Photo courtesy: Miguel Alan Córdova Silva
Most of my blog posts have been about making vinegar or its history. I am going to start adding some special recipes as well. Today’s special is apricot vinegar and all you need are dried apricots, sugar, brewery’s yeast, and raw vinegar with mother. It produces a good vinegar, particularly sweet if you do not let the alcoholic fermentation go dry and is a good additive for salad dressings, glazes, or even dips.
This is adopted from the apricot wine recipe here.
1 lbs dried apricots
1/4 lb sugar (white or brown)
1 pack of brewer’s yeast
8 oz of raw vinegar with mother
First make sure you use a vinegar safe vessel–only glass, stainless steel, wood, or food grade HDPE plastic. It needs to be at least 1/2 gallon (2 quarts) or adjust the recipe for a larger or smaller vessel. Clean it with dish soap and water and rinse. Then sanitize it by filling it with water and adding 1/2 tablespoon of bleach or another type of brewing santizer. Allow the sanitizer to sit for an hour and then empty and thoroughly rinse clean.
Dissolve sugar in 1 quart of water (tap or distilled, it doesn’t matter). Slightly mash the apricots. There is no need to puree or blend them, you just want to break the skin to make the sugars and flavors more rapidly diffuse out. Place the apricots in the vessel with the sugar water.
Prepare the brewer’s yeast by placing it in a separate cup of about 8 ounces of lukewarm water for 20 minutes. Then pour this into the vessel. Cover the vessel with a firmly attached piece or cheesecloth or a thin cloth like a thin rag. Make sure this cloth has been just washed or taken from a package and is clean.
Within a day or so you will get bubbling of alcoholic fermentation. This should continue for 1-2 weeks. Once fermentation is complete, add the 8 oz of raw vinegar with mother and replace the top cloth. Place in a warm area, preferably 75-85 F (25-30 C). After several weeks a mother of vinegar should develop on the top surface. Allow it to grow and leave undisturbed (if it falls it will regrow) for 2-4 months. Usually the mother will stop growing when complete but you can also sample to taste and pH (at least below 3.5, below 3 is better) to see when it is ready. If you can measure acidity, the acidity needs to be at least 4%. Then place the vinegar in a sealed jar or bottle to stop fermentation and serve as you would like.