Discover how to make homemade strawberry vinegar from fresh berries! This is a simple, homemade fermented strawberry vinegar recipe that nearly anyone can make and use in their kitchen. Let me show you how!
Have you ever heard of strawberry vinegar before? Perhaps like many home cooks, you weren’t aware that it was even possible to create a tasty artisan vinegar from fresh strawberries?
I had no idea about all this, until my man and I moved to fruit country. With an overabundance of berries at our fingertips, I decided it was time to save a few pennies by learning how to make my own fruit vinegar!
So I dove in, made lots of mistakes along the way and soon discovered you can make vinegar with nearly any type of berry!
Here where I live, strawberries are one of the first fruits to ripen in the spring. And when I’m running low on my homemade fruit vinegar supply, I whip out a batch and replenish my pantry shelf!
Tools You May Need
There really isn’t anything special you need to make strawberry vinegar in your own kitchen. In fact, I’d be willing to bet you already have all the necessary items on hand! Here’s a list for you to look over.
- 1 quart (1 litre) wide mouth jar
- a coffee filter, paper towel or 8×8 inch square of cloth
- 8 quart bowl
- large cotton tea towel (I use these ones HERE)
- rubber band for securing cloth
- a jar with a plastic lid (get HERE) for storing finished vinegar
How Do You Make Strawberry Vinegar?
In this tutorial, I teach you how to make homemade fermented strawberry vinegar using the traditional method. Meaning you don’t have to add any yeast or bacteria culture starter to begin the transformation process!
Everything you need already exists on the skin of your fruit and in the air of your home. Here’s a breakdown of how it works.
Step 1: Prepare Your Strawberries
Whenever you make homemade fruit vinegar, you should be sure to use sun-ripened fruit. Freshly harvested berries will give you the best flavor. To prepare strawberries, all you have to do is rinse the fruit clean and remove the green leaflets on top.
Step 2: Jar Your Strawberries and Add Water
Once they’re clean, whole strawberries should be stuffed into a quart or 1 litre jar. Firmly pack them in, until your berries reach the shoulder of your jar, leaving about 2 inches of open space at the top. It’s important you don’t overfill it (as you’ll see later).
Cover the berries with good, filtered water. If they aren’t tightly packed down, they might float. In this case, you won’t hurt anything by just guesstimating your water levels.
Be sure to keep the waterline at the jar’s shoulder as well.
Step 3: Add a Lid to the Jar and Let Things Infuse
Fasten a canning lid down on your filled jar and push it to the back of your kitchen counter. Let it sit for 6-10 days, being sure to break the seal every day to release any gasses that might build up in this time.
As the berries sit in the water, they’ll release their juices and the color will change from pale pink to a deep red. You’ll also notice that the strawberries will compress in the top of your jar, leaving a section of pure juice in the bottom.
When you see this, it’s time to strain out the berries!
Note: if your home is over 80F (27C), go ahead and pop the jar into your fridge and wait for the infusion to take place there. If your home is too warm, the wrong natural yeasts may take over and spoil your infusion. And if you refrigerate your strawberry infusion, you won’t have to break the seal every day, because the liquid will be too cold to start fermenting!
Step 4: Separate Strawberries from the Juice
Once you see the telltale signs of a finished water extraction, it’s time to strain out your strawberries and keep the juice for fermenting!
Line a 8 quart bowl with a cotton or muslin cloth (get my favorites HERE), then pour the strawberries and juice into it.
To separate the berries from the juice, all you have to do is lift the cloth and just like that, you have pure strawberry juice left in the bowl!
If you want to make the most of your berries, go ahead and knot the 4 corners of the cloth together, making a homemade jelly bag. Hang it from one of the handles of your upper kitchen cabinets and let juices drip into the bowl below for 1-2 hours.
Step 5: Prepare Your Juice for Fermenting
It’s easy to prepare your strawberry juice for fermenting! Just pour it into a clean, 1 quart (1 litre) jar and cover the mouth with a clean coffee filter, paper towel, or cloth square.
And here’s where you use that rubber band! Use it to securely fasten the cover down around the jar’s rim.
By using a coffee filter, paper towel or a piece of tightly-woven cloth, you’ll keep fruit flies and bugs out of your juice while still allowing airflow to carry in the good, airborne organisms needed to create strawberry vinegar.
Get the Beginner’s Guide to Making Homemade Fruit Vinegar!
Let me show you how to successfully create & use fruit vinegar in your own kitchen!
My complete guide will help you discover how vinegar is made, guide you through the creation process, give troubleshooting tips and how to finish vinegar off for storage.
Recipes, charts and checklist are included!
Step 6: Leave Your Strawberry Juice to Ferment
After you’ve prepared your strawberry juice for fermenting, all you have to do is push it to the back of your kitchen counter and let it sit.
Just like that, you’ve done all the hard work! From here, natural airborne organisms will take over and turn your strawberry juice into homemade strawberry vinegar.
There are two different types of organisms that are responsible for the transformation.
Did you know there were natural yeasts on the skin of your strawberries? These yeasts exist all around us and are airborne. As your fruit juice sits in the warm temperatures of your kitchen, yeasts slowly come to life and feed on the sugars found in your fruit juice.
As they feed, they convert the sugars to alcohol and release carbon dioxide at the same time. If you see tiny bubbles in your fruit juice, it’s a sure sign that the first phase of fermentation is taking place!
Acetic Acid Bacteria
Once the yeasts have converted most of the sugar to alcohol, a second airborne organism takes over. This group is called acetobactors (also known as acetic acid bacteria). And they take the alcohol content natural yeasts created and transform it to an acid.
When these bacteria have finished working, your strawberry juice will smell sharp like vinegar. It’ll taste like vinegar. And for good reason.
Because that’s what you, the yeasts and bacteria just created: homemade fermented strawberry vinegar!
Step 7: How to Bottle and Store Homemade Strawberry Vinegar
Your homemade strawberry vinegar is now an acidic substance. For this reason, you’ll want to store it in a food-safe container. Glass is a common choice, but be sure to stay away from metal or tin lids. Over time, vinegar will cause them to corrode and rust.
Instead, I recommend using the following.
- canning jar with a plastic lid (get plastic lids HERE)
- glass bottle with a swingtop (grab some HERE)
- glass jug with plastic lid (look HERE)
Do You Have to Refrigerate Strawberry Vinegar?
Once you’ve jarred or bottled your homemade fermented strawberry vinegar, it’s actually shelf stable. No refrigeration needed!
You can store your bottled vinegar in a kitchen cupboard, in the pantry or cold room.
The acid preserves and keeps your strawberry vinegar in excellent condition for at least 12 months. After this time, the acid will slowly weaken and mellow out. But if you like your homemade vinegar as much as I do, it won’t last for more than about half a year on the shelf!
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
Uses for Strawberry Vinegar
You might be wondering how to use strawberry vinegar in the kitchen? Let me give you a few ideas!
You can make
- Homemade vinaigrettes for green salad
- Haymaker’s punch drink to help balance electrolytes
- A garlic infusion to take as a home remedy (get recipe HERE)
- Homemade condiments with strawberry vinegar (instead of apple cider vinegar)
- A pickling brine for refrigerator cucumber pickles
- Marinades to tenderize and flavor red meats
- Tangier fruit desserts by adding a tablespoon or two of strawberry vinegar
Even though I’ve spent years making all kind of homemade fruit vinegar, I remember how overwhelming it can be to recall all the steps in the process.
Learning how to make strawberry vinegar isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Once you master the basic steps, you’ll soon be creating all types in your own kitchen!
And if you need a visual or would feel more comfortable with a troubleshooting guide, don’t forget to grab my digital book and course!
Comments or questions? Leave them below and I’ll get back to you on them!
How to Make Fermented Strawberry Vinegar
- 8 quart bowl
- 1 quart (1 litre) jar
- large cotton cloth
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 tablespoon honey or sugar (optional for stronger ferment)
- Harvest sun-ripened strawberries from your patch or from a local u-pick.
- Rinse strawberries to remove dust and bugs.
- Remove the green leaflets. Stems are ok to leave on.
- Pack whole fruit into your jar, filling it to the shoulder (leave at least 2 inches of open space at top).
- Add chlorine-free water until your berries are just covered when you press them down.
- Cover the jar with a lid and fasten into place to keep fruit flies out.
- You can place your berries in your refrigerator or leave them out on the kitchen counter. If leaving them out, be sure to break the seal every day to release carbon dioxide.
- Let strawberries and water infuse for 6-10 days.
- Line an 8 quart bowl with a cotton cloth.
- Pour the strawberries and liquid into it.
- Gather up the 4 corners of the cloth and knot together.
- Lift berries and hang for 1-2 hours so juices can drip into the bowl below.
- Pour collected strawberry juice into a clean, wide mouth jar.
- Cover with a cloth, paper towel or coffee filter and fasten down with rubber band to keep fruit flies out.
- Let juice ferment for 8-12 weeks, until it begins to smell sour.
- Taste test. If your strawberry juice taste sour, pour 1/2 C into a small jar and cover with a tightly fastened canning lid and band.
- Return to the kitchen counter and let sit for 2-3 days.
- Break the seal. If a puff of air was released, your vinegar isn't done fermenting yet. Return to the original fermenting jar and let it sit for another 2-3 weeks.
- Continue testing, until no puff of air is released from your little jar.
- And then, it's time to bottle or jar your homemade strawberry vinegar in a food-grade container!
- Store in a kitchen cupboard or on a pantry shelf for up to 12 months.