“The Mother” is Mycoderma aceti: Home Made Vinegar Ready About Election Day
October 2, 2020
by dr plastic picker
Did I tell you that I’m trying to make home-made vinegar? It’s my second batch. The first batch I attempted after having left over apple peels and cores from making apple-sauce. That attempt was a failure. It looked pretty on Instagram as the fluid became more amber and I used Korean shot glasses with black lettering that had the Korean letters artistically distorted by the yellow hued viscosity of the liquid. Half became moldly, and the other container essentially was just apple juice that I pasteurized and made into an apple slushy. The second batch I started a week ago. I had half given up on the vinegar project, but I found an unopened can of Modelo beer during Saturday’s plogging run. I washed the can well, and decided that the earth had decided that I should try the vinegar project again. I made one with the Modelo beer, and the other one reusing a glass container we store our coffee sugar. The coffee sugar glass jar needed to be updated but it was “clean” just with that old residue of sticky granulated white sugar on the sides. I thought, huh, that’s about the amount of sugar I need to make vinegar? It takes a lot of water to clean that sugar off. Why don’t I just try again? So I made apple sauce again with some mushy apples, and saved the apple scraps. I sterilized everything this time with hot water, both the apple scraps and the water I used to make the vinegar. This was the ultimate food waste project, because the sugar residue in the glass container I am using to make the vinegar, and the apple scraps, and the Modelo Beer would have all been discarded. I am also reusing two glass jars. I learned from the first attempt. I used a different fermentation weight that is not as pretty but works better and keeps the apple scraps underneath the liquid line. I stirred it a few times well with clean spoons a few times a day the first week. Yesterday when I checked on the vinegar project, I kid you not – the thing is working. “The Mother” is forming.
“The Mother” is Mycoderma aceti, which is the airborn bacteria that makes vinegar. The origin of “The Mother” of this second attempt at vinegar comes from some store bought apple cider vinegar that had “The Mother.” It’s supposed to be a semi-gelatinous mixture of cellulose and bacteria. It forms on the bottom and them later rises to the top. And I kid you not, it’s forming. Week one into the vinegar project, no mold just “The Mother.” I am monitoring it and enjoying the process. The vinegar should be done by Election Day, which I think is earth’s metaphor for many things. Did you hear the Orange President has COVID-19? “The Mother” is forming while the President who rolled back so many environmental programs and removed the US from the Paris Climate Agreement has COVID-19.
By Election Day, the vinegar project should be done. I’ll monitor it along the way. There can be many uses for the vinegar. We can use it as a household cleaner. We can bake with it. Use it on salad dressing. This is a great article on vinegar https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-make-homemade-vinegar-607463, and it mentioned that infusing it with dried herbs (we have a lot in our pantry) can be a great way to make it unique for salad dressings. These are the instructions from the article “Before bottling your vinegar, you can add herbs and spices to add flavor and visual appeal. Add a packed cup of dry herbs to a pint of vinegar. Pour the herbs and vinegar into a clear bottle or jar. Cover the container and place it in a sunny window. Shake the bottle once a day. When the flavor is sufficiently strong, you can use the vinegar as it is or else strain it and place it into fresh bottles . . . You can dry fresh herbs to add to vinegar. Dill, basil, tarragon, mint, and/or chives are popular choices. Rinse the herbs and hang them to dry or else place them on a sheet of waxed paper onto a cookie sheet to dry in the sun or a warm oven. Remove the herbs from heat once the leaves start to curl.” Isn’t that the ultimate in cool? Dried herbs in homemade vinegar? I have a lot of dried herbs in our pantry and I’m looking forward to adding them. It makes it an even bigger food waste project because I really need to use up those herbs in the pantry!
About Election Day I’ll know if the second batch of Beer Vinegar and Apple Scrap Vinegar turns out well, and if Mycoderma aceti “The Mother” did the job. And then I’ll know if the dried herbs we have already in our pantry can be used to make the homemade vinegar even more interesting. We will also know if we have a new administration. But no matter who is in the White House, there is a lot to do for the earth as previous administrations Democratic and Republican have failed our environment. We are still in a climate crisis. But if Dr. Plastic Picker can make homemade vinegar infused with dried herbs using nothing new and indeed using things I would have discarded (found unopened can of Modelo beer, apple core and scraps from apple sauce project, reused glass containers, sugar residue from my coffee sugar container, and old dried herbs from the back of my kitchen cabinet), than we can figure out this climate crisis. We just need some time and to have a clear mind to try to figure it all out again.