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Home and Farm Food Preservation
Food Preservation Recipes
Chapter XXX - Recipes for Vinegar Making

The principles of fermentation and vinegar making will be found discussed in Chapter XIV. If these principles are understood the following recipes will be much more useful. The use of good material must be emphasized; good vinegar cannot be made from partially decomposed fruits. Nevertheless, cull fruits, if sound, fruit peelings, cores, etc., can be used to good advantage.

(92) Home Manufacture of Vinegar from Whole Fruits.

1. Crush the fruit and heat to boiling. Press out the juice through a jelly bag or coarse cloth. Allow the juice to cool overnight in an agateware pot or stoneware crock or wooden bucket or barrel. If fruits are soft and juicy, heating is not necessary.

2. On the next day break up a yeast cake for each 5 gals. or less of juice and mix it with the juice. In 24 hours the juice will be fermenting. Allow the juice to stand in the crock, or bucket, etc., until fermentation ceases. This will require about 2 to 3 weeks. Allow to stand 1 week longer for the yeast to settle. This will make a total of 3 to 4 weeks from the time the fruit was pressed.

3. When fermentation is over and the yeast has settled, pour or draw off the fermented liquid into another container of the same kind in which fermentation has taken place or pour it off and return it to the original containers.

4. To each gallon of the liquid add 1 pint of good vinegar, preferably vinegar from a barrel. This adds a starter of vinegar hacteria and the vinegar acid favors a rapid start of vinegar fermentation.

5. Cover the jar or bucket, etc., with a cheesecloth so that insects will be screened out and so that air may get to the liquid freely. An abundant supply of air is necessary for vinegar formation. If a barrel is used arrange it as shown in Fig. 49. The barrel should be left about two-thirds to three-fourths full. Leave the bung open and bore a hole at each end of the barrel just above the surface of the liquid as shown in Fig. 49. Cover the holes with fine screen or cheesecloth to keep out insects. Leave in a warm place until vinegar forms. This will be in 2 to 12 months, depending on temperature conditions. A warm room is best.

6. The vinegar may then be drawn off and strained or filtered and should be bottled or stored in completely filled and closed barrels to prevent deterioration.

(93) Vinegar from Cores, Peels, and Fruit Scraps.

1. Often fruit scraps are wasted. These will make good vinegar.

2. To each cupful of scraps, add 2 cups of water or enough to cover well. Boil about 10 to 15 min. and press out the juice.

3. To each 10 cups of liquid add 1 cup of sugar and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool overnight in a jar or other convenient container. (Do not use tin.)

4. Proceed from this point as in Recipe 92.

(94) Vinegar from Honey and Sirups.

1. To each cup of the honey or sirup add 4 cups of water and half cup of any fruit juice.

2. Mix well and proceed from this point as in Recipe 92.

(95) Clarifying Vinegar.

1. With Fish Isinglass. If a large amount of vinegar is to be made for sale it should be made as clear as possible. This may be done by filtration until clear or may be accomplished by clarification. Fish isinglass is most commonly used for this purpose. The Russian isinglass is best.

If the vinegar is very cloudy, weigh out 2 oz. of isinglass for each 100 gals.; if moderately cloudy, 1 oz. and if only slightly cloudy, 1/2 to 3/4 oz. Soak each ounce in about 1 gal. of vinegar for several days. It will swell and become soft. Break it up thoroughly and work it into solution in the vinegar. Pressing it through a fine screen will aid. Then add it to the larger lot of vinegar in the proportion required as noted above. Stir well and let settle until clear. Draw off the cleared vinegar with a hose or through a spigot.

2. With Spanish Clay. This is a clay of poor pottery clay grade. For each 100 gals. of vinegar weigh out 5 to 8 lbs. of clay, depending on the cloudiness of the vinegar. Soak in the proportion of 1 lb. of clay to 1 gal. of vinegar until soft. Work up into a thin mud in the vinegar; it must be finely broken up into a smooth mud or "solution." This will require a great deal of crushing and stirring. An old butter churn may be used. Add the clay solution to the vinegar in the amount required (5 to 8 lbs. clay per 100 gals. of vinegar). Stir. Allow to settle several days. Draw off clear vinegar and filter the sediment.

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