Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Making Homemade Fruit Vinegar

I had to struggle with this concept for awhile before I decided to try it.  Vinegar's so cheap and easy to pick up, but I'm always thinking along the lines of, "What if I couldn't get any vinegar?"  Say you're running short of cash, or some disaster happens - what are you going to do?  So here's another experiment just for the "Does it really work?!?" factor. 

I recently saw on a video post a woman was using the skins from her pineapple to make vinegar, so I decided to do a little bit of research.  Some recipes were a little vague, but I found this one to be quite useful, so I decided to run with it.

Here's the pineapple I started with when I made the pineapple vodka mix, and it was super ripe.

Once I had cut up the meat, I had the skins and top left over, so I began to cut up the pieces and pack them into a half gallon sized mason jar.  There's actually a couple of tricks to this method: if you leave more meat on the peel, it'll stay near the bottom of the jar.  If you're like me and you want to get as much of the meat into something else, those peels are going to be lighter, so place the lighter stuff at the bottom of the jar, and your heavier pieces at the top to keep everything from floating.

I used filtered water and added a half cup of sugar to the water and peels.  At this point, your instinct is to put a lid on the jar.'re going to take advantage of the fermentation process, which means you need a fabric cover.

I used three layers of cheese cloth and used a rubber band around the neck to keep out any pesky bugs.  The mixture needs to breathe, so if you put a cover on, it can't.  Put it in a dark place and stir it once a day to incorporate oxygen into the brew.  Just be careful and remember there's no lid, so don't tip it in a quick grabbing motion or you'll be wearing a nasty brew!

You also need to realize this stuff is going to look like it's rotting in the jar, and it'll turn color before it clears back up again, so don't give up on the mix too soon!

Happy Eats! 

Here's what the jar looks like after around 30 hours sitting in the cabinet when I took it out to stir and incorporate air in.  It's definitely starting to have a bit of a vinegary scent, but still overwhelmingly the pineapple does make itself known.  Yes, it's supposed to have the nasty foam on the top as it's part of the process, so don't freak when you start seeing it on your jar. 

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