Would you like to know how the delicious cherry vinegar is make? We teach you all the tricks so that you can make cherry balsamic vinegar in a simple way with a 100% homemade recipe. When making cherry vinegar, it is important to know the process by which the vinegar is produced, so that we can replicate it.
How to make cherry balsamic vinegar?
Cherry balsamic vinegar vinegar is make as a consequence of the acetic fermentation of alcohol present in a liquid in non-antiseptic amounts. Aerobic bacteria of the genus Acetobacter, which transforms alcohol ethyl into acetic acid, a substance that gives vinegar its characteristic properties and flavor.
Because of this, we have to be clear that to produce cherry vinegar, we will first need an alcoholic fermentation to take place (the sugar in the cherry is converted into alcohol). This process is done in a similar way to what we have to do to produce cherry wine.
Alcoholic fermentation is an anaerobic process carried out by yeasts and can take several weeks/months depending on the initial yeast concentration and ambient temperature.
Cherry vinegar production process
As we have seen, the process of making cherry vinegar requires alcoholic fermentation by yeast and later acetic fermentation. There are several companies that produce cherry vinegar in Spain, concentrating especially on the Valle del Jerte. Being the production of vinegar a good way to obtain a product with high added value and support the profitability of cherry cultivation.
Obtain yeasts for alcoholic fermentation
To make cherry vinegar, first of all we must prepare the necessary yeasts for alcoholic fermentation.
In the case of cherries, contrary to what happens with grapes, which have a significant amount of yeast naturally, they have a very low amount of yeast. Therefore, to speed up the fermentation process, it is important to add yeast to the cherry juice. We can either add baker’s yeast (immediate application) or use raisins to produce our own yeast (4-6 days).
Personally, I find it more interesting to use raisin yeast, for this we take the same amount of water and raisins, crush them and add a % of sugar, for example, 50 grams of raisins, 50 grams of water and 5 grams of sugar, this amount would be enough to ferment 5 kilos of cherries relatively quickly.
Once we have the yeasts, the next thing is to extract the pulp and juice from the cherries for fermentation. This process can be done through different processes. Although the optimal thing would be to remove the stem and stone of the cherry, we can also carry out the fermentation with these remains as long as we do not crush the cherry pits. In our case, we did it with a press, so we were able to extract a significant part of the cherry juice and pulp relatively quickly.
At the home level, we could opt for a quick way of stomping the cherries in a container, in a similar way to the traditional stomping of vintage grapes. Or in a slower and more laborious way, if we decide to remove the stone from the cherries one by one, similar to when we make a cherry jam.
The alcoholic fermentation process can last one or several weeks to complete, during which we can see how bubbles come out of the mixture.
During this phase it is important that we stir the mixture at least once a day.
During alcoholic fermentation there is a stage called tumultuous in which fermentative activity increases considerably and it is common for foam to come out and liquid to spill from the container. Because of this, it is important that the container is not filled to more than 70-8% of its capacity.
It must be taken into account that as yeasts increase the amount of alcohol present in the mixture, their antiseptic activity increases, preventing the activity of yeasts less tolerant to alcohol concentration. Because of this, the process can take several weeks to complete, however once the tumultuous stage passes, most of the sugar will have been transformed into alcohol and we would have a potential cherry wine.
After this stage, it is advisable to proceed to strain and remove the remains of pulp and impurities.
Acetic fermentation is produced by aerobic bacteria of the genus Acetobacter, these bacteria require the presence of oxygen to do their job. But where can I get these bacteria? Normally, during the previous steps, we have”contaminated”these bacteria and it is likely that fermentation has started naturally.
The vinegar fly or mosquito is a carrier of the bacteria that transform alcohol into acetic acid, so its presence during the fermentation of cherry juice can help speed up the process by increasing the presence of these bacteria.
To promote acetic fermentation, we must keep the mixture well oxygenated by frequently aerating the tank where we are going to store the cherry vinegar. This process can last several months depending on the initial conditions of the cherry wine.
Now you can enjoy a delicious homemade cherry vinegar!
If you have followed the indicated steps, after a few months, you will be able to start enjoying your delicious homemade cherry vinegar in your salads. Vinegar is a natural preservative and will keep for a long time as long as it is kept out of direct sunlight.
Where to buy cherry vinegar?
If you don’t have the time or the means to produce your own cherry vinegar, you can always buy it, currently (2022) prices are between €15 and €20/liter and due to its exclusivity it is not an easy product to find.Through the Internet, you can buy on Amazon, among other sites.
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We have translated the information on our website from Spanish to English. Please note that some words may have had their meaning altered during translation.