September 3, 2014

Pineapple Vinegar

I've been fermenting pineapple vinegar this summer. I always enjoy doing something that uses scraps. Instead of throwing out the peels and core of fruit - or even adding them to the compost pile or feeding to the pigs or chickens - you can make something useful.

In the past, I've used the peels and cores of apples and pears, and the peels and pits of plums to make vinegar. This is the first time I've used pineapple, but it's the same principle. Just imagine that "pineapple skin" and "core" stand for "fruit skin" and "seeds", and substitute whatever kind of fruit you have access to.


Cut the outside off the pineapple, and remove the core. Put the scraps into a jar - I used a half-gallon mason jar. Add filtered water - you don't want to use tap water that includes fluoride and chlorine. I've tried it; it doesn't work. Add sugar (about 1/8 cup per quart) to the filtered water and stir to dissolve.

If you have any raw, unpasteurized vinegar with "mother" in it, add a couple of tablespoons to your brew. I had a tiny bit of vinegar left in my bottle of Bragg's apple cider vinegar (affiliate link), and could see a bit of mother of vinegar; in fact, I'd saved this little bit in the bottle for my next batch of vinegar. I emptied what was left in the bottle into the mason jar.


I covered the top of the jar with a cloth and set in a dark place. Vinegar requires air to develop, so don't use a metal or plastic lid on your jar. I stirred the fruit-and-water daily to introduce air. After about two weeks it should begin to smell vinegar-like. I strained the fruit out, replaced the cloth cover, and left it to ferment for a few more weeks. Then it's ready to taste to decide if it's finished and ready to bottle.


The photo above shows the mother of vinegar on top of the fermenting vinegar before I strained out the fruit. It's not mold. It looks and feels sort of rubbery.


A side view showing the "mother" on top of the fruit scraps. In order to strain the fruit out, I used a spoon to gently lift up the layer of mother and moved it to a bowl.


It's folded nearly in half in this photo. After I strained out the fruit, I added the mother back in the jar, where it sank to the bottom.


After another two weeks, I tasted the vinegar. It tasted "vinegar-y enough", but if it didn't, I'd let it age another few days and taste again. When it's "right", it's ready to pour into narrow-necked bottles for storage. As often happens, there was a new layer of "mother" on top of the vinegar.


I transferred the rubbery layer to a pint jar with some of the vinegar. In the future, I can put it in a new jar of fruit/sugar/water to help the process along. In fact, if I had an excess of fruit, I could cut this layer into quarters - or even smaller pieces - and put each one in a new jar of vinegar-to-be.

A previous batch showing the "mother" in the bottom.

Homemade vinegar can be used in cooking and cleaning. I don't use it in canning or pickling where the level of acidity is important. Fruit vinegar is delicious in homemade salad dressings, and you can pour a little into a pot of bones when you make broth or stock.

What is your favorite use for vinegar?


This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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11 comments:

  1. Pineapple vinegar! Sounds good and I love the instructions. I haven't tried to make my own vinegar again since I had that weird wrinkly mother grow on that pear vinegar I tried. It happened twice and I have had success before with apples so I decided to wait a while and before I try again.

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  2. That's a good idea to wait, Connie. Sometimes it's just a certain "bug" in your air, so hopefully by waiting it will dissipate and be replaced by a better vinegar-inclined bacteria. Good luck!

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  3. If it's important that you don't eat sugar, will this work at all (e.g. more slowly) without added sugar, or is there a way of knowing all the sugar is used up in the fermentation? Is tasting enough? I am excited to try this. :)

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    Replies
    1. The sugar is used up in the fermentation process. Mine is still making mother of vinegar, so I think there is still some sugar present. I could remove the mother, and wait to see if it makes another; if it didn't I would think the sugar is all used up.

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  4. Funny, that looks just like a scoby. Your instructions are great!

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  5. I've only seen pictures of scobies, but I thought the same thing. Thank you, Cynthia.

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  6. What a wonderful tutorial! I've never heard of pineapple vinegar but it sounds so yummy! I can't wait to see what you share with us this week on Simple Lives Thursday. Thanks for being part of our community.

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  7. I am definitely trying this! Hubby loves pineapple - does it still have a pineapple taste?

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  8. Yes, like raspberry vinegar has a raspberry taste. Different, but it's there.

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  9. How neat! I have done this with apples, but never thought to try other fruits! Thank you for sharing this thrifty tip on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

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