The Vinegar Diaries: Day 6


I took a tiny sip of my hissing and bubbly-fizzing apple cider. Wow! Delicious. And highly potent, too. I suspect that the alchol percentage is very high. I didn’t sip enough to find out if it’d give me a buzz. I had dinner to prepare, and a gas flame and a tipsy cook don’t mix well. I’ve burnt more sauce pans to a molten-crisp after a glass of a sherry than I care to admit. So I don’t drink and cook. Actually, I don’t drink much at all.


Today I spent the day driving from Westerham to Horsham to Chichester looking for a food mill moule (mouli). No luck; everyone’s sold out. Even tried Lakeland’s shop in Chichester. All sold out. I did however discover that I can order one at Amazon. All I can say is that it was a lovely day for a drive in the autumn sunshine in a car with the soft top down.



20 Comments Add yours

  1. Joanna says:

    I have one of those food mills and I just put it away, I wonder why they’ve all sold out? I can’t remember where ours came from though, we use it mostly to make passata with. I have high hopes that there will be cider in my apple jar tomorrow, it was bubbling away today, I put a hat on it and took it out in the garden for some photos. I might pop them on the blog tomorrow. x Joanna

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Hope you have time to show those photos tomorrow of your hatted vinegar. I have no idea what to expect or what the time table is for making this. 7-10 days is fine but there must be some key indicator that tells you when to decant the apples from the liquor, wouldn’t you think? Mine is a week old today, but it’s still bubbling like crazy. And I mean REALLY bubbling.

      As for the food mill, I reckon there’s a shortage because it’s harvest time: apple sauce, various jam and jellies that benefit from a mouli. I might order that one at Amazon tomorrow.

      Do you only make passata with your mouli?

      1. Joanna says:

        At the moment yes… do you reckon you could use it for jam?

        1. Misk Cooks says:

          I spoke with my mother yesterday, and she says that it’s brilliant for jams and jellies, but not if they contain fibrous material like marmalade. She also used it for puréed soups (pea, broccoli, etc.).

          Has your cider turned to vinegar yet?

  2. teawithhazel says:

    that drive with the top down sounds like a perfect way to spend a day not finding a mouli..

    my food mill would now be considered ‘vintage’ me i suppose..i’ve had it since had my know..for pureed vegetables..and it’s since been useful for so many other purposes..for instance i regularly use it to make mashed potatoes..

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Oh! Splendid idea, using a mouli for mashed potatoes. I’ve always used one of those flat-tonged mashers. Occasionally I consider buying a potato ricer but they’re so darned expensive so I never do. Now I have another reason to buy that mouli.

      I just can’t bear the thought of peeling several hundred apples hanging off our trees for apple sauce. A mouli would make it so much easier.

  3. ceciliag says:

    with wine .. when it stops bubbling the yeast has eaten all the sugar and it is time to rack into the bottle for the next stage.. is that useful? I must get onto this as i want to make some too.. i PROMISE i will start it today! c

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Yes, Cecilia, actually that is extremely helpful. 🙂 It seems that every day it fizzes more than the previous day. I’d swear it’s creating its own sugar to feed from! It’s sure tasty though…

      1. Joanna says:

        I think we have to wait for it to stop fizzing, what did O Carlo at the Temple of Acetobacter of Llynn have to say on the subject?

        1. Misk Cooks says:

          As you would expect from an oracle, his words were so open to interpretation that I tumbled headlong between the articles and conjunctions. I suspect that hindsight will be more instructive. I might start drinking this stuff if it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to soon.

          1. I see, or not 🙂 I’d be hard pushed to get too many articles & conjunctions into 140 chars. The story so far…

            If it’s still fizzing it’s fermenting. Which means yeasts are producing alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. Once all the sugars are used up, this will stop. This will depend on the amount of sugar and the temperature. So patience is required.

            Once this stops. you’re hoping that the acetobacter in the air find their way through the muslin. They are very prevalent and small, so this should not be a problem. They will convert the alcohol to acid. Which is what you want. This is also partly temperature dependent. It also requires patience.

            You will be able to taste the differences as it progresses. You could, if you wanted, titrate it to test for acidity: I think that’s going too far.

            I have a food mouli that I got from Lidl. Very useful bit of kit for all sorts of fruit and veg processing. After a conversation with Gloria Nicol, I bought the Kenwood attachment that does the same job. Very good bit of kit with two different grade discs each with a smooth and a rough side for doing different jobs. Has greatly speeded up processing and a lot easier on my dodgy wrists.

            Hope that helps. If anything is not clear, you do know where I am 🙂

            1. Misk Cooks says:

              I must buy myself one of those moui this week. I have apples hanging off the trees, and I don’t fancy hand-peeling every one of them for processing into various edibles. If I can coax this vinegar into life, I’ll also make more of that.

              Thank you for the guidance. 😀

  4. Joanna says:

    We don’t rack this stuff do we? That’s a wine thing, speaking as someone who knows doodly squat about making wine. That’s when you create an airlock so no aerobic beasties get in, the acetobacter we want is definitely aerobic (flies (hopefully not flys) through the air with the greatest of ease. A leetle knowledge c’est une chose dangeureuse – I’m just going to sieve the stuff now, it’s frothy and getting a bit more dark and murky in there.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Rack? Rack? I hope not because I have no space for doing of the racking. P. keeps finding ‘quality wine on sale’ and I think he’s stocking up for the second-coming of prohibition. I also have no muslin, and I’m feeling myself go all stroppy and grumpy now … and I’m not filtering my paint thinner through my antique cotton tea towel. I’m going to re-read the Vinegar Oracle’s cryptic comments to determine if I need a racking licence before proceeding.

      I have a headache. Do you have a headache?

      1. ‘Racking’ is what you do with wine to take the (clearing) wine off the lees (dead bits of fruit and yeasts). It helps the wine to get clearer and can stop off tastes appearing .

        With the vinegar, once the fruit (in this case apples) give up their yeasts, some sugar and some flavour and the liquid starts to colour (7-10 days) then they can be scooped or strained off usin a sieve or filter funnel.

        You then leave the liquid to do its job.

        When you think (by taste and time) all the alcohol has turned to acid, you can strain/filter it again. You could use a sieve, double muslin, coffee filter etc etc.

        It’s really a very gentle and easy process. Relax and enjoy the transformation 🙂

        1. Misk Cooks says:

          Aaaah. (deep bow) The Vinegar Oracle presents us with knowledge. I am relaxed and will do my utmost to enjoy this process. To be honest, I have no idea why I’m so fussed about a bowl of rotting apples swimming about in something that looks like what a person might present to a nurse in a brown bag for urinalysis…although mine’s never fizzed.

          So mine has excellent depth of colour, it’s 8-days old, and we have fizz and hissing action without any indication of deceleration. Should I chuck the apples now?

          And do you require some type of burnt offering in order to keep lines of communication open, Vinegar Oracle?

          1. If it has good colour you can take off the apples.

            No burnt offerings required: just your continued company & cheer 😀

            1. Misk Cooks says:

              The latter goes without saying. xx

              Excellent. I’ll toss the apples after dinner. Can they go into the compost bin, or will they spoil the proceedings in there?

              1. Compost best place for them and completes the cycle nicely: they have done their work and return to the soil 🙂

                1. Misk Cooks says:

                  Thank you, O’Carl. 😉

                  My compost bin is due for a complete rotation, so perfect timing.

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