vinegar for pickled beets

michelelcJuly 7, 2012

I am going to try canning pickled beets for the first time. I want to try the recipe in the "Small Batch Canning" book. It calls for white vinegar. From searches I've done on the forum, it seems like cider vinegar is also used when pickling beets and gives a milder flavor. Can I substitute cider vinegar for white vinegar? Also, do people use the cheap store brand cider vinegar, or the unfiltered cider vinegar?

Thanks!

Michele

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Also, do people use the cheap store brand cider vinegar, or the unfiltered cider vinegar?

Not unless it is clearly labeled 5% minimum. Many cheap store or other brands and types are not 5%.

Brand name vinegar such as Heinz is ideal and you can use either cider or white. They are interchangeable but do taste different.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 10:35AM
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michelelc

Thanks Dave! I had no idea the store brands were sometimes not 5%. I did just check mine and it says 5%. I wasn't sure if the raw, unfiltered types like Braggs was better tasting? I did just check my store bought bottle and it says 5% on it. I think I'll try a batch with regular apple cider first. If I'm feeling energetic, I'll do another with regular white vinegar. I just picked 6 lbs of beets this morning.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:32AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The issue with the unfiltered types is the sediment they leave in the food. Not at all appealing.

But yes there are many vinegar brands on the market that are lower than 5%.

Linked a previous discussion about the Bragg's stuff below.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Braggs vinegar

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 12:34PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Some of the cheap store-brand vinegars are white distilled vinegar with apple cider flavoring, so be sure you verify on the label that a cheaper item is true apple cider vinegar.

I have bought and used organic apple cider vinegar on occasion with pickles and it was excellent, but in one case I had to email the processor to find out if the vinegar was 5% as it wasn't indicated on the label. This can happen with small "boutique" producers.

Carol

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 1:39PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I love my Braggs! And my bottle does say it's diluted to 5% acidity.

However, it's expensive compared to Heinz or store brand.
For pickled beets with all that sugar and spices, I'd go with the cheapest one you can find that is 5%. Too many other flavors to spend extra money on a fantastic tasting vinegar. Save it for dressings, etc. where you can really taste the flavor.

JMO,
Deanna

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 9:22PM
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backyardbum

Heinz has an apple cider FLAVORED vinegar. Watch the labels.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:29PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

You're right on that, Dave. I was suckered by the Heinz once. I got my gallon home and couldn't believe it wasn't the real thing.

Carol

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 3:33AM
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michelelc

Thanks everyone! I have my store brand, which does say apple cider and not apple cider flavored. I'll be sure to always read the labels thoroughly from now on! I also purchased a bottle of Heinz for later batches since it was a glass bottle vs. the store brand plastic bottle. I prefer glass. I noticed yesterday at the health food store that they sell very large containers of Braggs cider vinegar. It seemed cheaper in bulk, but I think I'll stick with the cheaper variety for now.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:48AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Keep in mind that checking the label doesn't just mean does it say "flavored" or not. The label should specifically state 5% acidity.

You may have to read the fine print to find it although the better brands normally state it quite clearly. But if 5% isn't anywhere to be found then don't use it.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 12:23PM
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michelelc

Thanks Dave! I will definitely look for 5%. I'm still a beginner and appreciate all the advice and tips. Beets are cooking right now :)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 6:12PM
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