Additional Thoughts Making vinegar is surprisingly easy. By simply combining wine, water with mother of vinegar culture and adding the most important components – time and patience, you’ll be rewarded with the full crisp flavors and nuances of your own barrel-aged wine vinegar. You may begin using your vinegar as soon as it has fully converted, however - you’ll find that the longer it ages … the better it becomes.
We recommend keeping your Vinegar Barrel shrink-wrapped and stored in a cool place away from direct sunlight until you have completed making your first quart of vinegar which will be used as the base for your barrel-aged vinegar.
Your nose is the best tool for assessing when the vinegar is done. If it smells more like vinegar than wine – it’s done. Taste it. It should taste very ‘vinegary’ and make your mouth pucker – if not … wait a few more weeks to be sure the contents have thoroughly converted. (Though most usually ‘go by taste’, for a more scientific approach, you can purchase test kits from your local homebrew or winemaking supply stores. You can use a pH meter or titration kit to check acidity and to determine whether or not the acetic fermentation is complete.)
Your resulting vinegar is ‘live’ and filled with active acetobactar – it will be used as the base to add to your barrel to begin making your barrel-aged wine vinegar.