Well, I've alternated between feeding and ignoring my vinegar jar for the past six weeks, and today I decided on a test taste. Wow! Very tart, rich and flavorful, a bit overwhelming in fact. I'll definitely have to let this mellow a bit, maybe dilute it with some spring water before it goes on the tables in the monastery refectory. The mother on top was about a quarter inch thick, like a slimy piece of upholstery leather. I fished out all the old mothers and strained off the dregs from the vinegar before adding 2 more cups of Tuscan Red left over from a fundraiser in April. Then I cut off about a quarter of the most recent mother and dropped it into the jar. The project is working so well I decided to launch a second batch with white wine, in a gallon jar for makiing sun tea---I think the spigot will come in handy. I started with five cups of pinot grigio plus 2 cups of purified water and another quarter of the freshest mother. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to this batch.
Of course now I'm on the lookout for interesting bottles to use for vinegar decanters, and researching herbal vinegar recipes. I don't think this new hobby is going to overtake bread baking, but it gives me something to do while the bread is rising. Speaking of which, I have to mix some pizza dough for tonight's haustus. Back again soon!
Fr. Dominic Garramone AKA