by Bettina Malle and Helge Schmickl; translated by Paul Lehmann
Vinegar making is a very ancient craft. Mankind first harnessed the creation of vinegar, along with its preservative and medicinal qualities, more than ten thousand years ago. Nowadays, however, most guides to making your own vinegar are limited to allowing wine to ferment on its own, often with less-than-stellar results. Truly high-quality vinegar production is an art and science in itself. Austrian distillers Helge Schmickl and Bettina Malle use their experience and scientific background to provide special insight into the creation of artisanal vinegars.
Translated into English for the first time, this guide from Germany offers tips on vinegar fermentation, distillation, and infusion. Schmickl and Malle instruct readers on the three processes commonly used to make vinegar—generator, surface, and submerged—as well as the ideal equipment for both the casual beginner and small-scale producer. Schmickl and Malle’s meticulous experimentation has uncovered the optimal conditions for creating high-quality vinegar using every imaginable starter material, from wines to fruits to herbs. Readers will also learn recipes for using their vinegar in cooking, cleaning, and healthy living.
Detailed, step-by-step instructions for over a hundred recipes illuminate this fascinating process for beginners, and even experienced vinegar crafters are bound to refine their techniques.
Amateur vinegar makers have been usually poor served as far as guides compared to those who are brewing beer or wine. Books on vinegar are published infrequently and rely only on traditional and non-scientific methods. However, The Artisanal Vinegar Maker’s Handbook goes a long way in rectifying this situation finally providing a book for vinegar makers on par with the best books on homebrewing. Bettina Malle and Helge Schmickl are some of the most knowledgeable experts outside of the industry and their resurrection of the packed generator process has allowed vinegar makers to produce vinegar more quickly and without the risk of spoilage. I highly recommend this and hope it is a turning point into launching vinegar brewing as a mainstream hobby. ─ Reginald Smith, President, Supreme Vinegar LLC
ISBN 978-1-943015-02-3. Hardcover, 188 pages.
Bettina Malle and Helge Schmickl graduated from the Vienna University of Technology in 1991 with masters of science in chemical engineering and received doctorates in technical sciences in 1993. They have published books and conduct workshops on the production of vinegar, distilled spirits, and essential oils, emphasizing the use of fruits and herbs right from the garden. Bettina and Helge have been married since 2002. That same year they moved to Klagenfurt, Carinthia (Austria), where they host their seminars and conduct research and developments in fermenting and distilling. They have two children.