Henry Farms Vinegar

Balsamic Black Garlic Vinegar

Black garlic has existed for centuries in Asian cooking, but only recently has exploded in popularity in western cuisine. More on black Garlic. It is made through a process where the garlic is aged at a high temperature for many months and turns an inky black color with incredibly complex flavors. This is a balsamic vinegar, meaning it was aged in oak for 10 months and is quite concentrated in flavor.

This will have a very polarizing flavor. You're either going to love it or hate it!


Raspberry Vinegar

Raspberry vinegar is a crowd pleaser, and this vinegar will have a very nice balance of complex raspberrry flavors, sweetness, and tartness. The raspberry vinaigrette will be the star of the show, but his vinegar is mellow and sweet enough that you could pour it directly onto ice cream or into a glass of ginger ale.


How this was Made

Vinegar is made in a two step process where first alcohol is created from sugar, and then acetic acid (vinegar) is created from the alcohol. The first step is the same as beer or wine, where yeast turns sugar into alcohol. In the case of apple cider vinegar, for example, the brewer would create hard cider from apples. Next, Acetic Acid Bacteria is added (you'll see this called the mother sometimes) and that bacteria converts alcohol into vingear. For the bottles of vinegar you received, I also pasteurized the vinegar at 150F and sanitized the bottles to ensure no continued fermentation after bottling.

Balsamic vinegar undergoes a further step, where the vinegar is aged in oak barrels. The vinegar develops a delicious and complex oak flavor (much like bourbon) and concentrates as the water evaporates out of the oak. The best balsamic vinegars age for up to 20 years, but the black garlic vinegar was aged for 10 months in oak.

You might be wondering if you can just shortcut this process and extract the black garlic or raspberry flavor directly into store bought vinegar. What you'll find is store bought vinegar is very harsh, while homemade vinegar is sweeter and more flavorful. During the two different fermentation processes, the flavor compounds undergo many transformations and the flavor becomes surprisingly complex. Making this vinegar from scratch just makes a much better product.

Blending and Cooking Raspberries

This releases the sugar and flavor from the raspberries.

Straining the raspberries

This took forever...

Black Garlic from Costco

Black garlic can get very expensive, but thankfully Costco happened to be selling it in bulk when I started on this.

Cooking the Black Garlic

This is boiled in water to extract the flavor and color. A bunch of table sugar was added at this step in order to have something to ferment, since garlic has very little sugar in it.

Fermenting the Black Garlic Vinegar

This is fermented just like beer or wine, where yeast turns sugar into alcohol .

Turning Alcohol into Vinegar

After the sugar is turned into alcohol, the alcohol is turned into vinegar through Acetic Acid Bacteria. This fermentation step is started by adding in unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. and then pumping a high volume of air through the container to encourage the fermentation.
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