Our Permaculture Life: Simple DIY all purpose vinegar

Simple DIY all purpose vinegar

Did you know that you can make your own natural vinegar at home simply and cheaply - something very much like natural apple cider vinegar? Kombucha vinegar.

Vinegar is so versatile - for your health and as a great non-toxic cleaning product around the home. I use it for:

  1. drinking - diluted with water - helps create alkaline environment and balance my system, lots of vitamins too.
  2. sprinkling on salad as part of a delicious salad dressing, blended with lots of garden herbs too
  3. adding to soup for extra flavour
  4. hair rinse - leaves hair feeling shiny and soft, and free of build-up from products
  5. face toner - cleans face mildly and well
  6. foot soak - helps to reduce my cracked gardening feet
  7. dishwashing rinse - leaves glass and cutlery sparkly clean and removes soap suds
  8. add to rinse cycle in washing machine to soften towels
  9. everyday surface cleaning - antibacterial cleaner
  10. window cleaning - for no-streak cleaning
  11. toilet cleaning - great for the compost toilet 
  12. add to chickens water to help them stay healthy

I just found out how to make my own simple vinegar at home (by doing nothing actually). I can't believe how simple it is. I'm wondering why I'd never learnt this before! I find this kind of information liberating. 

Thanks to the reader who commented on my recent post about making citrus cleaner using homegrown citrus peels and vinegar. I'm so glad she mentioned that she used kombucha vinegar as a cleaner.

There on my bench was a big jar of the stuff and I hadn't realised how wonderfully useful it was till recently. I'd just recovered this big jar from the back of the pantry shelf. In February I had made a batch of kombucha (took about 10 minutes maximum), but forgot about it. I can't believe I was about to tip it out and start again.

Kombucha tea needs only a few days to a week to brew and if you let it ferment for too long it becomes sour to drink  - it becomes kombucha vinegar.  Mine however has been there for just over 60 days - well and truly brewed!

Kombucha vinegar has around 2% acetic acid while apple cider vinegar has around 5% which makes it milder, but it is still very effective.

Now I am going to brew kombucha both for the tea and for the vinegar.  (How to make kombucha tea is the topic for another post - but there is so much information about there to discover.  Stay tuned too for a film about kombucha vinegar.)

How to make get a kombucha SCOBY

If you don't have a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) to get yourself started making kombucha, ask a kombucha-brewing friend, or simply use a good quality local unprocessed and unflavoured kombucha tea from the shops. Put 1 cup of it into a bowl, cover with a fine cloth and let sit for a week. You will see a new SCOBY beginning to form.

How do you use kombucha vinegar?

Do you use kombucha vinegar? Do you have any favourite ways of using it for cleaning, personal care, or gardening perhaps too?

Labels: , , , , , ,