There is a wide variety of homemade vinegar in my home come Christmas, including apple, elderberry, plum and raspberry. We use so much salad dressing that a variety of vinegar is nice to have on hand!
This year we were offered a surplus of grapes as part of the community homestead. What did I do? Made grape vinegar of course! It’s an excellent way to use up high volumes of this fruit. Using my electric champion juicer was an excellent choice (though I did have to strain the liquid after). Those seedless grapes were whizzed through in almost no time! And the best part? Those tiny stems didn’t have to be removed!
Though their juice isn’t so pretty as the concord grape (deep purple), the flavor golden and mellow. It makes a delicious additive to salad dressings!
Raw Grape Vinegar
- Roughly two gallons of grapes, stems on
- cloth for straining
- fermenting container
Directions: taking hold of the top of grape stem, run fingers down through the clusters. Smalls stems will go with grapes and that is ok. Once you have a bowl full, place a wide funnel on top of juicer’s mouth, like this:
It’ll speed up the process. Grapes can be tricky to stuff in such a tiny hole and with this method you can drop handfuls down the hatch!
Juice and empty the catch container until all the grapes are gone. Strain the liquid through a cloth, cause there will be lots of “residual” pulp coagulating in the liquid. Once strained, pour into a fermenting container, like this half gallon jar.
Cover the mouth with a cloth or paper towel, securing with a rubber band or canning ring. Gotta keep those fruit flies out! Let sit in temperatures no lower than 60F (15C) for at least 2 months.
You’ll be able to watch it move through phases! Tiny bubbles on the sides of the jar indicate it has moved into it’s first stage of fermentation. It’s grape wine at that time. If you check 4-7 days later, those bubbles will disappear and a within a couple weeks it will begin to smell a wee bit “sour” as vinegar ought. It will continually grow stronger until all the sugars have been used up.
I don’t boil vinegar to stop fermentation. If I need it to slow, I move it to cold room in corked wine bottles (see method here). Otherwise, I let it go flat and leave the good bacteria alive!