Enjoy the Best of the Flavors With Brown Vinegar!

Written by The Kitchen Hand on . Posted in drink

Malt vinegar uses are many! Did you ever come across malt vinegar or brown vinegar as one of the ingredients of a recipe? Did you ever wonder what makes this vinegar different from a synthetic one? And does that difference guarantee better health and nutritional value to the brown vinegar? 

Well, to know all this, you may need to scroll more, as this article fairly discusses everything about brown vinegar, from the making to the usage. We cannot deny the importance of vinegar in everyday cooking. From sauces to condiments, marinades, soups, salads, stews, and pickles, it is used to enhance the flavors to a whole new level.

What is Brown Vinegar?

Extracted from barley, brown vinegar is obtained through a process known as malting. This is the reason that it is often termed as ‘malt vinegar.’

So what malting does to barley that it turns into vinegar?

Malting is a process where the starch present in the barley is turned into maltose; this maltose is later converted into vinegar, such product has a dark brown color which gives the vinegar its name.

However, there is a number of other ways which are now used to obtain brown vinegar other than malting. These may include extraction from beetroot etc. Such products are prepared for commercial purpose and do not completely substitute brown vinegar in flavor and nutrition. In terms of flavor, this vinegar shares some similarity with malt.

If you are still wondering and calculating the harms and ills of ‘malting’ then stop! As it is a basic fermentation process which turns sugar into acetic acid. But before that to happen, the maltose is produced, which gives the process its name ‘Malting.’

Since every other vinegar contains acetic acid, then what makes the brown vinegar so different? Well, it is true that brown vinegar is obtained through the long process of fermentation, but the process is carried out on barley extracts. This is the reason that it is also rich in gluten and other nutrients.

Variety of Brown Vinegar

It may sound surprising to many of us that brown vinegar is available in different variations. Due to the commercial scale production of the malt vinegar now it is sourced from different ingredients and the variation is added to suit the need of everyone. The purest of the malt extract from the barley has a darker shade of brown, the color goes to lighter tones when it is further diluted or processer.  The sharpness of the taste also follows similar trends.

Amber Brown Vinegar

Such vinegar is lighter in the shade and has an ‘Amber’ like the color. It has a mild and soft flavor, which makes it perfect to use for salad vinaigrettes or marinades. You can also prepare a number of sauces using this variety of brown vinegar.

Dark Brown Vinegar

Malt vinegar with darker shades has the sharpest flavor, and they are great for marinating fish or to cook other fish recipes. It is also used in the manufacturing of chips.  You can also add brown vinegar to other meat recipes.

Once you buy a full bottle, it lasts for several months, so it is best to buy one as per your need.

Culinary Uses

Vinegar has so many of the uses. It is not only used for culinary purposes but also makes good in a number of cleaning hacks whether in the kitchen or outside of it. For the sake for this article, however, we will only be discussing the culinary uses of brown vinegar. From cooking to garnishing, it can be added at any step to infuse some pleasing flavors to the recipes.


Whether you are making a mixed vegetable salad or trying something leafy green, salads always taste great when seasoned with a juicy dressing. Brown vinegar is a sure way to add flavor to the salads; you can always mix it up with some basic spices to enjoy the best of it.

Food Topping

A little drizzle on the top with brown vinegar always give it a nice and appealing finish. It not only adds up to the look but also the flavor of the food. Pour a teaspoon or two over seared meat, cooked soups, stews and enjoy an inspiring flavor.

Chips and Crisps

In most parts of the world, chips are served with a little brown vinegar drizzle on top. It absorbs into the chips and induces a very distinctive flavor. You can to give it a try, whether you are frying some potato crisp or baking zucchini chips, a light drizzle will spark a new flavor.

Sauces and Marinades

We know that most sauce is incomplete without a little use of vinegar. Malt vinegar is great for sauces as well as marinades as it adds a strong flavor without playing the taste of the other ingredients. It also brings a certain aroma to the recipes. If you are using dark brown vinegar, use a small amount of it, as it may overdo the flavor.


Vinegar is essential to store various vegetables as pickles. Onions when pickled in brown vinegar, tastes so juicy and delicious. Similarly, several vegetables can be pickled with a light amount of brown vinegar. Seal the vegetables in a jar filled with amber brown vinegar and let it rest for two days or a week.

Soups and Stews

Using brown vinegar for such recipes is not entirely essential, but it always picks up the flavor. So, try a teaspoon of this vinegar for a soothing flavor. All you need to do is to add a teaspoon or more to the freshly cooked meal.


Perks of using a brown vinegar is that if the bottle is unopened, you can store it for five to six months easily. And if opened, you can still store it in an airtight container at a dark and cool place. Keep it in a clean and sealed bottle. If the bottle is opened, prefer refrigerating it for daily use.

Malt Vinegar Benefits

Besides evoking inspiring flavors in the food, there are numerous malt vinegar health benefits. Since the starch is fermented using bacteria to turn sugar into acetic acid. We may not find many o acetic acid. We may not find many researchers or studies highlighting the perks of vinegar, but some facts are known and are backed by modern science as well. Brown vinegar is prescribed to all the patients suffering from heart conditions, diabetes or cholesterol.

Why exactly so? Let’s find out:

Sugar Control

According to the research conducted and published by Diabetes Care, drinking malt vinegar in a small amount before a carb-rich meal can help maintain the sugar level and keep it low.  People with type 2 diabetes, who suffer from greater insulin sensitivity can use malt vinegar to control their diabetes. It does not let the sugar to get into the blood and converts it into other by-products.

Works Against Obesity

When you take high glycemic or fat rich food, getting extra pounds of weight is a nightmare we experience or at least have in mind. Brown vinegar can even help you to control obesity. It adds little calories to the food while adding so much flavor. It aids digestion and does not allow fat deposition in the body. Drinking malt vinegar, at least a teaspoon a day, either pure or mixed with water or other juices can give a refreshing effect to your mind and body. It also boosts our metabolism and acts as a natural detoxifier.

Good for Your Heart

Journal of Food Science has published an article in 2014, which states that acetic acid in a certain amount is helpful in removing bad cholesterol from the body. Malt vinegar is effective in this regard, it works actively against the bad cholesterols and does not allow them to deposit in the blood vessels or heart valves. This is why it can keep our heart u and run. If you can not drink it directly, try adding it to the salads or drizzle some over meat before eating.

Improved Digestion

Brown vinegar helps in the digestion of food, whether it is high glycemic food or protein loaded meat. It allows the easy breakdown of complex macronutrients and also accelerates the process of assimilation. Experts have come up with the studies which rightly indicates that if a person drinks brown vinegar


The quality of the malt vinegar to fight against the toxins or harmful radicals makes it a great detoxifier. If daily take some amount of brown vinegar in your diet, it will keep fresh and healthy round the clock. Such fresh will also appear on your skin, making it more glowing.

Substitutes for Malt Vinegar

When you substitute any food substance from another, consider the basic characteristic of it, flavor, aroma, appearance, etc. Look for the closest match and then go for it. Same is true for brown vinegar, though it cannot be entirely replaced with other substance as it is unique in every sense.

However, there are options which may be considered if you do not get your hands-on brown vinegar. Red wine vinegar is a healthy substitute. It has a somewhat similar experience and a taste which is as mild as brown vinegar.

You have some sort of sensitivities or allergies which prohibits you from using brown vinegar or anything extracted from barley, then avoid using it and try a gluten-free substitute. Apple cider vinegar is the best choice for people who are gluten sensitive.

It is rich, nutritious and healthy.

Be careful while substituting brown vinegar with other substances, as many people add the same amounts as given in the recipe, in place of the brown vinegar. Since the sharpness of each vinegar varies significantly, you cannot confuse yourself between the amounts. If you do so, it will ruin the entire flavor of your recipe. It is therefore suggested to add the substitute as per the taste. Keep your own likeness in consideration and then add it, whether its apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.


Brown vinegar is so full of health benefits. Its flavor and nutritional value is something which makes it a must to add to our grocery list. The wide variety of the malt vinegar makes it a perfect culinary item to use for entrees and side dishes. If you are not yet familiar with the taste of malt vinegar and just getting used to it, go for amber one and then switch darker brown.

Start using it by adding some amount to the salads, then go for other dishes. It is prescribed that a small amount of brown vinegar should be taken in daily. However, if you are gluten sensitive, always consult your nutritionist or other experts before going for it.

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The Kitchen Hand

The Kitchen Hand

Your Personal In-House 'HOW TO' Gastro Master. From Slicing up A Pig for Christmas or Selecting Your Organic Ingredients for that Super Vegan Juice, The kitchen Hand Knows More Than You Might Think .
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