This artisan vinegar culture is a family heirloom never before offered here in our shop, but as long as Joan has enough to spare, she will draw up a fresh jar for you, right when you order. We anticipate only having a couple of jars a month available, so grab one while you can!
You will receive an 8 ounce glass jar, filled with approximately 2 ounces of mother, and 6 ounces of raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized vinegar. As you can see in the second photo for this listing – we do not water down our vinegar or skimp on the size of the culture. Your jar will be almost opaque with rich, tart vinegar and the culture which produced it. You will want to sample the delicious vinegar right away to taste for yourself the complexity of the balance of sweetness and acidity and richness of flavor – so different from commercially available wine vinegars. You will have plenty of vinegar to try out one of the included recipes, and still have enough to get your culture started. You will love the simple Chardonnay Vinaigrette, but we’ve also included a recipe for Farmer’s Market Melon Chardonnay Sorbet – it’s a family specialty!
Please note, this is a living culture, and you will need to be prepared to care properly for your mother when she arrives. We include all of the information you need to brew your own vinegar at home, but to be fully ready to follow them. You will need cheesecloth, organic wine (we use Bonterra Chardonnay), and a brewing vessel with approximately 32 to 64 ounce capacity. The best kind of vessel is glass, ceramic, or stainless steel, and has a spigot at the bottom. We buy handmade ceramic crocks from claycoyote.com, but you can also use a small iced tea canister or large mason jar. You will also need to clear out a warm dark space for brewing your vinegar – such as the cabinet over the refrigerator. After a few days, your mother will arrive at your door! Joan ships lightning fast, with priority tracking, so you will know when to expect your package. Don’t let it sit out on a hot porch for too long; you’ll want to bring it in as soon as you can.
It takes approximately 6 weeks to brew your own batch of vinegar, but you will want to taste it periodically to see how it is coming along. The longer it brews, the more acidic it will become. As you remove vinegar from the vessel, you will need to replace the vinegar with fresh wine (or old, really the mother isn’t picky – whenever you have a few ounces left over from dinner, add it to the crock). There is no specific point in time when your vinegar is “finished”. Each time you taste your vinegar, you will detect a change in the balance of sweetness and acidity, and the robustness of flavors. This is one of the joys of brewing your own living vinegar, but it can be an adjustment to working with in the kitchen. We suggest tasting your recipes as you add vinegar a little at a time. You will find that you need much less than you are used to. That’s because commercial producers water down their vinegar to a standardized acidity (and to maximize profits…). If you want to match that more familiar acidity, you will want to add water in equal parts (half water, half vinegar).