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How to Make Vinegar: A Simple Recipe

February 11th, 2008

vinegar-chemical-formula.gifAlthough wine making can be a tricky process, using grapes or other fruits to make vinegar is actually pretty easy, as this article by Kristie Leong points out. As long as you can obtain some kind of unpasteurized vinegar solution to use as a starter culture, a suitable container, some fruit juice, and any other ingredients you might want to add for flavoring, you’re good to go.

The only difficult part might be the waiting time required to allow the vinegar to oxidize to the desired strength, but you can compensate for this by making larger quantities to store for later use. Meanwhile, the chemical formula and molecular bonding structure for acetic acid, the active ingredient in vinegar, can be found in the upper left corner of the post.

Why settle for store bought vinegar when you can make it fresh in your own home? The chemical reaction needed to make vinegar is the oxidation of an alcohol (oxidation is simply the addition of oxygen to a chemical group). The simplest way to do this is to convert a sugar into alcohol and then oxidize the alcohol to create vinegar. One of the easiest sources of sugar to use for the fermentation process is fruit juice. Here are easy instructions on how to make vinegar in your own kitchen at home:

Things You’ll Need:

  1. A large glass container with a wide mouth. Don’t use metal or plastic as the acid can interact with these materials and ruin your vinegar.
  2. Fresh fruit juice. The fruit juice you select should be free of additives or preservatives. Fresh apple or grape juice are good choices.
  3. A bottle of unfiltered vinegar. (You can purchase this at a health food store.) This is a source of bacteria for the fermentation process.

How to Make:

  • Lay your clean, glass container on the table.
  • Pour about a quart of the unpasteurized, unfiltered vinegar into the glass jar.
  • Add an equal amount of your chosen fresh fruit juice.
  • Mix the two ingredients thoroughly and place the container into a warm, dark place. The temperature should be between 75 and 85 degrees in the storage area.
  • Taste your vinegar periodically until it’s the appropriate strength for your particular taste. This process may take up to 4-6 months to be complete, but remember to check it periodically to assess its taste.
  • Once the appropriate vinegar strength is achieved, you can package it into bottles.

What could be easier than this? Plus, you’ll have the thrill of knowing you made it yourself.

What kind of fruit juice works best for making vinegar? This depends on the type of flavor you want your vinegar to have. By using grapes or grape juice, you create wine vinegar. If you use apple juice, you’ll end up with cider vinegar.

Once you know how to make basic vinegar, you can take it a step further and create delicious gourmet vinegars using a variety of herbs, spices, and fruits. These gourmet vinegars add delicious flavors to foods without adding a significant quantity of calories or fat. Plus, they make wonderful hostess gifts or Christmas gifts.

Once you get started making gourmet vinegars, you won’t be able to stop! Plus, these vinegars really transform the taste of your salads and fresh vegetable dishes. It’s a great way to motivate yourself to eat more salad!

Now that you know how to make vinegar, why not try your hand at it in your own home? It’ll taste delicious on your next salad!

14 Responses to “How to Make Vinegar: A Simple Recipe”

  1. comment number 1 by: Rina

    Great recipe! I might just give it a try. But 4-6 months is rather long time to see the outcome. Still, worth a try;) Thanks for sharing!

  2. comment number 2 by: Karlonia


    Depending on the strength of vinegar you’re looking for, you may not need to wait that long. After posting this article I did some more research on this and found out that it is possible to speed up the oxidation process by methods such as bubbling air through the liquid or using chemical catalysts. Using more unpasteurized vinegar as a starter or obtaining a more potent sample of the bacteria could work also.

  3. comment number 3 by: vic

    Well, looks Good , I need to know if i can use orange juce , mandrin,or grapfrute juce to make vinegar?

  4. comment number 4 by: English Vintner

    I am wondering if I can make it totally from juice, no alcohol involved.

    I am trying to make cider that is yeast and alcohol free, and wondering if I can do that. Thanks, English Vintner

  5. comment number 5 by: English Vintner

    Sorry, I ment to say vinegar when I said cider, sorry for any confusion I may have caused.


  6. comment number 6 by: Randal Byrd

    Does higher temp or/and more unpasturized vinagar make high acid and cut down on time making vinegar? Help! Need to make alot at 15-20 % acid Thanks Randal

  7. comment number 7 by: t scott

    the last articall said use glass distilled water and.onion,dill,hot peppers,strawberries,bluberries,a big list stir every other day cheese cloth to cover,add organic vinagar to first batch and save sum of new to add to next to kick prosess off,easier on other site but same outcome

  8. comment number 8 by: erick

    just wondering if you already choice the desire taste of your vinegar then put it to the bottle,maybe the process will continue…

    i need some tips,if i already choice the desire taste what are the proper procedure to do it and maintain my desire taste?

    please help me,email me at erickmarinas@yahoo.com

  9. comment number 9 by: Hi

    I’m Gay!

  10. comment number 10 by: anoo

    wonderful. kashmir being too cold i may try making it at jammu when my husband moves down. i think it is the easiest recipe worth a try. only the time factor is a bit annoying, but then we women have all the patience. we have some of the finest varieties of aaples and if my vinegar is as good as it sounds, i promise you a bottle- every season

  11. comment number 11 by: Lutfor Rahman

    How come I prepare vinegar from Black Berry ? What is the receipe ?


  12. comment number 12 by: Grace

    hi im a high school student trying to make vinegar from wine is there a way i can speed up the time it takes for the vinegar to be produced by using a catalyst or something. please help me!!!!!

  13. comment number 13 by: Subrahmanyam

    Hi iam a pharmaprofessional trying to make vinegar from banana is there a way i can speed up the time it takes for the vinegar to be produced by using a catalyst or something. please help me!!!!!

    with warm regards

  14. comment number 14 by: Ram Muzumdar

    Can I get the bacteria from a different source or make it at home ?

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