From making pickles to a healthy salad dressing, vinegar is part of our culinary life. As well as the common white vinegar, today's vinegars include balsamic vinegar, malt vinegar, raspberry red wine vinegar, rice vinegar and white wine vinegar. Food vinegars have an average acetic acid level of 5 per cent. The strongest level is in apple cider vinegar at 8 per cent. A higher acidity adds a tart, tangy taste to a dish, while reducing the need for salt. The acid level of a vinegar can be easily increased by starting with a common table vinegar at 5 per cent and blending with a vinegar with a higher acid level.
Place the jug in a ventilated area.
Measure 2 cups of white vinegar and pour into the jug. Measure 2 cups of pickling vinegar and pour into the jug.
Stir the contents of the jug with the long-handled spoon. Cover the jug and mark it "7.5% vinegar" and store until needed.
Brands of pickling vinegar with 10 per cent acetic acid levels include Ozark White Distilled Vinegar and Sarson's Malt Vinegar. If you are unsure about the acid level of your vinegar, a wine testing kit can be purchased at any home brewing shop. Costing about £3, it can be used several times.
Do not increase acidic levels to above 8 per cent if the vinegar is for consumption or food preparation. Vinegars with more than 10 per cent acid levels are used as weed killers. Although vinegar can be distilled by either boiling or freezing, both methods make achieving an acceptable acid percentage difficult.