wooden barrel to make vinegar

How to Make Your Own Vinegar

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To every pound of coarse sugar add a gallon of water. Boil the mixture and take off the scum as long as any rises. Then pour it into proper vessels and when sufficiently cooled, put into it a warm toast covered with yeast. Let it work about twenty-four hours and then put it into an iron-bound cask, fixed either near a constant fire, or where the summer sun shines the greater part of the day. In this situation, it should not be closely stopped up, but a tile or something similar should be laid on the bunghole, to keep out the dust and insects. At the end of three months or less it will be clear and fit for use, and may be bottled off. The longer it is kept after it is bottled, the better it will be. If the vessel containing the liquor is to be exposed to the sun’s heat, the best time to begin making it is in the month of April.

Take six quarts of rye meal, stir and mix it well into a barrel of strong hard cider of the best kind, and then add a gallon of whiskey. Cover the cask, leaving the bung loosely in it. Set it in the part of your yard that is most exposed to the sun and air, and in the course of four weeks (if the weather is warm and dry) you will have good vinegar fit for use. When you draw off a gallon or more, replenish the cask with the same quantity of cider, and add about a pint of whiskey. You may thus have vinegar constantly at hand for common purposes.
The cask should have iron hoops.
A very strong vinegar may be made by mixing cider and strained honey, (allowing a pound of honey to a gallon of cider,) and letting it stand five or six months. This vinegar is so powerful that for common purposes it should be diluted with a little water.

Put into a cask a mixture composed of five gallons of water, two gallons of whiskey, and a quart of strong yeast, stirring in two pounds of powdered charcoal. Place it where it will ferment properly, leaving the bung loose till the fermentation is over, but covering the hole slightly to keep out the dust and insects. At the end of four months, draw it off and you will have a fine vinegar, as clear and colorless as water.

To every gallon of water allow a pound of the best brown sugar, and a gill or more of strong yeast. Mix the sugar and water together, and boil and skim it till the scum ceases to rise. Then pour it into a tub and when it cools to lukewarm heat, put into it yeast spread on pieces of toast. Let it work two days, then put it into an iron-hooped cask, and set it in a sunny place for five months, leaving the bung loose, but keeping the bung- hole covered. In five months it will be good clear vinegar, and you may bottle it for use.
A cask that has not contained vinegar before, should have a quart of boiling hot vinegar poured into it, shaken about frequently till cold, and allowed to stand some hours.

Put in an open cask four gallons of warm rain-water, one gallon of common molasses and two quarts of yeast. Cover the top with thin muslin and leave it in the sun, covering it up at night and when it rains. In three or four weeks it will be good vinegar. If cider can be used in place of rain-water the vinegar will make much sooner—will not take over a week to make a very sharp vinegar. Excellent for pickling purposes.

Take two gallons of good cider and thoroughly mix it with two pounds of new honey. Pour into your cask or bottle and let it stand from four to six months. You will have vinegar so strong that it cannot be used at table without diluting with water. It is the best ever procured for pickling purposes.

Take three ounces each of tarragon, savory, chives, and shallots, and a handful of the tops of mint and balm, all dry and pounded. Put the mixture into a wide-mouthed bottle, with a gallon of the best vinegar. Cork it down close, set it in the sun, and in a fortnight [two-week period] strain off and squeeze the herbs. Let it stand a day to settle, and strain it through a colander.

Pour a quart of good cider vinegar over a quart of ripe, mashed raspberries. Add one pound of white sugar, mix well, then let stand in the sun four hours. Strain it, squeeze out the juice and put in a pint of good brandy. Seal it up in bottles, air-tight, lay them on their sides in the cellar, and cover them with sawdust. When used, pour two tablespoonfuls to a tumblerful of ice-water.

Fill a quart jar loosely with nasturtium blossoms fully blown. Add a shallot and one-third a clove of garlic, both finely chopped, half a red pepper, and cold cider vinegar to fill the jar. Cover closely and set aside two months. Dissolve a teaspoonful of salt in the vinegar, then strain and filter.

Fill a fruit jar with fresh tarragon leaves or shoots, putting them in loosely. Add the thin yellow paring of half a lemon with two or three cloves, and fill the jar with white wine or cider vinegar. Screw down the cover tightly, and allow the jar to stand in the sun two weeks. Strain the vinegar through a cloth, pressing out the liquid from the leaves. Then pass through filter paper and bottle for future use.

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Posted in Cooking, Miscellaneous.


  1. Interesting! I make many things from scratch and would be kind of cool to make my own vinegar, too, but I probably won’t. I never thought about how it was made before and now I am in the know! Thanks!

  2. I didn’t realize there were so many different bases for vinegar.

    Whenever I see recipes like these where something must be left out to ferment, I wonder who was the first person who ate it and said “Hey, that’s pretty good! I think I’ll make some more.” Brave souls! LOL

  3. I enjoy a good vinegar on many foods so will keep this in mind for making my own in the future. Thanks for the recipes!

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