Stout Vinegar & Syrup
Adapted From The Noma Guide to Fermentation
Makes about 2 Liters
This vinegar, made with a stout from our local brewery, has many of the same complexities as a sherry vinegar - nutty and slightly sweet, though not overly so - and the maltiness from the beer lends this vinegar an interesting umami boost reminiscent of soy sauce.
1 Growler Stout, we get our at Triumph Brewing in New Hope.
Unpasteurized stout vinegar (from a previous batch), or another unpasteurized vinegar such as sherry or apple cider
Cheese cloth, butter muslin, or other breathable kitchen fabric
Air pump and airstone
To kill off any remaining yeast that may affect the flavor of the vinegar, heat the stout in a pot to approximately 70°C/158°F. Cover the pot and hold at that temperature for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature.
Backslop with some existing stout vinegar (or another unpasteurized vinegar with a healthy mother): weigh your stout, then add 20% of that weight in the other unpasteurized vinegar.
Now, you’ll want to transfer your vinegar to a non-metal fermentation vessel that allows for a lot of exposure to the air. Plastic fermentation buckets, and ceramic or glass crocks/jars work well for this.
Cover with a breathable cloth, such as cheesecloth or butter muslin, secure with a rubber band, and leave to ferment at room temperature. Allow 3-5 months for finished vinegar.
Or, to speed the process, submerge an airstone attached to an air pump (a small pump used for a fish tank works well for our purposes) in your vinegar. Once again, secure a breathable cloth over the top. Plug in your pump and leave the stout to ferment at room temperature for 10 to 14 days.
Stout Vinegar Syrup
Makes about 1½ Cups Medium-Thick Syrup, or 1 Cup the Consistency of Honey
Warm spices help to highlight the malty quality of the syrup, while the vinegary bite pairs unexpectedly well with sweets, cutting through the richness of creamy desserts and adding additional brightness to cocktails.
1 Cup Stout Vinegar
1 Cup Sugar
1 Stick Cinnamon
3 Green Cardamom Pods
¼ t Fennel Seed
⅛ t Whole Black Pepper
Combine all ingredients in a high-sided pot and bring to a boil, mixing to be sure all sugar dissolves.
Boil to desired consistency, about 3-5 minutes for medium-thick (best for adding to drinks), and 5-8 for thick, the consistency of honey (best for drizzling on desserts).
Add to cocktails to taste or drizzle over ice cream (vanilla or orange sounds nice, doesn’t it?).