Home » Fermentation »
Vinegar is made from any fruit or vegetable that contain enough sugar. Although apple juice is most commonly used for making vinegar, other fruit juices are just as good. We are talking about grapes, peaches, citrus, persimmons, pineapples, some berries, kiwi, and grains.. The production of vinegar is the result of two distinct fermentation processes, an alcoholic fermentation followed by an acetic fermentation.
Vinegar is essentially a dilute solution of acetic acid, made by fermentation processes, containing salts and extracted matter. These additional substances, the exact nature and quantity of which depend upon the material used, give the product its distinctive quality. Sugar is the base of vinegar production. Any watery solution of a fermentable sugar may be transformed into vinegar under favorable conditions. Many fruit juices can suit well this purpose, as they contain sugar in the proper proportion and other necessary and desirable substances. All vinegar comes from two distinct biochemical processes, both of which are the result of the action of microorganisms.
The first process is brought about by the action of yeasts which change the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. This is the Alcoholic Fermentation. The second process results from the action of a widely distributed group of bacteria which have the power of combining oxygen with the alcohol, forming acetic acid. This is the Acetic Fermentation. Acetic acid bacteria are the primary bacteria that makes vinegar. They take the ethanol in wine, consume it, and as a byproduct produce acetic acid. This acetic acid is what makes vinegar sour and acidic.
Today, vinegar is a popular condiment and taste enhancer. But it’s also used as a preservative, for cleaning, and has found use once again in medicine. If this article make you wish to brew your own vinegar, you may want to check the article “How to make your own Apple Cider Vinegar“