Making homemade cider vinegar these days is harder than it used to be. Because of food additives and preservatives, our beverages won’t sour and turn to vinegar. So we launch another vinegar experiment. This is a bottle of organic cider purchased from Whole Foods. I pitched it with one package of Red Star Champagne Yeast and fitted the top with an air-lock. (Which is really overkill, one packet is good for 5 gallons.) The initial PABV measured 16%. This will go into the fermentation room for about a month, or at least until the bubbling stops.
My goal? A simple cider wine WITH NO SULFATES in it that I can successfully convert into homemade cider vinegar. I have a couple other batches of vinegar going, but my fear is that the sulfates in the commercial wines will kill my vinegar cultures. We’ll see. This is just an insurance policy that I’ll have something to show for myself when someone asks me how the vinegar business is going. If the commercial wines yield vinegar too, it’ll be a windfall!
I’ve had a couple of people mention to me that it’s not necessary to ferment the cider in a separate step. Just add the mother directly to the cider and the juice will get fermented and turn to homemade cider vinegar at the same time. Obviously, there’s two separate processes going on at the same time, but it could be a time saver.