Here is a recipe I found online using cider: At the top is a thick, white-ish pad that resembles and feels like a SCOBY. How do we know when the vinegar is ready. This is the visible form of the vinegar mother. It will probably get less useful over time. The pellicle can be reused to ferment other batches of vinegar quicker, though it is not necessary to make vinegar. I outline the instructions for making vinegar from apples, etc. Will the mother dry out without much vinegar left in the barrel? One jar had a mother but the other 2 did not. In craft vinegar, the usual process is fermentation in a steel or HDPE tank and then transferring (minus the mother) the vinegar to wooden casks for aging only. I have emptied most of the vinegar out of the barrel so that I can remove then repair or install a new spigot. If hydrogen peroxide is not available, stir it for about 15 minutes and that should help. And what do I do with this low acidity of the wine? At the end of fermentation remove all the mothers before aging and store them separately. And in the same reasoning, I’ve been thinking about making vinegar inside the barrel, like some people do in Orleans method (I guess). I would say try them out, they should be fine. The white cap should be a new mother. The one floating on top is actively fermented but if you take the one on the bottom along with some of the raw vinegar from your batch it can restart a fermentation just fine. As far as the wine lees, you don’t need to add any and it really won’t help. You could monitor the pH and bottle it once the pH stops decreasing but that would disturb the mother too often. The mother is usually found in unrefined and unfiltered versions of apple cider vinegar, which can carry more benefits than the filtered varieties. And can the strained out fruits be fermented to make a completely new vinegar, or should I just eat the fruits and get fresh fruit to start a new vinegar? I adore my “mother” but do not wish to lose her. You can definitely use pieces to start new batches of vinegar or throw out depending on how you feel. However, not all cider vinegar is cultured. Hi there – this is such a useful post, thank you! I dropped the temperature of the mash to 20c, made up a culture of Champagne yeast and started the fermentation, the bin was fitted with an airlock. Thank you. both the mother and the vinegar? I inherited my grandfather’s red wine vinegar barrel a few years back. My mother sank! To address the questions one by one: 1) Vinegars made from fruit scraps should ferment as long or longer than alcoholic base vinegars since some alcoholic and acetic acid fermentation occurs simultaneously. If it is above 4, unfortunately bacteria have probably taken hold and you have to dump that and start over with raw vinegar. Hello, I have a bottle of braggs acv purchased a few years ago that grew a large disc shaped mother. I had to transfer it to another jug because I had gotten a crack in the first one. Honestly I would buy a pack of hard cider from the liquor store, pour it into a jug and add the mother to make your own apple cider vinegar. As one with experience in making her own vinegars from home, she is eager to explain the scientific side of the process. Add the mother, cover with … I have just continued to buy ACV to refill the gallon jug. I checked it today and the film that originally formed is still at the bottom, sitting on top of the fruit. (It doesn’t smell bad, doesn’t smell delicious.). I have made hundreds of mothers and stored some so I have had enough successes and failures to teach you what works for real. It has been fermenting for about 4 weeks and I strained the fruit back into the jar along with the mother and mother seems alive (floating on top) . It can be difficult to tell since smell can be very deceiving in my experience. 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