A manual about the production of vinegar with small scale submerged systems
The vinegar machine “LABU” is used in more than 17 countries from more than 90 vinegar makers. The vinegar making process is an easy production, but it requires cleanness and best quality of the wine, which is to be produced into vinegar.
Making vinegars with the LABU vinegar plant
The processing of fruit vinegar is a natural process, where vinegar bacteria produce acetic acid from alcohol. So it is necessary to use an alcoholic liquid for this process. Two factors require special attention when making vinegar: oxygen supply and temperature.
Oxygen is spread throughout the mixture. The temperature of fermenting cider should be kept at around 70°F – 28 °C. Lower temperatures do not always produce an usable vinegar and higher ones interfere with the formation of the “mother of vinegar.”
Cider is made from the winter and fall varieties of apples (summer and green apples do not contain enough sugar). Adding yeast to activate fermentation is essential and will speed up the process.
Special cultivated yeasts are available for this purpose at wine-making shops and biological labs – bread yeasts are not recommended. If you have a fermenting wine, you can take this one for starting other barrels.
Filling the LABU vinegar machine
Fill all of the liquid into the vinegar machine and add the vinegar bacteria you get with the machine. This machine is constructed like that the air control and adding is made from the machine. You have to control, if the air is open. The temperature should be at 28 °C when it works.
During the vinegar oxidation, the temperature is climbing, so the cooler temparture panel should be at 29 °C. For working with the machine you need two plugs with 220V/50 Hz of electricity (machines with a filling of more than 150 litres could be made to 110/50Hz), and cold water for the cooling system. If the fruit wine is not totally clear, foam can be produced.
Controlling the acetic acid
The acetic acid should be controlled every day. You can order a vinegar acetic acid control set at the online shop. Normally the content of acetic acid is reached within 5 to 7 days. If you do not change the vinegar variety very often, you can come down to 3 days for processing.
Then it is necessary to take out one third of the filling and refill with fresh fruit wine. Normally 1 % vol. of alcohol brings 1 % acetic acid. When the vinegar is fully fermented, it should be stored in separate containers or wooden barrels. The best place is cool (under 10 °C) and dark. Before useing the vinegar, it should be cleaned by filtering.
The labelling of vinegar
Every region has its own laws for selling food. Normally (and due to European law) the labels on the bottles should include the following information:
- Name of the producer
- Address of the producer
- Product name and fruit variety
- Content of acetic acid
- Quantity of content
- Storage information
- A batch number
- In some countries you will need also nutrient information on the labels