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vinegar from bad wine  RSS feed

 
Leila Rich
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Last May I made a lot of rhubarb, plum and blackberry country wine.
It tasted pretty tannic and not nice, but all the info went on about wines starting off nasty and ending up great, so kept hoping it would improve.
Nup, it just got more average.
Today, I dumped it into a foodsafe bucket, tipped in a couple of jars of plum/rhubarb jam and a bit of my cider vinegar mother.
I know what everyone's getting for Christmas
 
Alder Burns
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You might consider adding some more sugar or other sweet stuff if you want good strong vinegar. It's the sugars that the yeasts first turn to alcohol (adding an oxygen) and then the vinegar bacilli turn that into acetic acid (adding another oxygen).... Otherwise you might end up turning mediocre bland wine into mediocre bland vinegar....
 
John Polk
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I once posted here about turning cheap wines into vinegar using cider vinegar mother.
I was informed that the cider (apple) mother would not work with wine (grapes).

Wrong culture...?

 
Alder Burns
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I suppose if you're a real conoisseur, but I imagine any mother, or no mother at all, would work. I've made some mighty good wine with bread yeast, too, even though real wine snobs would recoil in horror at the thought!
 
John Polk
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Yeah. I've had many opened wine bottles start to 'turn' within a few days.
I just kind of thought that a little cider 'mother' might speed up/improve the process.
My idea was put down by somebody telling me basically "It won't work."

Trader Joe's has a cheap wine - Charles Shaw, $2.49/750ml (known locally as "2 buck Chuck").
While certainly not a 'fine wine', it is drinkable (I've had $10 wines bought elsewhere that weren't any better).
I've thought about using it as a base to make my own 'red wine vinegar'.
What do I have to lose, $2.49?
If it doesn't work, I'll just use it to water 'acid loving plants'.

 
Leila Rich
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Alder Burns wrote: consider adding some more sugar

The jam's loaded with the stuff
John Polk wrote:I was informed that the cider (apple) mother would not work with wine (grapes)

I'd never even considered that; I can't find anything about vinegar-specific mothers online.
Considering how easily wine 'turns', even if the cider mother doesn't work I can't see any danger of it not becoming vinegar!
Whether it becomes good vinegar is something else...
 
Craig Dobbson
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Two years ago I made a few gallons of Dandelion Wine. It was pretty strong right after it was done, so I let it sit. Since then I've been hesitant to open a jar and try it. Part of me thinks it'll get better as time goes on. But the other part of me says " you're wasting cabinet space! Drink it, chuck it or make jelly out of it." Now I'm thinking vinegar might be a pretty good idea.

How much does the flavor change in the vinegar making process? My wine has Dandelion, Ginger, Orange and lemon zest and cloves. Might make a decent salad vinegar. Maybe?
 
Tim Crowhurst
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Salad vinegar sounds like a plan. It would probably be good for pickling delicately-flavoured vegetables like beetroot as well.
 
Leila Rich
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Craig Dobbelyu wrote:How much does the flavor change in the vinegar making process? My wine has Dandelion, Ginger, Orange and lemon zest and cloves. Might make a decent salad vinegar. Maybe?

I haven' made vinegar from 'seasoned' stuff before; but I imagine the process would make most flavours a subtle background to the vinegar.
I'll soon know, since there's cinnamon, ginger, rhubarb, plum and blackberries in mine!
 
Rion Mather
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Best solution: Make peasant wine. Add a variety of fruit...oranges, lemons, limes, apples, grapes...whatever. The basic Sangria recipe is one that has been used around the world to rescue bad and cheap wines for ages.
 
Luke Burkholder
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Cider vinegar mother should work on wine and vice versa. There is some diversity among acetic acid bacteria, and there may be particular combinations which work particularly well in wine vs. cider vs. beer, but that will quickly even itself out. They are all trying to convert ethanol into acetic acid, and that is the same no mater what the ethanol was made from.

I have had some failures with vinegar which I attribute to lack of oxygen, i.e. tried to ferment in a big jar with a little neck. Ethanol fermentation is anerobic, so tiny openings are great because they are easy to plug up with airlock, but acetic acid production needs oxygen, so now I always make sure that the jar has straight sides with a big lid, like a mason jar. I have also had more success throwing a little sugar into the beer/wine I am trying to ferment to give the bacteria something to eat besides pure ethanol (~1 Tbsp/pint.)It seems that if I don't add the sugar, molds start to take over before the bacteria have a chance to start making acid, and the eventual vinegar has an off flavor.
 
Steven Feil
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Leila Rich wrote:
Craig Dobbelyu wrote:I'll soon know, since there's cinnamon, ginger, rhubarb, plum and blackberries in mine!


And the results were..... drum roll please!
 
Leila Rich
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It appears I've been pretty much ignoring this vinegar for over a year now!
It was cloudy and not 'finished' tasting for ages.
I had a look at it when I made Middle-Easternish-beetroot-relish
and it was beautiful-clear rich red, fruity and acidic with lacy strands of 'mother' through it.
I'll bottle it and get a picture.
So I think if there's enough sugar/alcohol/oxygen/time, you have a good chance you'll get good vinegar
 
Leila Rich
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It's important it gets stored out of the light, as the colour and flavour will oxidise really quickly.

I'll use the goopy-looking vinegar in jars for preserving, or decant it when it settles.

I was worried about 'the mother' at one point-I needn't have!
 
Fred Tyler
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I merged your stuff with the following thread. I hope that is okay by you.
 
mary jayne richmond
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i made rhubarb and chokecherry wine last fall, and they are just down right yucky!!! but i hate to just through them away, i figure if i made vinegar from them it won't taste real good either. any ideas would be appreciated
 
Andrew Jackman
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Vinegar is not difficult and just takes time. If you have an unusually strong (ABV) wine, you might think about cutting it with water if the vinegar bugs don't catch on right away. I started vinegar from apple juice and apple cider last year and both had excellent results.
 
Roberta Wilkinson
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I agree that vinegar is probably your best bet. Even if it tastes bad, you can use it for cleaning, washing fruit and vegetables, hair rinse...

You could also try distilling it if you're feeling like a science project.
 
elle sagenev
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Cook with it. It's what I do with yucky wine. In fact we tried a wine that, combined with the yucky cheese we paired it with, almost made me vomit. However, it made the best damn beef bourginon and gravy ever. Seriously orgasmic gravy. So, cook with it!
 
August Hurtel
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How bad? I have a favorite tea- yogi's Egyptain Licorice- and I have warmed up some wine and steeped that tea in it.

Then there's sangria, mulled wine, addition of spices. etc...
I think that's why there are so many old recipes like that- folks every so often ended up with bad wine because they had to produce more organically and didn't have a ton of sulfur dioxide to throw on everything. If it came out bad, they would do something to improve the flavor and drink it anyway- or, if there was no hope of flavor improvement, they made vinegar.
 
chad Christopher
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Bathe in it. Good for the skin. This is where i kinda got my clothes washing technique from. Which i promise to post soon. Things have been hectic in my place.
 
mary jayne richmond
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oohhh... sangria sounds good.. Chad, maybe i could sock my sock in it
 
Rhys Firth
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Distill it. There is good alcohol in there to make antiseptics, essential oil extraction, cleaners, or fuel.

Just make sure you aren't in some state where simple possession of a still is illegal.
 
Dan Boone
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mary jayne richmond wrote:just found a great post from Leila Rich about bad wine into vinegar, maybe thats what i will do


I got curious and went looking. I think this is that thread.
 
mary jayne richmond
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mary jayne richmond wrote:oohhh... sangria sounds good.. Chad, maybe i could sock my sock in it
soak my sock not sock my sock ....aagghh
 
mary jayne richmond
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Dan, thats a good idea, i could use it for tinctures, i looked for a distiller, a bit pricey but doable
 
bud smith
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Turn it into vinegar and if the vinegar still is not to your liking, it can be used to kill unwanted weeds.
As it was posted earlier, a high alcohol wine can be difficult to start with the conversion to vinegar, so dilute it with and equal quantity of water. Once you have an active batch going, you can safely add more wine to the batch without needing to have it diluted.
 
Mike Cantrell
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Rhys Firth wrote:Distill it. There is good alcohol in there to make antiseptics, essential oil extraction, cleaners, or fuel.

Just make sure you aren't in some state where simple possession of a still is illegal.


Hang on, hang on, hang on. This is true, but there's more to it than this.

First thing, regardless of the legality of possessing a still, distilling the alcohol is definitely, unequivocally illegal. (You're not in New Zealand, are you, Mary Jayne? NZ is the exception.)

Second thing, if she's ok with distilling and not telling the feds about it, then there's no need to jump straight to calling that brandy just an antiseptic! Weird wine can make delightful brandy. And even if the brandy isn't delightful right away, it will frequently become delightful after a year or two, especially on toasted oak. So you don't have to relegate it to serving as a replacement for your $1.29 bottle of isopropyl alcohol. There's a solid chance that it will be able to serve as a replacement for your $29.99 bottle of Remy Martin.
 
chad Christopher
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Dont distill alcohol, you make herbal tinctures. Which you drink in plenty. You will never be raided for making a few gallons for personal use.
 
Galadriel Freden
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I just want to add that ageing your wine may mellow the flavor. I have a batch of two year old elderberry wine; every instruction I read about elderberry wine states to drink it within 6-12 months. It was too sickly sweet after that time and just unpleasant for drinking. So I kind of just forgot about the bottles in the back of the liquor cabinet--and two years on I rediscovered them; it's much more drinkable now: almost like a pinot noir. I recommend saving it for another year and seeing how it ages.
 
Miki Odendahl
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I use bad batch wine as a household cleaner. It strips grime and grease off of anything. I never toss wine.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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If I ever make a batch of yucky wine, I dump it out... Reminds me of the time I was given some old bottled fruit, and I made wine out of it, not noticing that some of the bottles were not fruit purees, but spicy barbeque sauce... That wine was irredeemable.
 
Miki Odendahl
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What on earth would one actually call wine made from BBQ sauce I've made wine from everything in the garden, but that'd be a trick....
 
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