As promised I am continuing my experimentation with making vinegar and open/wild fermentation. I started my second batch of malt vinegar on January 21, this time using home brewed stout. I used a 22 ounce bottle of stout and included the yeasty sediment at the bottom of the bottle and one tablespoon of cider vinegar mother that we made at the end of last year by fermenting unpasturized cider into vinegar. I will keep you all updated as this progresses.
Here is the promised update on the first batch, made with Guinness. You can read more about this here.
The beer has not really done much at this time. You can see a scum on the surface that looks different from the mother of the cider vinegar, but still has that similar pearly look that I think it should between the scum. Also, my thought is that the scum is coming from one of two things, left over carbonation from the beer creating foam or that it is simply supposed to look that way.
One last note, I am purposefully not being scientific when I talk about my vinegar. I prefer to know less so as to be more in tune with the wild side of the fermemntation. I know this can sound stupid or crazy to some, but back before there were books, this all happened by chance, and that is what intrigues me about wild fermentation.
There is one book I use, though, Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. I love this book. It is insightful, educational and it possesses a similar passion for the wild that I have myself. A favorite excerpt from the introduction states, “Fermentation is everywhere, always. It is an everyday miracle, the path of least resistance. Microscopic bacteria and fungi (encompassing yeasts and molds) are in every breath we take and every bite we eat. Try-as many do-to eradicate them with antibacterial soaps, antifungal creams, and antibiotic drugs, there is no escaping them. They are ubiquitous agents of transformation, feasting upon decaying matter, constantly shifting dynamic life forces from one miraculous and horrible creation to the next.”