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Apr 26, 2010
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I made some Chenin Blanc a couple of years ago and the grapes were picked too late. They were way too acidic and I tried a lot of stuff but I was never able to get it to taste the way I want. But I think it might make a good vinegar. I got some Mother of Vinegar for white wine and last night put it into a 3 gallon carboy along with 2 gallons of the Chenin Blanc.

Has anyone done this before? How long is 2 gallons going to take? How will I know when all the alcohol has turned into acetic acid?

I also think with 2 gallons of vinegar I could try a lot of different herbs with it. Any suggestions on what herbs to use when it has finally turned to vinegar?

Also has anyone tried making vinegar with fruit wine. I have a lot of bottles right now and I am tempted to try some once my mother of vinegar grows.
My neighbor makes vinegar and it's awesome. All I can tell you is keep it away from any wine you're making!
I have not made it but looking at your post I must say that acidity goes down the longer its on the vine and thats why lots of wineries leave them on the vine so long as they are waiting for the ph levels to raise and the acidity levels to drop and also for the Brix to get into place. Did you try using calcium carbonate or potassium BiCarbonate to lower the acid levels or even try cold stabilizing?
The grape picking info and brix were not given to us. We just picked up the grapes at the brew shop and we crushed it right there. We are a little smarter now to ask those important questions. We tried Malolactic and that didn't help, we had some potassium carbonate and almost used it but after talking to some "experts" we were afraid to try it because we were worried it would change the taste. We instead decided to sweeten it up before bottling but it didn't work out real well.

Anyway, that is all behind us and we now know how to test and modify acidity. after taking a winemaking class. Now I just need to take lemons and make lemonade in a sense. I like to use vinegar to marinate meat and I am excited about trying to make my own.
Made muscadine vinegar last year "good stuff". Just keep it warm and in a dark place. Check it often, according to the directions I had it will gain in strength with time.
my red wine vinegar recipe is pretty basic....take some excess wine grape juice from my vines...say 3-5 gallons...put in a pail w a cheese cloth over outside on a porch...come back in a few months.......darn good stuff!

dont need no mother..or father ;)
If you can't get mother of vinegar you can use a shot of Brags apple cider vinegar or similar non pasteurized vinegar. It takes a couple of months using the Braggs it might go faster with the mother.

Unlike wine there is no hydrometer, you know when it's done by taste. When it gets to the flavor you like you can heat it on the stove just below boiling for 20-30 minutes to pasteurize it. If you do not stop it can continue one to being very acidic and you'd have to dilute it. At pasteurization time you can add herbs or you can put them in the bottles with vinegar. Any herbs should work think of what might pair well with the flavor of the wine/vinegar.
i admit to not knowing a lot about vinegar...but i have never pasteurized it, nor have seen it go bad.....dont know why
My wife makes it. She uses a half-wine/half-water mix with a vinegar mother. Our LHBS doesn't carry the mothers anymore, though, and she lost her last one during our move to the new house... so she just started up again with some unpasteurized vinegar. We'll see how that goes.
This is an interesting thread. I've never even thought about making vinegar.
They had a program on PBS a few months back, a travel show if I remember correctly, that went to some place in Italy that made vinegar.
They sampled some that was kept in the barrels 25 years before it was sold.
I wouldn't live to see my vinegar finished! :slp
I was told vinegar like wine needs about 6months of aging in the bottle. If you don't pasteurize it before bottling the gas the bacteria make can pop the cap just like unstableized wine. It also halts the conversion to ascetic acid so you stop the alcohol --> vinegar conversion to keep the vinegar from getting too acidic. That's just what I read and did. If you just let it go to the vinegar equivalent of dry you probably would not need to pasteurize it.

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