Make Your Own Vinegar

Wine makers go to great lengths to prevent their precious liquid from turning to vinegar.  That would tell you that it isn't all that hard to make vinegar at home from scratch.  Being easy as it is, making good vinegar is what separates the men and the boys.

One word of warning here, though.  If you do, occasionally, make wine at home, you may not want to dabble in vinegar making lest you end up contaminating your wine area and making life miserable for yourself.

That said, almost anything containing sugar can be converted into vinegar.  Fruit juices will be the easiest.  If you have wine at home often and can save a glass from each bottle, you may enough in no time to make a vary tasty batch.

So what is needed?

Well, first, a nice container with a wide mouth.  Air is vital to vinegar production, so we want to expose the surface of the liquid to as much air as possible, but at the same time we want to keep out unwanted insects.  A glass crock would be best, followed by stainless steel.  Don't use plastics if you can help it and definitely not anything made form any metal except stainless s steel.

Now we need some fresh juices. Frozen juices will work for the most part, but my experience with bottled ones is usually dismal.  The bottled and some canned juices usually have a preservative to keep them from fermenting.

Next we need some culture to start all the mess going.  "Mothers" are available from wine supply stores and various online locations.  They will tend to do a good job.  If you don't live near a store, try a good quality bottle of unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar at a health food store.  Sometimes the acidic vinegar environment helps to keep down competition from other bacteria until the vinegar ones can flourish.

Now you need darkness.  Put the whole thing in the dark or at leat paint the jar if it is glass.  Light can tend to slow or kill the bacteria.

Also be mindful of the room's temperature. If it seems comfortable to you, the bacterial will probably like it as well.

Ok recap:

  1. Put the starter liquid into the crock
  2. Pour in about the same amount fo fruit juice
  3. Put the whole batch in a dark, cool place.
  4. Periodically check the mix until it is as strong as you like
  5. Decant it into smaller bottles
  6. Let the bottles sit about 6 months before using.

It won't seem hard when you've gotten the hang of it.  You will be really proud of what you've created.

Here are some good starters:

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Vinegar and Diabetes

Dr.Carol Johnston

Dr.Carol Johnston

Way back in 2004 Dr. Carol Johnston of the Department of Nutrition at Arizona State University, did a study that measured the effects of vinegar on 'postprandial' blood sugar levels.  Postprandial is a very technical term meaning 'after a meal'.  People monitoring blood sugar levels would do so 1-2 hours after eating a meal.

The test subjects were all people who were not taking diabetes medication, but who were either:

  • Insulin sensitive (considered normal)
  • Insulin Resistant (considered prediabetic)
  • Type 2 Diabetics

The test subjects were required to drink a vinegar 'drink' consisting of vinegar, water, and saccharine, 2 minutes before a test meal.  The test consisted of a bagel, butter, and orange juice which was a total of about 87 g of carbohydrates.

Those with some insulin resistance had an increase in insulin sensitivity after drinking the vinegar before the meal.  People with type 2 diabetes saw slight improvement. The greatest effect of the vinegar was on those test persons who were either considered normal or insulin resistant.

To quote Dr. Johnston's report:

Compared with placebo, vinegar ingestion raised whole-body insulin sensitivity during the 60-min postmeal interval in insulin-resistant subjects (34%, P = 0.01, paired t test) and slightly improved this parameter in subjects with type 2 diabetes (19%, P = 0.07). Postprandial fluxes in insulin were significantly reduced by vinegar in control subjects, and postprandial fluxes in both glucose and insulin were significantly reduced in insulin-resistant subjects.

Further tests are being done to find the direct link.

Does this mean that vinegar is the new miracle weightloss diet aid?  I doubt it.  No single element in any weightloss regime is going to be the secret ingredient.  Good weight loss strategy is a combination of elements all approached with common sense.  However, good, natural, apple cider vinegar, can be a part of it all.

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Vinegar and Late Night Heartburn

Have you ever gone to bed and been sleeping really well only to be jolted awake with this, stabbing burning-sensation-from-hell in your abdomen?

Occasionally, really only about maybe 10 times a year, this happens to me.  I would suspect I was having a heart attack except for the little fact that a glass of water made even the most ardent pain simply go away.  I have never heard of a glass of water killing a heart attack, so I have to conclude that it was just a bit of heartburn.


Keeps The Heartburn Away

When I first heard someone mention that apple cider vinegar could relieve and prevent heartburn, I was as skeptical as anyone could possibly be.  A nasty, strong tasting acid is going to help with a stomach acid problem?  Right.  Another Morther-In-Law scam in the making.

Well, this one little surprise is what got me to rethinking all my earlier prejudice about home remedies.  I did down a shot of vinegar before bed, and to my surprise I haven't had any more of the later night frights with heartburn.

I have to admit, though, that I still can't do the hard core, straight from the bottle swig, yet and probably never want to.  I just mix about half and half natural apple cider vinegar and water.  I then add a bit of honey or other sweetener and I have a really enjoyable drink.  Not too bad.

Best of all, I get to sleep all night.  Your mileage may vary.

Vinegar vs Real Medicine

Rich Maloof writing for MSN Health and Fitness made this observation which is very typical of most people's lemming attitude toward the healthcare profession.

He writes:

If apple cider vinegar were the wonder drug some people claim, it would be made by Pfizer instead of Red Cheek.

Some far-reaching claims have been made about apple cider vinegar, which is available in liquid form and as a pill supplement. The catalog of conditions it may help cure—heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity—reads like the Centers for Disease Control’s Most Wanted list. The claims are largely based on nutrients in the vinegar which are understood to help fight these diseases, such as potassium for heart disease, beta-carotene for cancer, and fiber for weight loss.

Apple vinegar does contain beneficial vitamins and minerals, and may help with the absorption of minerals such as calcium. Of course, these nutrients can also be found in other healthy foods, and often in greater quantity. Consider eating more leafy green vegetables (for potassium), spinach (beta-carotene), or even a nice bran muffin (fiber).

Rich Maloof has fallen prey to the prevalent notion in our modern culture that the health care industry does exactly that -- care for out health.  While they do engage in those activities they could be more accurately labeled the symptom relieving industry.

Modern health care revolves around relieving symptoms instead of ridding it's customers of the ill health problems that cause those symptoms.  If they did, in fact, make us healthy, would they not put themselves out of business?  Instead do we find ourselves with a trillion dollar industry designed to keep us eating pills and undergoing surgeries to bypass various ailing body parts?

DMSO in the early eighties ran into the same criticisms by the pharmaceutical industry.  DMSO, like apple cider vinegar, has amazing health benefits but it also has a very disturbing quality that makes it unfit for use in our health care industry -- it is way too cheap to manufacture and sell.  The profit margins are not nearly high enough, so the best avenue is to discredit the benefits enjoyed by thousands of people and keep touting the pills.

Mr Maloof, possibly did not give his statement much thought.  But then maybe he did.  Perhaps he, like other sheep, just takes everything the wolf says as fact.  It is, after all, a lot easier that way.

Good Health To You.

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Mother In Laws

This story begins, as many other classics, by eating crow.  For years every time any ailment, malady, affliction, rot, discomfort, discontent was brought up to my mother-in-law, Nancy, the every eternal remedy was either, "maybe you could put some vinegar on it" or "did you soak it in Epsom salt?".  Vinegar, at least was always amongst the top cures for 'what ails you'.

Now after dealing myself with many of life's aging maladies like foot fungus, acid reflux, and such, I myself, have seen the wisdom in 'maybe we should put some vinegar on it'.

We have, now, truly come to see this ancient wonder, especially the apple cider kind, as a almost a superfood.  Something magical happens as the apple passes from wine to vinegar and becomes so much more than apples alone could ever be.

Hopefully, we can assist you in discovering the healthy benefits of apple cider and other vinegars in your own life and home.