FAQ Related to Mother of Vinegar and Home Vinegar Making

vinegar bottles

Q: I want to make balsamic vinegar. Will your mother of red wine vinegar be sufficient for a 75 gallon wine barrel?

A: A single jar of mother of red wine vinegar can be cultured into any size you like. Start small, as directed in our You-Make-Kit Red Wine Vinegar kit. The most important ingredient in making balsamic vinegar is time. The vinegar is stored in barrels for many years and allowed to slowly evaporate and age. It is transferred to ever smaller barrels every few months to control the surface area exposure to air and there by the rate of evaporation.

Q: I just ordered two vinegar mothers (white & red) and look forward to excellent vinegar in time. Some of the vinegar advice says the vinegar from un-sulfated wines is better; please advise me how much difference this makes. I bought two jugs of wine that weren't terribly cheap, poured them into glass barrels then discovered that the mother I had was not active (it sinks to the bottom). Before the live culture arrives, I'd like to be reasonably sure that my wine is likely to work? It will wait reasonably well, covered in my cool basement, but if the sulfate makes a huge difference, then I have time to shop again.

A: A minimal amount of sulphite will be ok because you are diluting the wine with water prior to starting and when you add more wine to the vat. I have not had very good luck using a glass container. Crocks and barrels seam to work best. It is not unusual for the mother to drop when stored in a cool place. The vat should be kept at between 75 and 85 degrees during fermentation. You only need to reach in and remove it. There are plenty of the bacteria in the wine to continue the process. Floating a piece of white oak on the wine will create a raft to support the mother.