The ambivalent status of French Vinegar

Reginald SmithAll About Vinegar, Regional Vinegars, Vinegar Industry0 Comments

French vinegar is good, but can it stand out? If there would be a country responsible for the development and refinement of vinegar in modern Europe, it would be France. Through the pre-Revolution corporations in many cities, especially the vinegar “capital” of Orléans, the Western traditional method of vinegar making matured from the 14th to 18th centuries. Though France was … Read More

Vinegar enters the trade wars

Reginald SmithAll About Vinegar, Vinegar Industry0 Comments

Vinegar, that titan of international commerce…. (only $500 million traded per year globally) True or not, vinegar has found its way into the crosshairs of the growing trade war between the US and China. In the most recent round of tariff proposals, which were originally set at 10% but are now 25%, the US added HTS code 2209 – which … Read More

My vinegar smells like acetone (nail polish remover)!

Reginald SmithAll About Vinegar, Making Vinegar0 Comments

If you make vinegar long enough you have to tackle almost every problem. I sometimes get emails and questions about an “acetone” smell from vinegar, very similar to nail polish remover. What does this mean? First, you must understand the process by which acetic acid bacteria turn alcohol into vinegar. The short chemical pathway is: Alcohol (Ethanol) + Oxygen -> … Read More

4th of July: The Quartering Act and vinegar

Reginald SmithUncategorized0 Comments

The Quartering Act of 1765 was made to make the American colonists pay for local British garrisons after the debt incurred by Great Britain from the French and Indian (Seven Years’) War. As one of the intolerable acts that led to the Revolution, it imposed direct costs on colonists without their consent. In Clause VI (and some others) vinegar is … Read More

The deal on light and vinegar (and kombucha) fermentation

Reginald SmithMaking Vinegar, Microbiology, Mother of Vinegar0 Comments

Many vinegar makers have asked me about the question of the effect of light on vinegar production. The temperature effects on vinegar production are well known but the effects of light are more subtle. First things first: the typical ambient light in your house does not seriously impair vinegar production. Therefore, there is no need to religiously keep vinegar production … Read More

Will 2018 or 2019 see a sherry vinegar shortage?

Reginald SmithAll About Vinegar, Sherry Vinegar0 Comments

Sherry vinegar (Vinagre de Jerez) has increasingly become well-known and a hot commodity. The trade industry association of sherry vinegar vinagreros (vinegar makers) in Andalusia, Asevijerez, has indicated a widespread concern in the industry due to a shortage of sherry wine used as raw material to make sherry vinegar. As is well-known, the traditional sherry vinegar process can take time … Read More

Making apricot vinegar

Reginald SmithMaking Vinegar0 Comments

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 … Read More

More information on making malt vinegar

Reginald SmithMaking Vinegar, Malt Vinegar, Uncategorized0 Comments

Many people read and commented on our post regarding beer and malt vinegar. In order to help aspiring malt vinegar makers, we are linking this article about malt vinegar manufacturing from Roderick N. Greenshields from the University of Aston in Birmingham. No one does malt vinegar better than the British and Greenshields was one of the best experts. Birmingham was … Read More

Make your own vinegar poster!

Reginald SmithAll About Vinegar, Making Vinegar0 Comments

In order to help the legions of those trying to make their own vinegar, we have developed a poster for making your own vinegar! Please see the JPEG image below. Let us know what you think! Click the image for full size. A professional poster version can be ordered for a homebrew shop from LD Carlson. Please do not print … Read More

Quickly Make Vinegar: The Semi-Quick Process for Making Vinegar (The Boerhaave Process)

Reginald SmithMaking Vinegar, Vinegar History2 Comments

Vinegar making is many things: fun, educational, delicious, healthy, and an ancient tradition. I have made many posts about making vinegar at home and the traditional process, often called the “slow process” makes the most flavorful and well-rounded vinegar. The downside is the time: minimum is usually three months starting from a minimal mother and starter. Six months total for … Read More