Sunday, April 25, 2021

Homebrewed Vinegar How to Ferment 60 Delicious Varieties

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Homebrewed Vinegar is a comprehensive guide with recipes to brewing and using vinegar by Kirsten K. Shockey. Due out 11th May 2021 from Storey, it's 296 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. 

I am enthusiastic about fermentation. I love homemade wines, became a beekeeper to fuel my mead brewing, make my own kimchi and other ferments, and just generally all around love the microbes which enrich our lives (and occasionally disappoint us when they're not where we think they should be). This is a really well written and *useful* guide to intentionally turning alcohol into vinegar, or as the author whimsically put it, acid alchemy. I'm also a person who -loves- vinegar and I've been known to sneak a spoonful of one of my collection of balsamic vinegars straight from the bottle.

The information is arranged logically and easy to find in the text. Chapters progress from an introduction, through the science of fermentation, an alcohol primer, alcohol to vinegar. The following chapters deep dive into vinegars from cider, wine, and beer and further into additional vegetable additives such as fruits, nuts, and even scraps and leavings. The final chapters present an impressive array of useful recipes.

The recipes contain an introduction, ingredients listed bullet style in a sidebar, and step by step instructions. Measurements are given in American standard, with metric in parentheses (yay!). The ingredients are mostly relatively easily sourced, but some will obviously require access to mail order or a specialty brewing supplier (especially the equipment).

The book is quite lavishly illustrated, the photographs are colorful, clear, and easy to understand. There are so many beautifully presented serving suggestions and the vinegars have such a lovely range of colors - they almost look like jewels in their glass jars. This is a book full of inspirations. 

The author has also included a fairly comprehensive links and resources list for further reading. There are numerous specialty retailers as well as lots of fun links. 

Five stars. This book would make a superlative selection for homebrewers, sustainable agriculture folks, smallholders, orchardists, gardeners, local food fans, adventuresome cooks, and other lifestyle readers. This is a passionately written, eminently reasonable, usable guide to making and enjoying vinegar for cuisine and health uses.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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