Are you sure you are buying raw

pickles7, Mar 22, 11:05pm
vinegar ?
A lot of folk pay more for the ''raw vinegar'' my son is one. But he is thinking maybe it isn't raw after all. My brown sugar brew is not growing a ''mother of vinegar'' after about 3 weeks now. I stained the bottle and did not find any ''mother'' at all, only sediment. Sediment is not ''mother'', as a lot of folk believe. ''Mother of Vinegar'' is slimy and can look like a firm jelly.
I will go and buy some raw vinegar from the local health food shop and take pot luck. The last time I did that I ended up with vinegar eels, they were rather interesting but not something I would expect from a ''health food shop''. A lot of vinegar will end up with them, they leave as fast as they appear. That is, they die and end up as sediment on the bottom of the bottle. It dose come down to unclean containers, they refill the container in the shop. I am not up for taking the risk with my vinegar and never re-fill any bottles that do not go through a sterilizing solution and then rinsed with boiled water.

buzzy110, Mar 23, 1:09am
Tell me why you just don't use a kombucha mother? I would have thought it was the same thing.

pickles7, Mar 23, 1:29am
There is a difference, although not great. I just like to keep my vinegar as near pure as I can.

buzzy110, Mar 23, 2:13am
I suppose so pickles but I'm not convinced that they are not the same thing.

Have you thought about getting a tiny scoby from a commercial bottle of unpasteurised kombucha and growing your vinegar mother from that? The difference would by non-existent by the time your kombucha scoby transmuted into a vinegar mother?

davidt4, Mar 23, 2:22am
I'm pretty sure that a vinegar mother and a kombucha scoby are not the same. A vinegar mother contains acetobacter bacteria (that create acetic acid when fermenting), a kombucha scoby contains [from Wiki] "Gluconacetobacter kombuchae [2] is an anaerobic bacteria that is unique to kombucha. It feeds on nitrogen that is found in tea and produces acetic acid and gluconic acid, as well as building the scoby. Zygosaccharomyces kombuchaensis [3] is a yeast strain that is unique to kombucha. "

pickles7, Mar 23, 4:24am
Thanks. davidt4. I was looking for something on the net to help me out. It is just not what I was set about doing. buzzy110. I can get a vinegar mother to turn the brown sugar alcohol into a very nice light malt flavoured vinegar by just leaving it uncovered where I have had vinegar before.
I have found, after having a batch of vinegar go bad that it is probably best to sulphite or pasteurise the vinegar to preserve it. I could only conclude that the residue sugar had something to do with the spoilage of my vinegar.
I will be pasteurising this lot myself as the time is lengthy to make vinegar, and to have it spoil is not good. Why we were discouraged from using our own vinegars to preserve with is the risk of using inferior vinegar.

pickles7, Apr 27, 5:11am
At long last I have a nice healthy vinegar mother growing. Not from the bought bottles of raw vinegars but from using my own ''raw cider vinegar''.
It only took three days to see a nice film growing over the entire top of my last bottle of fermented, brown sugar. I am so much looking forward to this lot of vinegar.

buzzy110, Apr 28, 3:14am
It is interesting that you found difficulty growing a mother from raw commercial vinegar. You could be right. Maybe the vinegar sold as raw, is not 'raw' as you asked in the thread heading.

buzzy110, Apr 28, 3:40am
Thanks for the information. My rationale was that the mother present in a bottle of kombucha is very small indeed and when used to grow a vinegar mother it would adapt. I have also read this from Sandor Katz's book, The Art Of Fermentation :

"Many people have observed that the kombucha SCOBY is identical, or virtually so, to the mother-of-vinegar- that forms on the surface of fermenting vinegar. Some have even described kombucha as immature vinegar. "

Katz has a lot of interesting information in his book for any interested in all types of fermentation, including vinegar. He has a paragraph about why 'live' vinegar goes off and offers up advice on how to prevent this from happening. He also has instructions for pasteurising.

pickles7, Apr 28, 10:37am
I am rather sure my findings are correct. buzzy. After my own raw vinegar was added it took just 3 days to cover the entire top with a film of ''mother of vinegar''. I may look into Sandor Katz's book, The Art Of Fermentation. I will try our library this week for it.

buzzy110, Apr 29, 12:12am
He says it is usual to add a small amount of raw vinegar to the new brew to get it going. But that aside, I am pretty convinced that you know what you are doing and like to do experiments on the side to see what reaction you get. Which is a mark of someone who wants to be the best and in the process you keep adding to your knowledge.

pickles7, Apr 29, 4:55am
yes . buzzy. You do add raw vinegar to get a new lot to develop. That is why the raw vinegar that is being sold these days is very questionable. I used to get my other vinegars to develop using ''Braggs Raw Cider Vinegar''. The Healtheries apple cider vinegar label suggests it be taken as a tonic, I would expect it to be a raw product, for that reason. I tried both Vinegars to get things moving. I may just send an e-mail to both companies, and ask for an explanation as to why my new brew just would not get started using there products. Like I think I have already said I am not the only maker of Vinegars, that has had the same problems.
I found Sandor Katz's on YouTube, . buzzy, there is a few videos to watch there. So hey, I just may have to go try one of his ferments, I expect he works with ''wild yeasts'', something I have not been keen on doing for my vinegars, as I do use my good vinegars like I would use, bought vinegars. I tried getting used to bought vinegars this last year, but I am just not prepared to use it next year, and look forward to having decent vinegar again.

uli, May 5, 1:13am
buy some organic cider vinegar from Chantals and you will find a "mother" after a few weeks.

pickles7, May 14, 9:46pm
I didn't have to go buy a raw vinegar after all. uli. , I found a bottle of my own cider vinegar right at the back of my pantry. It was on a lower shelf so not in my face. I had a taste this morning and found it tasted rather nice, not finished but still very nice. I will test it later on to see how much longer it will need to finish. I intend to get another lot started, so I wont run out .19 litters of nice light malt vinegar from 3.500 kg of brown sugar.

pickles7, Jun 9, 9:54pm
Well what a pest, I have been unsuccessful in buying what I require to test my vinegar. I didn't test the alcohol this time as I was going to test the acidity.

The acid titration kit will include:
20 ml syringe
150 ml plastic testing cup
100 ml of standard base liquid (0.2 N sodium hydroxide)
15 ml dropper bottle of indicator solution (phenolphthalein)

buzzy110, Jun 11, 5:34am
Sounds very nerdy to me but are kits not available from a shop that sells brewing supplies?

pickles7, Sep 1, 5:02pm
I bottled the vinegar today anyway, it tastes good and is sharp enough. I got 14 wine bottles of vinegar, more than enough for a year. I still have about 4 bottles waiting to clear again. My daughter wants some Worcestershire sauce made so that will take care of a few bottles. I did read on one site that the same test kit is required to test the acidity of fermented vegetables .

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