There seems to be a misconception out there that pickling with out vinegar , also known as salt brine or lacto-fermentation, is better than pickling with vinegar, and it's just not true. Both lacto-fermented pickles and vinegar pickles are equally beneficial for your health! They are, however, healthy for different reasons.
What is often times forgotten, is that vinegar in itself is a fermentation. Vinegar can be made with any type of fruit, and the technical definition of it is a sour wine. It is created through acetic fermentation. First, the fruit or fruit juice is fermented with sugar creating an alcohol or wine. This first process is known as the alcoholic fermentation. The second process, a group of bacteria known as acetobacter converts the alcoholic portion of the ferment into an acid known as acetic acid.
These vinegars are full of vitamins like riboflavin, B1 and mineral salts.
In most vinegar you can find a mother of vinegar, also known as a MOV. Pictured above is a photo of a MOV growing in one of our jars of apple cider vinegar. The MOV is vinegar bacteria and is made up of cellulose. a fibrous carbohydrate. This mother can be used as a starter to create new vinegar!
Making vinegar is pretty simple, but it can take a while depending on how you choose to make it. One of the simplest methods is adding a MOV to existing alcohol like wine, beer or fermented fruit juice, then allowing it to ferment with a cheese cloth top in a warm place. Mine ferments best on top of my refrigerator. From there it takes 6-8 weeks to turn into vinegar. It's a great way to use old wine!
Vinegar has a variety of uses and health benefits. It helps to prevent diabetes, it's great to aid in weight loss, it lowers cholesterol, it's full of electrolytes and is often used as a sports drink, it's detoxifying, it helps with your throat and sinuses, it aids in digestion, it boosts energy, it restores PH balance within the body and it helps with heart burn!
Left over brine can be drank each day for these benefits, it also makes a great marinade or salad dressing! All of our shelf stable pickles are created using this wonder vinegar, so the next time you grab a jar drink the juice! And know that your body is thanking you.
Aside from it's health benefits, vinegar is also amazing for cleaning, disinfecting your produce before you use it, in laundry; The list goes on and on.
Later on the blog we will be sharing some specific recipes instructing you how to make your own!