Way back last autumn the lovely OH helped out with some apple juice pressing. The event was in aid of raising funds for our local library and all the apples were sourced from local orchards. He brought home a 5 gallon fermentation bucket of juice and stuck it in the piggery. Over time, the juice fermented, the sugars turned to alcohol and then to acetic acid. This cold pressed, unfiltered, unpasteurised vinegar also contains the ‘mother’, a collection of beneficial bacteria, enzymes and proteins – it’s meant to be very beneficial healthwise. The lovely OH tried some, hasn’t pegged it, so we’re good to go.
We use a lot of this vinegar, not just as the base liquor for pickles but also, for making flavoured fruit vinegars. At the moment I’m picking a couple of kilos of raspberries several times a week, so this decant was most timely.
I’ll leave the fruit to steep for around 5 days before straining through muslin, adding sugar and briefly boiling. Once the liquid has cooled I’ll bottle it. It’s a really simple process, much easier than making jam or chutney. We add a good heft of fruit to our vinegars so they are much better than commercial versions. The ratios I use are 600ml vinegar to 1 kilo raspberry, then 450g sugar to every 600ml of strained liquid.
Elsewhere on the holding, the berries are ripening on the elder and we’re running out of elderberry vinegar – our replacement for balsamic. So that’s next on the list.