Vinegar is French for sour wine and it is one of the things in our kitchen that most of us take for granted. But vinegar is a necessity, not only for cooking, but also for other activities, such as cleaning, preserving food, and even as a home remedy. Because of its many uses, who doesn’t want to know how to make vinegar?

There are many ways to make vinegar, but the two chief methods are through the use of fermented grain and fermented fruit. Whichever of these two you choose, the process is almost similar. But first, here are the things you will need:

  • Grain (such as corn or rice) or fruit (like apples) to be fermented
  • Non-metal utensils
  • Container
  • Strainer with fine mesh
  • Filter, such as cheesecloth
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing bowls
  • Sugar
  • Water
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If you plan to use grains, you will need a double boiler, but if you don’t have one, you can use a pot within a pot. Once all the listed equipment above are available, you can start with the process of making vinegar. Fruit-based vinegar is the easier and more common out of the two.

So if you’re a beginner, you may want to choose this as your first homemade vinegar. Here are the steps:

  1. Mix one tablespoon of sugar and a cup of water in a jar or bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, put the apples or the fruit that you will use.
  3. Pour the sugar mixture into the bowl of fruit and make sure it covers the fruits entirely.
  4. Cover the bowl using cheesecloth or any filter you have. Don’t make it too tight though.
  5. Place the covered bowl in a place that is dark and warm. Leave it there for two weeks.
  6. Stir the mixture every other day if you prefer to do so. You will see a layer on top, which is normal. Simply remove it by skimming the liquid.
  7. After two weeks, strain the liquid, completely removing the fruit or fruit scraps.
  8. Cover the liquid loosely once again and let it sit in the same place for at least two more weeks.

Once you smell the way you want your vinegar to be, you can stop the fermentation process. Meanwhile, if you choose grain-based vinegar, you will need to distill the vinegar, which can be a bit complicated, especially for beginners. The most important thing to remember when making your vinegar – regardless if it’s fruit or grain-based – is that you work in a VERY clean environment. This is because fermentation, particularly the second time you ferment, requires specific bacteria and nothing else.