How to Make Homemade Vinegar

Homemade vinegar is as easy to make as mushing up fruit, straining the pulp from the juice then bottling for months until your natural vinegar is ready to use.

| November/December 1971

Vinegar is vinegar is vinegar . . . or is it?

Well, according to Beatrice Trum Hunter in her Natural Foods Cookbook, there are many varieties of this easily made, tangy, fermented liquid and — within rather wide limits — homemade vinegar can be just what you want it to be.

The most common variation is probably cider vinegar... made from sound, tart apples. You can "do it yourself" by washing and cutting such apples into small pieces . . . skins, cores, stems and all. Make a mush of the whole business by hand or with an electric juicer and strain it through a muslin bag (you can also hand press the pulp in a potato ricer lined with cloth).

Pour the juice you collect into clean, dark, glass jugs and cover their tops with several thicknesses of cheesecloth, held in place with string or rubber bands. Let the brew work in a cool, dark place for about six months . . . then strain, bottle and cork.

If you don't want to bother with apples, just allow some sweet cider to stand in a warm place in an open jug for a few weeks. It'll gradually turn to vinegar.

The tangy liquid can also be made from apple wastes, should you be baking a lot of pies or canning peeled apples. Simply put the peelings, cores and bruised fruit into a widemouthed jar or crock and cover with cold water. Store — covered — in a warm place and add fresh peelings, cores and bruised apples from time to time. When the batch tastes sufficiently strong . . . strain, bottle and cork.

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