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Juice press with apple juice

Rice Vinegar

This process began June 26, all steps are dated to show what one might expect to see throughout a fermentation. If you want to make your own vinegar, it's pretty simple and the most important elements are time and patience.


Rice water

  • 2 cups Rice
  • 6 cups Water
  • 9 cups Sugar
  • 1 tbsp wine yeast


June 26: Making rice vinegar today.

  • Soak rice in water for 4 hours. 1:3 ratio.
    Rice for vinegar step 1 June 26
  • In this case, 2 cups rice - 6 cups water Soak for 4 hours.
    Rice water for vinegar
  • Strain the rice to get the liquid and measure the amount you have. Leave this liquid to set overnight before beginning the next step.

June 27

  • Making sake to make the vinegar from. Most of the recipes I've read online for making rice vinegar at home involve using what I consider to be a grotesque and unnecessary quantity of sugar, so I asked my partner, a vintner for better advice. Turns out that along the way he's made sake and that normally, one would use amylase enzyme to transform the starches into sugar before adding the yeast. Since I did this on the fly and there is no amylase available locally, I'm going to use sugar, but will follow Tilman's advice of using only 20% sugar by weight. I ended up with 9 cups of liquid weighing 2kg almost on the nose. That made my task simple. Having weighed 500gr of sugar, I can tell you that it came to 2 cups (which is also 500gr dry measure), so you may easily make your own conversions for larger quantities.
  • The liquid was heated to help dissolve the sugar, then the yeast was added once the temperature had cooled to 110º (above that will kill the yeast). Now, wait a week for that to mature into something sake like. It’s nice to have a crock for these things. Will report back to you when it's time for step 4. Happy thought, I can also now make my own Mirin by splitting the batch after this stage and adding more sugar to the sake. If this works, I'll have a steady supply of both at a fraction of the cost. I'll order some amylase soon, or have a friend pick it up in Vancouver and bring it to me. Then will make a second batch. (Obtained)

June 30

  • Rice vinegar update. Day 3 of fermentation, malty fragrance, possibly 1% alcohol. 7 more days or so til stage 4, adding the vinegar mother.
    Rice fermentation, June 30

July 05

  • Rice vinegar update: On Saturday, we decided that the beer yeast we had started with was not strong enough, and the liquid was stagnating. We should have proofed it first... So, we proofed some wine yeast that was in the house, and added that. At the same time, I decided that if I was going to make any, I was going to make a full crock, so I produced another 9 cups of liquid using the same method as in Step One, and added that to the crock. 3 days later it has a nice tang to it. This addition could add 4 days or so at the end of the fermenting process. I'll check on Sunday however, to see if it's ready to add the vinegar mother.

July 10

  • Rice vinegar update: Finally, it's time to add the vinegar mother! 5 more weeks till I can expect vinegar. Now, to cover it with plastic film wrap to keep fruit flies out, and then the crock jar lid. I'll store it in the pantry for the next few weeks so I'm not tempted to poke at it quite so much. It's going to be a while before this looks beautiful again... I'm very happy to have a nice, healthy vinegar mother to begin with, rather than just wait to let it form on its own. Hopefully that will ensure that the five-week time-line to vinegar is accurate. Just had a quick taste of the rice wine, and it's very interesting, kind of clean tasting, a little apple-ish which is appropriate, since I'm using an apple cider vinegar mother. Will update again when it looks different, and/or when the taste is significantly changed.
    Rice vinegar July 11
  • It's been about a week since putting the mother into the rice vinegar medium. It tastes like it's progressing but I just happened to find this rather nice healthy mother in a jar of apple cider vinegar that I was planning to decant. I'm going to add this plug to the ferment to help it along. Since I have it, might as well use it.
    Apple cider vinegar with motherJuly16
  • Rice vinegar update: Day 14 post mother. It looks pretty much the same in the crock, but this is what it looks like now in a glass. It has a decidedly sour taste, more lemony almost than vinegary at this point, at least to me. Three more weeks until it's supposed to be at full strength. In my experience however, vinegars benefit from a much longer aging. My apple cider vinegar is now a year old, and it is much better than it was at 4 months.
    Lemony rice vinegar

August 2

  • Rice vinegar update: One more week of the "official" 5 week aging period to make the vinegar. It's clearing nicely, and is definitely vinegar, but it will probably need an extra couple months of aging to reach full strength.
    Rice vinegar, August 2


Rice vinegar

Rice vinegar

Note: For an embarrassingly long time, this recipe reversed the amounts of rice and water. Apologies to anyone who tried it and didn't realize the error.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!