Has anyone made or even come across Rhubarb Vinegar? I was reading some of the discussions about making apple/cider vinegar and I used to think that all vinegars were made from bacteria breaking down alcohol; so if you wanted to make vinegar you had to make alcohol first. However, in the forums there appear to be people making apple and pear vinegars from fallen fruit and water. Our tiny garden has around a dozen apples and a couple of pears and we always have plenty of uses for those (fresh fruit, jellies, chutneys, frozen juice etc.), however our first 'sweet' of the year has always been rhubarb. It grows fairly prolifically and while I love rhubarb tart and jam, there is always more than we can use. I remember around 30 years ago I tasted a particularly horrible rhubarb wine made by a (late) friend. We've been teetotal for 25yrs, so we don't have or use alcohol, but we do use vinegar all the time. So the question is: has anyone had any experience with Rhubarb Vinegar?
generally, if wine can be made from it, vinegar can be made from it. things like dandelion wine, though, are frequently fermented table sugar with dandelions added for flavor.
I've never made or tasted rhubarb vinegar or wine, but if your friend made wine from it, you ought to be able to do the same. from there, getting vinegar is relatively easy. if it's in an open top container with cheesecloth or muslin to keep flies and dust out, acetic acid bacteria will show up on their own and do the trick. you could also add a vinegar culture to speed the process.
another alternative is to make a rhubarb-flavored vinegar. that process would involve mixing the rhubarb with existing vinegar from another source, or mixing the rhubarb in somewhere else in the process.
tel jetson wrote: you could also add a vinegar culture to speed the process.
tel, someone said that cider vinegar mother dies in wine vinegar. Different bacteria etc.
I'm inclined to agree with them: chucking handfulls of cider mother into my sad wine 'vinegar' is certainly not working!
Know anything about it?
I never thought about that before, that wine kills the mother. It makes a lot of sense though. And, I've poured cider vinegar into half bottles of wine from time to time, and then waited a while before I used it as vinegar. I have no idea whether or not any additional acetic acid was formed.
Here is the thing, vinegar comes to us through two different processes. The one with the mother in a solution that contains sugar of one kind or another, the bacteria or yeast, which ever it is eats the sugar and makes acid and there you have vinegar. Consider apple cider vinegar. You start with apple juice and when the process is finished, it isn't sweet, it's sour. All the vitamins and minerals from the apple juice, the anti oxidants, what ever is in the juice is in the vinegar. Yum. You can make vinegar out of honey by diluting the honey with water, adding unpasteurized cider vinegar with the mother in it, waiting.
It is important to let the process have plenty of air. You can't stopper the bottle, and it is good if there is a large surface area where air touches the soon-to-be vinegar liquid.
There are plenty of creatures floating in the air that do NOT make vinegar, so a lot of people like to have guaze or paper of something that lets air through, but not air travelers looking for a place to raise a family. I have used paper held onto the jar with a rubber band. I'm sure plenty of things work.
The other way vinegar is made, white vinegar, is starting with ethanol, bubbling oxygen through it and it oxygenates the ethanol, and you get acetic acid, which they then dilute to 5-8% acid.
In the interest of accuracy, I've checked Wiki, and I'm disagreeing with them a bit. Maybe I'm wrong, but, they do say pure ethanol is "fermented" to make white vinegar, and I'm pretty sure NOTHING grows in pure alcohol, so who knows.
To get rhubarb vinegar, you could either put some rhubarb into a bottle of unflavored vinegar , or you could cook rhubarb with sugar strain, dilute, add live vinegar and wait.
All home made vinegar is made in a two step fermentation process. The first fermentation converts sugars to ethanol, and the second fermentation converts ethanol to acetic acid.
Two different organisms are required - one for each type of fermentation. Yeast does the conversion of sugar and acetic acid bacteria performs the second.
This doesn't mean that the two organisms can't coexist for a time. In this case, you will observe a sugary solution converting to vinegar directly, but in reality it is the same process.
I tend to separate the process out as yeast requires an anaerobic environment that is slightly acidic. It's possible that the activity of the acetic bacteria may inhibit the yeast, resulting in unconverted sugars. Yeast also exudes an antibacterial compound which may inhibit the activity of the acetic bacteria...
I have made red wine vinegar from ACV mother successfully.
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
Sometimes I question reality itself. A few years ago when I wanted to make honey vinegar, I was all over the web learning everything I could. I really read that white vinegar, distilled vinegar was produced by bubbling oxygen through ethanol without the aid of any micro organisms. So when I posted on this thread, I was speaking from that knowledge. When you posted, I went and tried to confirm my information, and don't you know, though I spent more time trying to find it than I did researching vinegar in the first place, it is no longer there.
I guess I need to be more careful what I choose to believe when I read it on the internet. I'm glad you inspired me to go looking again.
Best luck: satisfaction
Greatest curse, greed
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
Well, one way or another, I now have rhubarb, plum, blackberry and ginger vinegar.
It was really slow to go from 'vinagary wine' to proper vinegar,
Maybe chucking a couple of aged jars of jam in gave it the sugar hit it needed!
Whatever it was, it now has a mother nearly an inch thick
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
Hi-- I've made Rhubarb Vinegar! It was a happy resolution after I'd been attempting Rhubarb Cordial, got called away for several days, had something slightly fizzy happening so decided to dilute the mixture, keep stirring for aeration, and eventually the "wine" turned vinegarry and I got a very delicious condiment. I wrote it up here: http://kitchencounterculture121.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/scrap-vinegars/
Often the fruit vinegar one reads about in Britain are sugared fruit purees mixed with vinegar; they are ok, but this is a different method and I think nicer for cooking...
Good discussion, people. I love how sometimes we can share some ideas and people can put it together by sharing our experiences. I agree with the idea that alcohol kills living things. Vinegar is a great condiment, an anti-oxidant, and generally considered a healthy component of culinary tradition. Interesting ideas on how we can convert one product into another.