Look for Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, or any vinegar that is labeled (something like) 'with the mother.' The mother is the starter for making more vinegar. You are most likely to find this at natural food stores. When I've seen it, the vinegar is cloudy and if it's really good has scary looking blobs in it -- that's the good stuff.
To Susan...that would be unfiltered vinegar.
Sam is a trusted home cook.
A touch of that as a 'starter' is good as a starter for wine vinegar. Just dump in leftover wine.
Although my favorite application is when Beaujolais nouveau is on the market in November. .
It doesn't need a starter---it WANTS to be vinegar, even in a stoppered bottle after a few months.
A bottle of that have a glass or two. Then put in some cotton balls or paper towels in the neck of the bottle, forget about it---4 months later, you'll have a very nice (and sometimes strong) vinegar.
Sam, what's the purpose of the cotton balls? Does it pick up any ambient yeasts?
I'm trying to make maple vinegar and my recipe calls for live vinegar to mix with the maple syrup. I was thinking cider vinegar would taste nice - is there a difference between live and unfiltered vinegar?
Live, or raw, has not been pasturized (by heat). Unfiltered only has the large bits screened out, like stems or seeds, but still has a lot of body from the pulp -- might have been heated, might not. Be sure the label tells you what you need to know -- does it have the 'mother'? From an ad for Bragg's: with the "Mother" enzyme, raw & unfiltered, no preservative or additives. It's worth looking for.
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