*guest post - the 'how-to' from JD Provence
Vinegar can be made from any ale, beer, hard cider, or wine. Or a little more complicated process, making a wine, beer or cider from any fruit or vegetable you may want to try. I have made vinegar from homemade cherry cider, homemade watermelon wine, homemade poblano cider, homemade apple cider, Apple Ale, Strawberry Ale, and currently have a batch of homemade tomatillo lime salsa wine, I just started converting. As well as several batches of watermelon, strawberry, apple, poblano, and soon to try a jalapeno cider vinegar.
For now, I won't go into the process of making an alcoholic beverage, so use a beer, ale, or wine you like, this would be a good way to get started. (If anybody is interested in making a more custom vinegar, from other fruits or vegetables, or salsas, just let us know, and I'll do an easy recipe for a quick, easy, alcoholic beverage, to be converted to vinegar.)
In order to start the process of converting alcohol to vinegar, you need "the mother".
This can be purchased at just about any beer and wine-making supply store, eBay or Amazon. You can use "the mother" from the bottom of a bottle of store bought vinegar that contains "the mother". I have had very good luck this way,
I put my alcoholic beverage of choice in a sanitized, wide mouth glass jar, put a layer of cheesecloth over the top, secure it with a rubber band, place it in a well ventilated room, where there is adequate air circulation, and wait..this method may take a few weeks.
If you are using a "mother" that you bought, you do not need to use the cheesecloth. You just add the mother to the beverage, put the lid on, and in about a month or 2, you've got a delicious, healthful, homemade custom vinegar.
Sanitizing your containers and utensils is EXTREMELY important. Due to the amount of mold spores in the air, as well as vinegar spores, and many of them will grow in a low alcohol content beverage - which will ruin your vinegar making experience.