Vinegar Files

So, Ya Wanna Make Vinegar From Leftover Wine, Eh?

Overheard:
“Kim, what the heck is that gob of goo?” Or, “You’re Stinkin’ Up The Kitchen Again!” (geo t.)

Every now and then the topic of how to make vinegar from leftover wine pops up in casual conversation amongst us winos and foodies. Having been involved in vinegar-making for over 20 years I have amassed a nice little collection of articles and, of course, that wondrous gob of goo called Mother of Vinegar you seen on your left. (Click images to enlarge)

In a circa 1990 Detroit Free Press article, “Leftover Wine Can Make a Fine Vinegar,” then wine critic, Christopher Cook wrote, “It’s enough to make a wine lover cringe. All those bottoms of wine bottles that end up being dumped down Detroit sinks because they sat around uncorked a few days.” Well, that doesn’t happen too often around here at Gang Central, thank you very much!

Over the years, my crock of vinegar has been blessed with the dregs of incredible wines left over from large tastings. Every time I empty the bottom of a bottle of wine into the crocks I smile, knowing that the crock has thanked me.

Any Zinfandel, Cabernet, Merlot, etc. will do although there are vinegar sites out there that warn you not to use wines with added sulfites but I’ve never had a problem with that.  Once the wine is transformed (sometimes taking 6 months or more) the resulting vinegar is intense and with a smell so overpowering it indeed stinks up the kitchen – but it’s a good stink! Here’s how I started all those years ago…

Since I didn’t know of anyone who had a crock or a barrel of vinegar which contains the slimy Mother of Vinegar I let my fingers do the walking and found a hardware store on the east side of Detroit which specialized in wine-making supplies. (It has since closed.) They also stocked the  mycoderma aceti, the bacteria culture, used to make vinegar. It came in a jar and was clear, like water. I purchased it and a crock and was on my way.

When I arrived home, I dumped the bacteria culture into the crock along with two bottles of wine.  Over a period of three months I watched the wine transform into vinegar.  The transformation began when a hazy veil covered the liquid.  The veil is referred to as bacteria zoogloea. Undisturbed and relying on oxygen, the zoogloea forms on the surface of the vinegar to protect the contents underneath. As it grows it becomes leather-like but upon touching it you discover a slimy, slippery yet solid rubbery gelatinous mass  – like raw liver. If left undisturbed it will keep growing and could eventually take over the entire container. Allowing alcohol additions to wet the surface of the zoogloea cuts off oxygen. It will sink to the bottom lifeless allowing another to form to protect the contents (description partially taken from Brian J. Helsaple’s A – Z vinegar glossary which is no longer online).

Mother of Vinegar is defined as a slimy, gummy substance made up of various bacteria — specifically mycoderma aceti — that cause fermentation in wine and cider and turn them into vinegar. Known as mère de vinaigre in French and sometimes simply as “mother” in English, its growth is best fostered in a medium-warm environment (60°-85°F). The mother should be transferred to a new mixture or discarded once the liquid has turned to vinegar.

The Internet has several sites describing various ways on how to “properly” make vinegar and for all intents and purposes, they all work even if they seem to contradict each other.  One way is to set up a barrel, crock or jar with a funnel fit snugly into a plastic tube. Let the funnel sit on top of the jar or the barrel’s bung hole being careful to ensure that fruit flies cannot enter.  You may need to use cheesecloth. The idea here is let the mother grow on top, never disturbing it, while you feed fresh wine into the funnel. The resulting vinegar is removed via a spigot at the bottom of the barrel/jar/crock. This is great for testing the quality of your vinegar or drawing off finished vinegar without disturbing the mother. However, sludge may develop over time at the bottom of the container plugging the spigot.

Another way is to just keep adding fresh wine on top of the old mother which will cause the mother to sink and regrow on top.  You’ll need to clean out the old sunken mother once or twice a year.  If you don’t it will eventually fill up the jar leaving no room for liquid and it will “rot.” It shrinks and gets a sort of crinkled black edge.

I have used the second method for 20 years and currently have about 35 gallon jars and crocks squirreled away in my cupboards. I also have three oak barrels and a large Italian demijohn with a spigot and funnel/tube system which works well.

Once the vinegar is deemed ready (by taste and smell) I ladle out the resulting vinegar and strain it through several layers of coffee filters if I think it needs it.  This technique of removing any sludge or bits of floating Mother works well. The vinegar is dark and intense and better than anything you could buy in a store. If I’m careful with the ladle to not disturb the sludge at the bottom the vinegar will not be cloudy

DO’S and DON’TS

After your crock is established, try to feed your Mother every other week or so with a glass or two of wine.

Let your Mother breathe.  A linen napkin or cheesecloth works well if you are using a crock or jar.

Throw out or give away the slab of Mother once it sinks to the bottom of your crock.

Don’t add fortified wine (port, sherry, etc.) to your crock unless to add water to dilute the high alcohol content.

Other interesting tidbits:

You can use a slab of Mother from red wine to start a crock of white.  Some sites say that this won’t work but it does.

In an April 14, 1991 New York Times Magazine article “The Good Mother” by William L. Hamilton, Hamilton dumps both red and white wines into his barrel. Others say “don’t do that.” I’ve done it with no resulting problems. But I tend to keep red red and white white.

Feel free to ask questions below in the comments box.  On our old site when I originally published this article over 10 years ago I had hundreds of comments and words of wisdom but, alas, those are gone now.  So, let’s start over here.

Cheers,

Kim Adams

179 Responses to “Vinegar Files”

  • Vicki:

    Hi
    I’m relatively new to vinegar making – only made a few batches before. Got a bit distracted on the last batch and the mother is huge and it’s inhabiting a Demi john. Any tips on how to remove it without breaking the demijohn? It’s too though to break up with a spoon handle and although I can just about get.a bread knife in, I can’t manoeuvre it.

    • Kim Adams:

      Yikes, Vicki! So sorry for the late response. Your message got lost in the Internet ether but I found it. Anyway, as to your question – I’ve never had to deal with your issue but I would try to find a long fork and knife to try and get the slab cut up and pulled out. You might have luck at a BBQ supply store or the BBQ section at a place like Home Depot. I would pour out the vinegar and lay the demi john on its side rested on a blanket and start working on the slab that you’ve maneuvered to the opening. Many a small set of scissors to start cutting it and then pulling small pieces out will work. Tedious but probably effective. I hope this helps. Let us know how you solved it.

  • jeannie:

    hi kim,
    i’m new to vinegar-making, but have successfully made a dozen or so different vinegars starting with fruit juice, mash, and scraps, as well as from red wine. however, now i’ve got yeast (kahm?) growing in place of the mother on a few new batches of wine in process. i’ve strained out the yeast several times and added more braggs vinegar to increase acidity/mother but it just keeps growing. is there any hope for this situation? thank-you!

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi Jeannie. Thanks for posting this fascinating question. Quite frankly, I’ve never heard of the term, “kahm yeast.” I googled it and spent about an hour reading about it. I can find no reference to it in vinegars, except kombucha, but that really doesn’t count in my book. It’s a common occurrence in fermented vegetables. All references say it’s not toxic but it’s not something you want either. There are numerous photos of what it looks like and I’m glad to say that my vinegars have never had this. That being said, I have had some pretty weird looking floaties a few times over the years that were clearly not fuzzy mold. I just throw it out because I have so much vinegar I don’t bother with trying to save it. Jars are sterilized and I restart a new batch. Can you please send me a photo of what it looks like? My email in gangofpour at gmail. Thanks!!

      • jeannie:

        thanks for your reply, kim! i was hoping to not have any kahm yeast pics to send after last time i strained the wine/vinegar in process, but alas, that is not the case. the growth seems to have slowed, but i am not free of it and am ready to follow your lead (pitch it). but i’ll definitely continue to read research learn and improve my methods. pics sent via gmail. thanks again!

  • amirsol2003:

    Thanks for your instructions and specially photos.

    I have a question.
    We did the same approach, however when we separated the final acidic liquid, it smelled similar to its mother. Will after a while it would be changed and okay?

  • Sharol:

    I am soooooo happy to have found you! My late husband started making vinegar many years ago. Since his illness and, later his death, I have not touched it.(At least eight years). I finally decided to do something with it but now . . . I have no clue what to do. There are three glass casks – not absolutely sealed but pretty much covered. It actually smells quite good. I see a cloudy substance-maybe mother-in it. Can I strain it – will it make us I’ll, etc.? I have a friend with a 91 year old Italian mother who would probably love it but I’m lost about what to do to make it safe to use. Perhaps I should just dump it all. Can you help?
    Thanks for anything you can do to help!

    Sharol
    Ann Arbor, Mi

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi Sharol. If the casks aren’t sealed I am surprised that the contents did not evaporate after 8 years. That being said, if it smells and tastes good, shows no mold, etc. I’d take some out, filter through coffee filters or cheesecloth and pasteurize it by bringing it up to 150 and holding it at that temp for 30 minutes. Save some of the unpasteurized and add some fresh wine to start a fresh batch. I live in the Detroit area so we are almost neighbors! My condolences to you at the passing of your husband.

  • YML:

    Hi,

    I’d like to make champagne vinegar but can’t find champagne vinegar mother anywhere: our local brewing supplies shop or online. Can I use wine vinegar mother instead? My understanding it’s the same bacteria, right?

    thanks,
    YML

  • Heidi:

    Hi Kim,
    I’ve made a successful batch of red wine vinager, and a not-yet-successful batch of white. I am wondering if you or any of your followers have had any experience with fruit vinagers. I think blackberry, raspberry or cherry would be wonderful in combination with red wine, but I don’t have a clue where to begin.

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi Heidi. Some of my best vinegar has been made with fruit wines. I am fortunate to live in Michigan where there is a lot of very good fruit wines – cherry especially. I’ve made cherry, apricot and blueberry vinegar from these wines but I have never made fruit-based vinegar from straight fruit juice. I have followed some recipes in a few preserving cookbooks I own on using a vinegar base with macerated fruit but I didn’t think they were that special nor do I trust how long they keep even under refrigeration.

  • Kelly:

    Hi Kim,
    I have a small 2 1/2 or 3 gallon size oak barrel that is the stand up version similar to the last photo in your post. I believe the mother has taken over! I am unsure how to remove old mother that may be at the bottom with out disturbing the good mother on top. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
    -Kelly

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi Kelly – unfortunately, you will disturb the mother but it’s ok because it will make more. I use a long BBQ fork to fish out the sunken mother then pull it out through the hole in the top. If there’s a lot of sludge and your spigot won’t work then you’ll need to empty the barrel, rinse it with some spring water and pour the good liquid back in. Hope this helps.

      • Kelly:

        Thanks for your quick response! Another question… when I couldn’t get any vinegar out of my barrel the other night, my husband added some wine and what felt/looked like a big blob of mother now looks like it settled and thinned out… does that make sense?

        • Kim Adams:

          Yes, that makes sense. Are you sure that the barrel is not all mother with very little liquid? That can happen over time if you don’t keep it cleaned out. It just keeps growing and growing while the liquid evaporates. Get as much old mother out of there as possible. Use the top fresh piece to inoculate another jar or keep in the barrel for 3 months or so to help the fresh wine convert a little faster. You could pull it out and keep in a bowl while you excavate the old stuff then just add it back. I’ve cleaned my big barrel out once and it’s due for another cleaning. It’s not fun but needs to be done.

  • Bobby G:

    Acid by Volume in Homemade Vinegar

    Hi, I intended this to start a new post. If it is a reply, can someone tell me where to start a new post?

    I’m very scientist like in everything I do. I titrate my vinegar. The volume of acid never reaches 5%. I’m thinking:

    The temperature is lower than commercial vinegars are made are higher allowing more water to evaporate and more vigorous activity

    Good crafter commercial vinegars use wood casks laid sideways and no more than ½ full allowing significant head space for evaporation

    Many websites specifically point out that homemade vinegars need testing because they may not have the acid content needed for preserving. The reason for the vinegar laws is all about food safety due to vinegar being used for preserving.

    Therefore, I’m not going to be concerned about it. I still titrate as I want about 4% because I know that’s the level that it reaches when it is ready. Quite frankly, keeping the log of batch start and additions is all that is needed. Made a good batch? Follow the log timing from that the next batch. Oh, that means you’ll have to put wine drinking nights on your calendar!

    I think the reason that people like my vinegar so much is the body and depth. The unprocessed wine in it might be the factor. That’s similar to good beers. Craft brews have unfermentables in them.

    Cheers and pucker!

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi Bobby. Thanks for the information. I had my vinegars tested once in a food science lab in Canada. While they didn’t tell me what the acid level was they did report that they came in around 2.8 on a standard PH scale. I never recommend homemade vinegar be used in canning.

  • John Coates:

    On Amazon, the Mother for sale instructs one to add 2.5ml (1/2 teaspoon) of Hydrogen Peroxide when you start. This allegedly neutralizes the sulfites.

    Anyone heard of this or have experience with it? I added 2.5 ml to a batch as an experiment but I’m 3 months away from a tasting.

  • Garcia:

    I have had a batch of vinegar going for about 8 months now, fed it once over the summer.
    The vinegar at my LHBS and others online seem to have a thick sponge like mother.
    My jar never developed one of these. Instead I have a thin opaque film across the top of the vinegar.
    Is this normal?
    Should I just continue to feed?
    How long is too long to let the vinegar age?
    Is it wrong to toss some oak chips in to add flavor?

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi Garcia – mother comes in many forms – not all vinegar batches create a slab. Some look like a film or an oil slick. I have a large demi john that’s been going for about 5 years and it has never created glob of mother but the vinegar is very strong. What does your vinegar smell and taste like? After 8 months it should be pretty set to go. If it still tastes a little wine-like try using an immersion blender to whip in a lot of air. Do this several times over the next two weeks. Keep feeding it as you take vinegar out. As for aging, I have crocks that have going for over 20 years. But I keep them well fed and remove the mother that sinks at least once a year. And yes, you could use oak or other wood chips. I’ve done that a few times. Make sure it’s “food grade” chips – the kind you would use for smoking meat on a grill. There are oak staves and chips made specifically for wine that you could purchase.

      http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/winemaking/wine-equipment/oak-products/wine-barrel-alternatives/wine-oak-cubes?gclid=CN7q687i9MgCFYkBaQod5sAENg

      • Garcia:

        Those are the oak cubes I use, one of the perks of being a wine make is always having oak around.
        How do i clear the mother out of the bottom, when she is only a greasy layer?

        Also what is an easy way to clean all the goop and oak from the bottom with out disturbing anything?
        Do I pour it all into one container, clean the container and then return the vinegar and mother?

  • Dennis Romanini:

    I think I created a mother but it doesnt smell like vinegar is that ok.

  • Karen:

    Hi Kim,
    In early Aug of this year I tried making vinegar using Braggs as the starter. I checked on it yesterday & it smelled vinegary, so I tasted it to see if it’s ready. Well, it doesn’t taste great, kind of like dirty feet… I went ahead, strained it & heated it to a low simmer, cooled it & strained it again into a bottle. The mother doesn’t look good, just a bunch of sludge. Do you think this “vinegar” might improve or should I just dump it & start over with a better mother? The wine I used didn’t taste bad, certainly not like dirty feet… Thanks for any help!

    • Kim Adams:

      Hmmm. That does not sound right. How much Bragg’s to wine did you use? What kind of wine was it? Also, that’s not a lot of time for a conversion. I know some sites say it takes a month or so but I’ve never seen that happen with any of my vinegars. I don’t think it will improve. I’d start over.

      • Karen:

        I think I had about 1-1/2 cups of Braggs to 750 ml red wine.

        • Kim Adams:

          That sounds about right. If you have not thrown out the first batch yet try blending it with an immersion blender to whip in a lot of air. Do this two-three times over the next two weeks and see if that perks it up a bit and gets it going in the right direction.

  • Ali:

    I had placed my glass jar with red wine vinegar and mother into the fridge while I was getting rid of a fruit fly infestation (Thankfully they had not penetrated the vinegar!). In the time that it was in the fridge, the fridge malfunctioned and got too cold. The vinegar was not frozen solid but may have gotten close to it. It still smells vinegar-like, and the mother is floating in the middle of the jar, not on top, not on bottom. Do you think this killed the mother?

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi Ali – no I don’t think it’s dead – just dormant. I’d take the slab out and if you have an immersion or stick blender I’d whiz it up quite a bit until it foams. Do this over the course of several days while keeping it warm. You should see some new mother action in a month or so after you stop whizzing it. With the old slab, put it in another container and add fresh wine to it. You should see some action in about three months or so.

  • Moscuba:

    Hi. I am about to combine my wood and glass cask red wine vinegar and pour into bottles. A friend of mine is a very serious wine maker so I should give him vinegar with dead mother (sounds like a rock band name).

    If for many things exposing a substance to 160 degree heat for 1 hour+ kills the DoBads would using my Sous Vide to heat the vinegar to 160 for say 1.5 hours do the job and not hurt the vinegar flavor as much? It’d be bagged.

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi Bob. When I pasteurize I bring it to 160 and hold it for only 10 minutes. I never have a problem with the mother regrowing in anything I bottle. I just use a large pot. I think sous vide would be a waste of time and bag but certainly entertaining to the eye.
      Kim

      • Bob:

        Thanks. Makes sense. For some reason I thought it was to bring to a boil and that concerned me. I’m sure I read that somewhere.

        160 degrees for ten minutes; I think I can handle that (though it is 6 minutes past my attention span). Oh, look, a bird :)

        • Kim Adams:

          Ixnay on the boiling! :-)

          • paul litler:

            thx for all the great advice.
            my 5 gallons of vinegar are progessing beautifully.

            do you know if we could volunteer to pick grapes in ohio/ontario
            towards detroit? i could only find info on www about icewine picking.

            • Kim Adams:

              Hi Paul. I have no connections in Ohio or any in Ontario near Detroit. You might contact Pelee Island Winery and ask them. Glad to hear your vinegar is doing well.
              Kim

  • Kim Adams:

    We are having some house renovation performed at the end of the month which requires that we move out. It’ll be about 2-3 months before I get my vinegar operation up and running again so I thought it best to just shut it down temporally. Here’s a pic of section one of my vinegar operation – mother down the garbage disposal. I have 4 more sections to clean out. :-(
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/541557923918446068/

    • Moscuba:

      Kim, Enjoy the renovations. Sometimes it’s nice to get a fresh start with things. I assume you have a supply of vinegar to last through the commotion.

      Cheers!

      Bob

      • Kim Adams:

        Bob, what you see in the sink is only a very small portion of what I have fermenting around the house. There will be enough left to wake everything back up when I’m ready. It’s not going to be fun but I am actually looking forward to getting rid of a lot of things.

  • Elmer Garcia:

    I started over. I guess my initial failure was due to using my homemade wine, which is loaded with sorbate.
    So I started over using some store bought wine.
    after a few months the jar had a partial layer starting from the edges and a film over the top.
    However the edges never connected and I never got a “gob of goo”.
    3 months later I fed my vinegar.
    The mother does not seemed to have grown and I have a lot of sediment on the bottom.
    But it smells like vinegar.

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi Elmer – mother comes in many forms and does not always present as a gob. I have a 10 gallon demi john with vinegar that’s been fermenting for about 5 years now that has never made a mother slab but it is pure vinegar – strong and intense. You could try blending the liquid with an immersion blender to incorporate a lot of air into it if you think the fermentation might be stuck. But if it’s vinegar now and ready to use I wouldn’t worry about it.

      • Elmer Garcia:

        Before I fed the batch, it smelled and tasted like vinegar.
        I was just hoping for a good slab of mother, my kids would have enjoyed the alien looking goop!

  • garcia:

    After 6 months of effort I had to dump my batch. The mother failed to do anything. There was no smell of vinegar only oxidized wine. I have a feeling that the Kmeta level in my wine along with the Temp just choked the mother and prevented any progress.

    I am going to start over in the spring. I have a great oversized pickle jar & a fantastic batch of well oaked, year old Italian homemade wine!

  • Bob:

    I\’m adding wine to my two casks. One is wood, the other is glass.

    The mother in the wood is far less developed. That makes sense: wood contains natural anti-doBad things (I\’m not a scientist, just worked with them).

    I was told by the wood scientists to use wood cutting boards.

    So, unfortunately, I tossed out mother from the bottom of the glass jar that would maybe have helped in the wood. Oh well.

    The wood cask had very little old mother in it and the top mother was thin but healthy. I\’m going to blend them so I do not care about cross-contamination. Next feeding I\’ll do some transfer between the two. Low temp (65F) and slow but feed air from the bottom from time to time to keep Mom healthy.

  • Bob:

    I’m adding wine to my two casks. One is wood, the other is glass.

    The mother in the wood is far less developed. That makes sense: wood contains natural anti-doBad things (I’m not a scientist, just worked with them).

    I was told by the wood scientists to use wood cutting boards.

    So, unfortunately, I tossed out mother from the bottom of the glass jar that would maybe have helped in the wood. Oh well.

    The wood cask had very little old mother in it and the top mother was thin but healthy. I’m going to blend them so I do not care about cross-contamination. Next feeding I’ll do some transfer between the two. Low temp (65F) and slow but feed air from the bottom from time to time to keep Mom healthy.

  • James Cooper:

    Hi Kim

    I started working on a wine and olive farm last year, and on arrival at the farm I found that there were 2 old 300L French oak wine barrels which are 3/4 full of rather oxidized shiraz wine.

    Is this wine suitable to turn into vinegar, and if so can I do it in the 300L barrels?

    This will obviously not be done in the winery as the last thing I want is for acetic acid bacteria to be present with our new wine that is aging.

    In about 2 months we will be bottling our table olives and I suddenly thought it would be great to use this old wine for vinegar that can be used to bottle with our olives.

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi James – What a lucky opportunity for experimentation but unfortunately I have no experience in producing vinegar in this quantity or from wines highly oxidized. Google Orleans vinegar method for a description on using barrels in vinegar production. In 2010 my husband and I visited Ridge Lytton Springs in Healdsburg, California and asked winemaker, John Olney about the vinegar Ridge produces. Here’s my short video on the subject.

      • James Cooper:

        Thank you so much for your reply and for sharing the video. I cant wait to get started, and as with making wine I will have to experiment a bit. Let the learning continue

  • Tina Schenider:

    Hi-
    Stumbled upon your site when looking for trouble shooting advice.

    I use Braggs Vengar to start my vinegar and never have any problems converting to vinegar.
    I started a crock in JUly. It was Ready in October, but I was slammed in my business and never seemed to find any time to pasteurize and bottle until today. The results are that it has no bite or acid if you will. I don’t really want to through away and was wondering if you knew if I could save it and start over with Braggs and add a bottle of wine. There is quite a bit so I would like to save it.

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    Tina

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi Tina – That is very strange. I read somewhere that acetic acid converts to water over a long period but 5 months seems too short for this to happen. I’d do what you suggest – add more wine and some more Bragg’s. Stir well or use a stick blender to incorporate a lot of air then set it aside for a month or so to see if that kick starts it. Let me know if it works.

  • Sue Bateson:

    Hi , I have some homemade wine and 2 bottles have developed what looks exactly like a small plug of “mother” floating near the bottom.Could I use this to begin a Mother’ for vinegar do you think? I live remote rural in Australia and cannot get access to vinegar mother.

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi Sue – have you tasted the wine? It does sound like it’s a mother in there and it surely should taste vinegary. I’d pour both bottles in a gallon-size jar and top it with more wine. Stir it very well to incorporate lots of air, cover with a piece of cloth and wait about three months. Nothing to lose… Happy New Year to you.

    • Larry:

      I make wine vingar and homemade winr will turn to vinegar no mother needed , Yes the stuff in the bottom is mother just strain it out with a coffee filter or cheese cloth put the mother in some fresh homemade wine or get organic wine like Our Daliy Red It has no salfates in it will from a mother on that in about 25 day if you have it covered with a cheese cloth and the temp is 70 to 90 Degrees , keep you mother fed with a glass of wine every two weeks.
      Good luck You mother will growand keep froever .

  • paul littler:

    having so much fun this holiday season, hope you are too!
    buying cheap wine from local retailer for my vinegar and
    stumbled on 22 cases of delicious dry white chile EQ 2007.
    I taste before i dump and can i deliver a case to you at a safe 3rd site as a gift for the holiday and your wonderful advice over the years. i deliver vinegar to the party store and his mother makes pickled vegetables in pistachio jars for me. thx paul.

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi Paul. That’s so sweet. Do you live in the Detroit area? I actually have so much wine right now – cases, in fact. My husband and I work in the wine industry and have friends who do so as well so I am always well stocked. Happy holidays to you and your family!

      • paul littler:

        oh ya,
        live off of 7 mile near joes produce. so sorry to bother you, just
        got happy next to the holidays, don’t even know the wine you and
        yours like. i have been stuck on white from the 70′s from hines park
        playing softball out there – could’t handle mad dog 20/20 so went
        with boones farm sugar white! wish you only the best from now and
        into the new year! prl

  • Debbie:

    Hey! I had a crock sitting in a cupboard since Sept. with a cup and a half of red wine and the braggs vinegar. Today I checked it- and there is no liquid in it at all. Just a blob of what I think is the mother? What should I do now? Thanks!

    • Kim Adams:

      Yeah, you need to watch out for evaporation. Is the blob still moist? Any mold? You could pour a bottle of wine in it and see if it converts in a few months or clean it out and start over.

      • Debbie:

        Hey Kim! Yes- it is moist, and no mold? Should I just pour a bottle of wine in there now? Do I stir it-or just pour on top of blob?

        • Kim Adams:

          Sometimes when you let a container evaporate to the point where it’s just a dried piece of blob mold will develop. I would pour in an entire bottle now along with a cup of non chlorinated water especially if the wine is above 13% ABV. Stir the heck out of it to whip in as much air as possible. Sometimes I use a stick blender. Keep an eye on it and don’t let it evaporate so much. Taste it in a month and see how its developing. Let us know how it works out.

          • Debbie:

            Hey Kim! Shoot- I think I will just toss it out and start over. A friend of mine sent me a “Mother” in a jar. Maybe I will try that instead? I am going out of town for 6 weeks the first part of January- so I may just wait until I get home to start another one. Thanks for all your advice! Debbie

  • Roger Kocher:

    Hi Kim,
    I have a vinaigrier from France and need to replace the spigot and cork. Is there anywhere in the US where I can buy this? I have found spigots locally but they come without the cork. I tried using a drill on a cork and did not get a smooth opening. Any suggestions?

    • Kim Adams:

      Hi Roger. Someone recently asked me this question but don’t know if it was here or in a private email. I have not seen spigots with corks either – just spigots. Even if the opening was not smooth, did you try submerging it in water so that it swells around the spigot? Once it’s in the container it might hold. Did you see this site? http://www.frenchgardening.com/item.html?pid=ACCU101

      • Roger Kocher:

        I checked out the site but the postage was more than the price of the spigot. I may experiment with cutting a hole myself in a cork. Thanks for your advice.

    • Bob:

      Hi Roger,

      Is the spigot surrounded by a cork or are you saying a spigot and a cork for the top hole?

      You could look to see if there is a spigot or cork at http://oakbarrelsltd.com/

      Great people (great barrels, almost like furniture).

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