Two months ago I started an experiment to make white wine vinegar.
1. I started with an old bottle of Pinot Grigio... added more from a new bottle as needed.
2. Added raw apple cider vinegar with live mother of vinegar culture
3. Cover with a paper towel so air could reach the liquid.
4. Give time for the bacteria do it's job.
(Ref: http://eat4fun.blogspot.com/2008/11/nov-09-experiment-making-vinegar.html )
The developing vinegar was stored in my oven. Over the past weeks the aroma of vinegar has been getting stronger. With the recent check, the cellulose layer containing the mother sank to the bottom of the container where no new layer forming on the surface. I took this as an indication that all the alcohol has converted to vinegar.
What to do next?
I found this factsheet: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5346.html
According to the factsheet, vinegar can keep indefinitely when pasteurized. To pasteurize, pour the vinegar into sterilized bottles and heat in a hot water bath to a minimum of 140F but no higher than 160F.
Picture of the completed vinegar poured into a clear plastic container. The mother of vinegar looks like a flat jelly fish.
Sterilizing the bottles, funnels and ladle in boiling water.
The vinegar was filtered through a double layer of coffee filters.
The filtered vinegar.
A funnel was lined with another coffee filter before pouring into sterilized bottles.
The bottles were placed in a 150F hot water bath. A probe thermometer was inserted into the bottle. The alarm was set to 145F. Note: While the vinegar was translucent after the first filtering, for some reason the vinegar was opaque after pouring into the bottles.
The finished vinegar.
There's no pungent aroma as you would have with the commercially produced distilled white vinegar, apple cider or red wine vinegars.
You can taste the sourness of the vinegar with a slight hint of sweetness. However, I was hoping some of the characteristics of the wine would remain - sweetness and flavor.
I ended up using 1 1/2 bottles of wine. The first bottle was an older pinot gris that was sweet, but had no discernible flavor. The second bottle was a newer bottle of pinot gris that had the great taste of a crisp green Granny Smith apple.
I read online (don't remember where) that commercially vinegar makers will dilute vinegar down to 5% by adding water or a water-wine mixture. I was tempted to do that with the remaining pinot gris. A little of the wine was diluted down to 0.05% alcohol where a light green apple flavor still remained. However, I decided to leave the vinegar as is. I felt I was cheating by adding diluted wine to boost the flavor. Maybe next time. :-)