Got vinegar? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Don'tcha just love those middle of the night waking Y2K moments? One came to me last night. I've been planning to make a variety of foods,...canning veggies,...and it flashed into my head: How do you make vinegar? I realize it is cheap in gallon bottles, but if a person ran out is there a recipe? What are the raw ingredients? It's distilled, right?

Anybody out there got a recipe or can point me in the right direction?

Got Ketchup? Dill Pickles? Salad Dressing?

-- Donna Barthuley (, March 10, 1999


From my timeworn (handed down from my great-grandmother) 1902 edition of "Dr. Chase's Recipes: Information for everyone.":

To make in three weeks: Molasses, 1qt.; yeast, 1 pt; warm rain water, 3 gals. Put all into a jug or keg and tie a piece of gauze over the bung (bung?) to keep out flies and let in air. In hot weather set it in the sun; in cold weather, set it by the stove or in the chimney corner and in three weeks you will have good vinegar. Remember this: in all vinegars, they will never die if they have air. And if at any time it seems to be "dying" as is usually called, add molasses."

Now--someone can probably come up with a more modern recipe than that, but if anyone ever needs advice on how to construct a cheap chicken coop, or a trap for locusts and grasshoppers, how to make baking powder, etc.,. . .geez..I'm it! :)

-- FM (, March 10, 1999.

Rainwater ain't what it used to be.... filter it first. Or save some distilled water for this use.

-- Tom Carey (, March 10, 1999.

While I was lazily waiting for Yourdon wizards to whip a little info on me I did a couple internet searching,...found this resource among many:

Vinegarland, (or everything you ever wanted to know about vinegar, but were afraid to ask)

And thanks for responding so quickly with recipes and pointers.

-- Donna Barthuley (, March 10, 1999.

"If beer grows sour..if very sour indeed, put a pint of molasses and water to it, and, two or three days after, put a half pint of vinegar; and in ten days it will be first rate vinegar." The American Frugal Housewife, By Mrs. Child 12th edition, 1833.

Looks like yeast, water, molasses, and some premade vinegar to kick it off.


-- Kim (, March 10, 1999.

From my friend Faith-Weaver, who is sans Internet but my true and loving Y2K friend:

"Bung: The round opening in a keg/tank into which one pours liquids to be stored/contained. Sometimes "bung hole" these days (although that's really redundant) and sometimes used as an insult, a variation of asshole, as in "shove it up your...". Actually, "bung" is proper technical terminology. My husband once spent three days calling around to industrial manufacturers looking for a bung hole plug for an oil tank at the prison. Said it was a very entertaining exercise, yielding many unrepeatable responses and not a small number of disconnects. "Hello, I'm calling from Western Peniteniary to see if you have any bung hole plugs." Right.

Anyway, thanks for the vinegar! Now, about that making baking powder stuff..."

-- Donna Barthuley (, March 10, 1999.

You all are so quick! By the time I looked through my books, you all had the info... So I will just add a couple of notes.. One book stated.. "To make vinagar deliberately in stillroom days was like deliberately breeding the cat: kittens and vinagar came naturally." I found a recipe in the 1981 edition of the big Rodale book, Home Food Systems (excellent book) Another older book, Stillroom Cookery bybgrace Firth has tons of info on all kinds of preserving. (FM, I have Dr Chase's book, 1907! Isn't it incredible?

-- Suzanne L (SuzanneL@yearlong.lurker), March 10, 1999.

Duh.. that's vinegar...

-- Suzanne L (SuzanneL@yearlong.lurker), March 10, 1999.

Alternatively, you could take a shot at making apple wine and screw the process up. Makes the highest acid vinegar i've ever had teh displeasure to try to drink OOOOPS! YUCH!

unregenerated hippy

-- nopenodope (z@z.z), March 10, 1999.

Donna, LOL! That's one of the funniest stories I've ever heard! Big belly laugh, and believe me--I needed one this afternoon!

Suzanne--It IS an amazing book. Just to think that my great-grandmother brought it with her on the train from Iowa to Colorado, so she could set up housekeeping as a young bride!

I guess it was a bestseller in its time. I wonder when the first edition was published.

(F.Y.I. despite the fact I think the book is neat, I think modern health departments would throw cat-fits if we followed some of his suggestions! A great book for learning how to tie knots, though!)

-- FM (, March 10, 1999.

***(F.Y.I. despite the fact I think the book is neat, I think modern health departments would throw cat-fits if we followed some of his suggestions! A great book for learning how to tie knots, though!) ****

My soulmate was raised by a germ-phobic mother, and as a 46 year old man still carries the scars. I was raised by children of farmers who gardened and canned, and who managed to transmit wordlessly the adages "god made dirt, dirt don't hurt", AND "You've got to eat a bushel of dirt before you die." I'm a lot less anxious about living than my sweetie is, and roll my eyes daily at the fear-mongering that comes out of "health agencies" about e coli in ice tea, and other things we're all schooled these days to fear fear fear. Someone's making an awful lot of money captilizing on all those fears...My point...FM,...that old resource book is golden, and the shuddering bureaucrats who preach fear and lives-santized should be largely ignored. Life's supposed to be an adventure. There are those that want us to live in individual plastic bubbles (over-priced ones at that). We can choose.

Got adventure? Got life? Be at ease.

-- Donna Barthuley (, March 10, 1999.

Donna, while this old treasure contains some fascinating info... such as how to deliver a calf or a baby, prepare the deceased for burial, make all kinds of cleaning supplies, bake cakes, and fire-proof your shingles, some of those old remedies sound WORSE than the ailment! Look at this one for some kind of salv: "FEVER-SORES._One lb.fresh lard, 1/2 lb red lead, 1 table-spoonful soft water; put in an iron dish and cook until it turns to quite a dark brown;" ect., etc. Yikes! Lots of "bleeding" and creating blisters... and you don't want to know the methods for dentistry!

FM, my edition is a memorial edition.. Dr Chase was born in 1817 From information in the biography: the second edition was made in 1873, it seems this third edition was completed shortly before he passed away in 1887. by doing a little math from the bio, I think the first edition was made in 1866. Suzanne

-- Suzanne (SuzanneL@yearlong.lurker), March 10, 1999.

Vinegar is fermented acetic acid. It happens, sometimes, even often, if you try to make wine. If you try to make wine, and get vinegar, you will probably always get vinegar in that same container, because the yeasties that make the vinegar hide in the pours of the container.

If you do get vinegar, look for "mother." "Mother" will be a gelatineous mass floating in the midst of the vinegar. Pour off the vinegar into another container, add more sugar and a carbohydrate...fruit, rice, something, and you will get more vinegar!

Vinegar is a very good antiseptic.

Mary P.

-- Mary P (, March 10, 1999.

I am still having y2k moments and it's 2001...holey cow

-- pkchicken (, July 11, 2001.

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