Monita is a recipe tester for Food52 and a trusted source on General Cooking.
Was it in the fridge? Col can make it coagulate. What happens when you shake it up? If it's too thick I wouldn't use it; or cook it down to make a balsamic extract
It's probably just the "mother" forming -- totally normal (and now you can make more vinegar if you want!). Check this post out for more: http://www.food52.com/blog...
Kenzi is the Associate Editor of Food52.
What you have here, I think, is a "mother". These occur naturally in vinegars, and are just produced from the bacteria in the vinegar (which is totally harmless). You can actually make your own vinegar with the mother, too.
Ruthy is a recipe tester for Food52.
Mine does that too, from time to time- it's probably the mother for new vinegar (so good!) And you can strain the clumps out with a coffee filter, no problem. The rest of the vinegar should be fine to use if it still smells okay.
Forgive my ignorance -- reading this, I am wondering if it's good to have a "mother" for any reason other than the fact that you can make your own vinegar from it, or if that's the main reason.
It's fantastic to have a "mother". We had one for years. Had to leave it overseas. Leftover red wine went in the jar with the mother. Every once in a while I would add a spoon of sugar.
Made the best red wine vinegar.
I posted this vinegar question...
I have read all your responses and think they were all so helpful. Who knew vinegar had a "mother"?
Thank you all.
You're lucky. It's the base for making more wine vinegar. Google vinegar crocks..you put a bit of the mother in those, and feed it a bottle of wine..and keep feeding it with left over glasses of wine.
It'll start making vinegar in a few months. The crock has a spigot on the bottom.
I would never go through that much vinegar to justify a crock..but a glass jar in cool dark place, with layers of cheese cloth (secured with a rubber band)...will let it breath. Of course if you had a big crock, you start making bottles of great vinegar to give away.
Hey Sam, Thanks for such good advice. Looks like I need to open a bottle of wine and find a large jar.
Boujoulais nouveau will be here soon. That would make a great starter for your vinegar batch with the mother; boujoulais nouveau WANTS to be vinegar it's so sweet.
In fact when get it---it's just drink a glass or two and then put a cotton ball the top of the bottle and it turns into vinegar all it's own in a few months. It's rather strong vinegar that way tho--but could kick start your batch; adding less sweet red wine throughout the year to mellow it.
Some feed their batch with a bit of sugar--but the nouveau should have enough sugar.
You might be able to find glass gallon containers with a spigot "sun tea makers"..etc. And wrap a towel around it keep down the light.
But avoid plastic..not so good with vinegar.
Gee, thank you for such a detailed response. Mother is sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for her glass of wine! I guess you are in the culinary business or Re a dedicated foodie. Hats off to ya!
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