So I just finished making two batches of vinegar- apple cider and red wine. What do I do with the mother at this point? Do I have to buy new cider and/or wine to keep them going? Will my home forever smell like this?
You could use the mother to mix up a batch slow ferment (or even just store for the next time) vinegar from scratch using apple cores and peels or add the mother to fresh wine and store covered with cheesecloth in an out-of-the-way place (basement is good!). Luckily, the vinegar smell usually dissipates very quickly. It seems a shame to discard the mother, perhaps you could offer it up to friends who want to make their own vinegars too?
Thanks! But after I pour out the fresh vinegar I made, how do I keep it alive?
Ha. Basements! I'm in New York City...Vinegar shares a closet with my coats, beer shares one with my boyfriend's tools and pickling equipment lives in a desk drawer.
Your apartment sounds like a delicious place to be!
The mother will stay alive and happy if covered in vinegar or wine. Keep it in a small tightly covered jar in a cool, dark place. As SCP noted, it can be used again! ;o)
Thank you AntoniaJames! I'm happy to hear I can cover it at this point.