The vinegar problem

by Jon Sullivan - 2024-05-05 - Food

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I know how to ferment foods. A lot. Or do I??? WTF is going on.....

On the possibility that I'm a player in this simulation, rather than an NPC, I'm working on "in-game" achievements. The current quest being worked on is making homemade vinegars. Perhaps a blackberry vinegar for vinaigrettes. A thick red chili vinegar for hot sauce. A red onion vinegar for that classic pickled onion flavor. A smoky chipotle vinegar for marinades.

Why do I need so much vinegar, one might ask. "Jon, why do you need so much vinegar?" Well I'm glad you asked. I don't. At all. And making a quart of peach vinegar so that I can use a tablespoon of it in a peach chutney is idiotic since peach chutney is already mainly made from.... you know..... peaches. But I'm Jon, so as usual need and reason are never part of motivation in this household. It doesn't matter that it's silly and pointless.

And making vinegar is a pretty simple process. Use yeast to convert the sugars to alcohol, then introduce acetobacter bacteria to convert the alcohol to acetic acid. Over the decades I've made hundreds of gallons of beer and cider, many batches of fermented pickles, an endless variety of kombuchas (try tomato basil), etc. I once fermented cat food. I know how to ferment. So this will be super easy. I mean.... Like crazy easy. You sort of have to go out of your way to *prevent* things from fermenting. So yeah, super easy. I have a gallon of kombucha going in my pantry. The fridge has lots of fermented pickles and sauerkraut. I think I got this /sarcasm.

So far nothing I have tried for vinegar will ferment. At all. In complete violation of all biological and chemical laws of the universe, I have two quarts of inert sugary liquid. Do you have any idea how hard it is to prevent an open quart of sugary liquid at room temperature from fermenting? One should be doing an initial fermentation into peach cider, and the other should be turning into a hoppy beer vinegar. Both are laughing at me. "HA!!!! Jon is a loser who can't make yeast do the only thing yeast does." It's not fair. In fact it's pretty solid evidence we live in a simulation and this is a coding bug.

I have, no doubt, fucked it up somehow. My peaches likely had some sulfur dioxide on them or something. My beer vinegar likely had a bad mother.

So we start over. Restart the peach cider with raw fruit. Restart the beer vinegar with some unfiltered beer and set it out on the balcony. Try not fermenting out there you little bitch.

Today's photo : My test recipe for the zucchini crepes with bacon jam. One of the delights in my life is how well cooking fancy food and photography go together. It's sort of art made from art. This dish will be a keeper. Bacon jam takes forever to make, but it has so much salt and vinegar in it I'm guessing it will last a long time too. And it would be to make these ahead and have them for camping events and such. Yummy photo. Oh.... Hmmm.... Bacon vinegar maybe?

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