Microscopic plants turn apple juice into cider and microscopic animals turn cider into vinegar.
Your friendly neighborhood Vinegar Brewer must choose just the right type of microscopic plant and animal to make delicious Rockbridge Cider Vinegar.
The microscopic plant is called a “Yeast”. Almost all yeasts convert sugars into alcohol – the first step when crafting apple juice into vinegar. But there are many thousands of different types of yeasts and they each have different uses and produce different flavors.
I use a “Champagne” yeast, because it produces a slightly lemony-tasting cider, which is great for turning cider into vinegar. Champagne yeast can also produce a fairly high concentration of alcohol from apple juice. I need cider with at least a level of 6% to 7% alcohol for the next step in the vinegar making process.
After the yeast has done its work converting the sugars in the apple juice into alcohol, it is time to add the microscopic animals, which are called “Acetobacter” bacteria, or “Mother of Vinegar”.
There are good bacteria and not-so-good bacteria. In my opinion, the bacteria that converts alcohol into vinegar are the good kind.
At Rockbridge Cider Vinegar, we have grown a special kind of “Mother of Vinegar” that creates just the right apple cider vinegar flavor.
So, in a way, I am like any other farmer. I am raising plants and animals. They are just very tiny!