jp27300

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Is there a telltale sign of vinegar production, like bubbling in beer? I put in 1 table spoon braggs " with the mother" in 12oz beer to try it. Its only been a week, but just wondering if there is ever any "activity"?
 

z-bob

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I just got back from a master gardener conference (I'm not a master gardener) and one of the classes was on vinegar-making. It was given by an amateur winemaker that has started a commercial vinegary using his excess wine. There really was not much information, but the little bit there was there was just what I didn't have. He said mix a pint of vinegar mother with 2 or 3 pints of wine diluted to about 8% ABV, let it work for a few weeks and then you can step it up with more wine. Keep stepping it up until you get to the volume you want. He had pints of vinegar mother for sale (cloudy vinegar with a lot of slime in the jars) but I never got to the store because my wife was giving a class about raising Monarch caterpillars the next hour and I wanted to be there to help her, and then it was over.

Anyway, it needs air but you need to keep fruitflies and other bugs out (so cover with muslin or cheesecloth or something, don't use a fermentation lock) And warm temperatures are better than cool. 75 to 80°F is good, and 90° is not too high. Aerating really well when you first mix it up will take weeks off the fermentation time.

For years I've want to try using a rotten apple for a vinegar starter. Not just any rot, but "brown rot". I may try it this fall when it's apple season. The teacher of the vinegar class thought it was an "interesting" idea. Interesting can mean a lot of things ;)
 

Curtis2010

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Basically the same process for beer as described above.

The only visible sign is the formation of mother (cellulose).
 

jp27300

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My oaked stout beer grew a mother or 2. A Lot evaporated, then white mold on top. I pitched it, only 12 oz trial. How do i prevent that mold?
 

Aristotelian

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Is there a telltale sign of vinegar production, like bubbling in beer? I put in 1 table spoon braggs " with the mother" in 12oz beer to try it. Its only been a week, but just wondering if there is ever any "activity"?
No bubbling, it will just very slowly form a "mother" (slime pellicle across the top that protects the colony from air).
 

Tegra

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I have a feeling that the suggestion to keep the top open is a bit overkill. My first two attempts I left completely open and lost quite a bit to evaporation and grew a lovely head of mold. The next time I loosely covered the top and removed the covering for a few seconds every week or so. I then had success.

From this I understand that it needs some air transfer but not so much that there is appreciable loss.

This was with a wine vinegar that I diluted so that it was about 7%.

T
 

Curtis2010

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I have a feeling that the suggestion to keep the top open is a bit overkill. My first two attempts I left completely open and lost quite a bit to evaporation and grew a lovely head of mold. The next time I loosely covered the top and removed the covering for a few seconds every week or so. I then had success.

From this I understand that it needs some air transfer but not so much that there is appreciable loss.

This was with a wine vinegar that I diluted so that it was about 7%.

T
A loose fitting top and/or cheese cloth is adequate . Most of my batches have been loose fitting tops over cheese cloth, just to insure no critters get in.
 

unionrdr

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I had a plastic bag over my small pail of malt vinegar, after I was certain it was done. Finally got around to jarring it up, since it'd evaporated quite a bit. It seems kind of concentrated, something like Basalmic vinegar? I don't know if it'[s good or bad, but it smells a bit like a meat sauce. Clear on top, with that whitish layer of cellulous floating under the surface. Got four, 15oz jars, since that's all I had to put it in, after sanitizing with Starsan.

Got'em in the fridge crashing to clear'em, up now...
 

Curtis2010

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I had a plastic bag over my small pail of malt vinegar, after I was certain it was done. Finally got around to jarring it up, since it'd evaporated quite a bit. It seems kind of concentrated, something like Basalmic vinegar? I don't know if it'[s good or bad, but it smells a bit like a meat sauce. Clear on top, with that whitish layer of cellulous floating under the surface. Got four, 15oz jars, since that's all I had to put it in, after sanitizing with Starsan.
[IMG]http://i563.photobucket.com/albums/ss71/unionrdr/IMG_0167_zpsvbsqmgtu.jpg[/IMG]
Got'em in the fridge crashing to clear'em, up now...
How did it taste?
 

unionrdr

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I haven't tasted it yet. I thought it'd be better once it's cold-crashed clear, like beer would be? Trying to show some patience for a vinegar I thought I'd let turn into something possibly unique? Might be useable like a Basalmic?
And hopping in a beer intended to be used for making vinegar should be light. It is said to make the flavor a bit funky, if I remember right? Gotta look through the thread again? I lightly hopped my Cooper's English bitter with an ounce of EKG, thinking the herbs with lemon grass flavor of the hop would compliment it?
I made the Cooper's English bitter to the intended 6G, or 23L's, using the 6th gallon to make vinegar in this 2G pail...
Here, I'm racking off a gallon of the Bitter to oxygenate it;

Decent amount of foam indicates I've gotten some O2 in it;

Here, you can see the 2.5G nylon paint strainer bag I put over the top to aid in air getting in to convert alcohol into vinegar;
 

Curtis2010

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I haven't tasted it yet. I thought it'd be better once it's cold-crashed clear, like beer would be? Trying to show some patience for a vinegar I thought I'd let turn into something possibly unique? Might be useable like a Basalmic?
And hopping in a beer intended to be used for making vinegar should be light. It is said to make the flavor a bit funky, if I remember right? Gotta look through the thread again? I lightly hopped my Cooper's English bitter with an ounce of EKG, thinking the herbs with lemon grass flavor of the hop would compliment it?
I made the Cooper's English bitter to the intended 6G, or 23L's, using the 6th gallon to make vinegar in this 2G pail...
...
Should be like a light Malt vinegar. I make a malt vinegar using Guiness as a base, quite nice.


Ive heard that too much hops flavor doesn't work well in a vinegar, but haven't experienced that yet. The hop levels in canned Guiness work fine.

True Balsamic starts with grapes and is barrel aged using a solera process. The stuff you typically find in the grocery store is "Modena" Balsamic which users color and flavor additions instead of long term barrel aging...of course, its also a lot cheaper too.

Good Wiki article on Balsamic Vinegar: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balsamic_vinegar
 

unionrdr

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Yeah, I know Basalmic is made differently. But, so far, this one has that same sort of rich sweet/tart sorta thing going from the aroma thus far. Can't wait till it crashes clear to see what I've wrought!
 

Curtis2010

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Yeah, I know Basalmic is made differently. But, so far, this one has that same sort of rich sweet/tart sorta thing going from the aroma thus far. Can't wait till it crashes clear to see what I've wrought!
Cool. Let us know.

I blend mine to taste with water before final bottling. Usually, the original brew is way too acidic. Blending it down a bit I find lets the underlying flavors come thru more too.
 

Tegra

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Sorry to resurrect this.... but I have found a better way to measure percent acid in home made vinegar.

1. Mix about 4 tablespoons of baking soda in about 12 oz of water in a fairly wide container. (Will not all dissolve, but this is good enough)

2. Submerge a small beaker (or similar clear marked container) so it is full of solution and turn upside down.

3. Place a short piece of tube so it feeds into the beaker and the free end ready to connect to a syringe.

4. Use a syringe to collect about 4ml of vinegar with a known percentage.

5. Connect free end of tube to syringe and quickly ‘suck’ the baking soda solution up to about 12ml point on the syringe.

6. The solutions will ‘boil’ and fill the beaker with a certain amount of gas.

7. Repeat with your vinegar and do a little math to get your percentage relative to the known vinegar.

I tried this with 5% and got 25ml of gas, tried again with a 7% pickling vinegar and got 35ml, so the math works!

When I tried mine I got 45ml which works out to 9%!

I usually add about 50 percent water to any wine I start so it is interesting how this got so strong. I had heard that if you leave vinegar open it would lose its acid and eventually go back to water. In this case I had actually left my jar for a year and a fair bit had evaporated. I was expecting rather poor vinegar but it turns out it was the water that evaporated and concentrated the acid. (I have some fabric over the top and a piece of plastic over this so it is not fully open to the air)

This tells me that vinegar is not as fragile as I was told. I will have to water this 9% down a bit as it almost burnt off my tongue when I tasted it! (Maybe we are well on our way to basalmic?)

Töm
 

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z-bob

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I've never made vinegar but I think apple brown rot is acetobacter, and I have always wondered if I could use a properly rotten apple for a mother to make vinegar. Just haven't gotten a round tuit yet.
 

tld6008

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Know this is an old thread but I was wondering how to tell when the vinegar process is complete? I have about 2 gal that has been continually making a Mother raft for the past 6 months, it falls about every 3-4 weeks then makes a new one. I have had to top off a couple times with distilled water as it has evaporated quite a bit.
 

Curtis2010

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Know this is an old thread but I was wondering how to tell when the vinegar process is complete? I have about 2 gal that has been continually making a Mother raft for the past 6 months, it falls about every 3-4 weeks then makes a new one. I have had to top off a couple times with distilled water as it has evaporated quite a bit.
There is no obvious visual clue, but 30 days should be plenty.

Acetobacter will continue to live in the vinegar after initial fermentation is complete, that's why you continue to see mother production....and why you can use existing unfiltered vinegar to inoculate a new batch.

Vinegars age well. I have some malt vinegar, and apple cider vinegar, that I bottled in 2017...both are delicious.
 

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Sorry to resurrect this.... but I have found a better way to measure percent acid in home made vinegar.

1. Mix about 4 tablespoons of baking soda in about 12 oz of water in a fairly wide container. (Will not all dissolve, but this is good enough)

2. Submerge a small beaker (or similar clear marked container) so it is full of solution and turn upside down.

3. Place a short piece of tube so it feeds into the beaker and the free end ready to connect to a syringe.

4. Use a syringe to collect about 4ml of vinegar with a known percentage.

5. Connect free end of tube to syringe and quickly ‘suck’ the baking soda solution up to about 12ml point on the syringe.

6. The solutions will ‘boil’ and fill the beaker with a certain amount of gas.

7. Repeat with your vinegar and do a little math to get your percentage relative to the known vinegar.

I tried this with 5% and got 25ml of gas, tried again with a 7% pickling vinegar and got 35ml, so the math works!

When I tried mine I got 45ml which works out to 9%!

I usually add about 50 percent water to any wine I start so it is interesting how this got so strong. I had heard that if you leave vinegar open it would lose its acid and eventually go back to water. In this case I had actually left my jar for a year and a fair bit had evaporated. I was expecting rather poor vinegar but it turns out it was the water that evaporated and concentrated the acid. (I have some fabric over the top and a piece of plastic over this so it is not fully open to the air)

This tells me that vinegar is not as fragile as I was told. I will have to water this 9% down a bit as it almost burnt off my tongue when I tasted it! (Maybe we are well on our way to basalmic?)

Töm
 
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