How To Make Brown Rice Vinegar in KNF (Step By Step)

Are you looking for an easy way to make Korean Natural Farming’s Brown Rice Vinegar but unsure where to start? Then follow the steps outlined in our simple guide.

Brown Rice Vinegar, or BRV, is a nutrient-rich condiment made from fermenting unpolished rice. It has a mild flavor with a pleasant aroma and is well-known for its culinary and nutritional benefits. BRV is used extensively in Korean Natural Farming to prepare several recipes.

However, your first batch will take a while to be ready, so the sooner you start, the better.

Brown Rice Brown Sugar

In this guide, you’ll learn:

Let’s get started!

List Of Materials To Make Brown Rice Vinegar

Here is the list of items you’ll need to make your first batch of Brown Rice Vinegar. You can adjust quantities based on your equipment, following the ratio indicated in the steps below.

Brown RiceEnsure it is unpolished
Brown SugarRaw, unrefined brown sugar is best
Filtered WaterShould be unchlorinated 
Apple Cider VinegarEnsure it has the mother
Kitchen ScaleAn Analog or Digital will work
Cooking PotAny cooking pot will do
Fermenting ContainerPreferably glass wide mouth jar
PH MeterA Litmus paper test kit will suffice
Storage BottlesPreferably  narrow mouth glass bottle
Paper TowelA towel will also work
Rubber Band or StringLong enough to go around the wide-mouth bottle
Funnel & StrainerEither stainless steel or plastic is ok.
Note: While you will get vinegar, our initial aim is to cultivate and harvest acetic acid bacteria, the microorganisms responsible for creating vinegar. If you’re already into fermenting and have access to the “mother," feel free to make as much vinegar as possible.

How To Make Brown Rice Vinegar (Step By Step)

Ingredients need to go through both alcoholic and acetic fermentation to make vinegar. 

Ideally, you would produce as much alcohol as possible before converting to vinegar. However, this is not necessary for use in Korean Natural Farming.

Follow the steps below to make your first batch of BRV. Remember, your main aim is to cultivate the “mother of vinegar” for subsequent batches.

See Also: How To Make Vinegar At Home In 7 Easy Steps (With Pictures)

Step 1: Collect Ingredients And Equipment

You need three ingredients to make Brown Rice Vinegar: Brown Rice, Brown Sugar, and Mother Of Vinegar.

Brown Rice
Raw Unpolished Brown Rice

Purchase Brown Rice and Brown Sugar, preferably as raw and unrefined as possible. The process requires a 1:1 ratio. However, bear in mind that rice yields when cooked.

Collect some mother of vinegar from a previous process or purchase a bottle of Apple Cider with the mother.

Collect and sterilize all your equipment to avoid possible contamination of the mixture. You should be able to get a PH tester or litmus test kit at your local pharmacy or online.

Try to get everything before starting the process. However, you have about two months before you need to use the testing kit.

Step 2: Wash, Cook, and Weigh Rice

Pour rice into a bowl and rinse thoroughly with water. Empty the white, starchy water and rinse again.

Place rice into a pot, add water, and cook as directed on the package until rice is fluffy but firm.

Pour out excess water, then weigh out your desired quantity of rice.

Step 3: Mix And Start Alcoholic Ferment

Measure an equal amount of brown sugar and add it to the warm rice. Mix the rice and the brown sugar thoroughly until it forms syrup alike paste.

Brown Rice And Brown Sugar
Cooked Brown Rice And Brown Sugar

Pour the mixture into the wide mouth bottle and cover with its lid. Alcoholic fermentation works best in the absence of oxygen. However, you need to open the lid daily to release any build-up of gases. 

Place the bottle in a cool, dark, well-ventilated area for five to seven days. This is the first fermentation. You should notice a slight alcoholic or yeast-like aroma when releasing the pressure in the jar.

Brown Rice Vinegar Day 0
Brown Rice Alcoholic Fermentation – Day 0
Note: Some people choose to allow the mixture to ferment for 20 days. You can experiment with the duration for subsequent batches. For now, stick to a week at room temperature, increasing the period in cooler areas.

Step 4: Start Acetic Fermentation

After the initial fermentation, add up to three times the volume of filtered water to the wide mouth container. For example, if you have 1 cup of the mixture, add up to 3 cups of water.

Brown Rice Vinegar Acetic Fermentation Day 0
Start Of Brown Rice Vinegar Fermentation

Add the mother of vinegar. You can use some from a previous ferment or add a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother, shaking it before pouring it into the measuring spoon.

Cover the bottle with a paper towel, securing it with a string or rubber band. Wipe the outside of the bottle with some white vinegar to deter ants. Place the bottle into a dark, well-ventilated cupboard.

finished brown rice vinegar showing three distinct layers
Finished Brown Rice Vinegar Showing Three Distinct Layers

Please do not disturb me once the process has started. It can take up to two months when using Apple Cider vinegar and about 1 month if the mother of vinegar is used. However, it becomes more potent if left for an additional month or two.

Note: The second fermentation requires oxygen, hence the breathable material. If you choose to place a lid, you’ll need to open it regularly to allow air into the container.

Step 5: Test, Strain, And Store Vinegar

After the fermentation period, there should be a clear separation between the rice, the vinegar, and a gel-like substance (the mother of vinegar). 

Test the acidity of the vinegar to confirm that it has reached the ideal PH range. Vinegar should have a PH under 3.5 to be considered safe to use. Follow the instructions of your phone testing kit to do so.

Once the PH is confirmed, remove the film at the top of the solution and strain the clear liquid into the narrow mouth glad bottle. Use a funnel to make it easier.

Cover the bottle with a lid to prevent excess air from interacting with the vinegar. Store in a cool, dark place, opening only when necessary.

Step 6: Store Mother Of Vinegar

Remove the gel-like substance from the fermenting bottle. This is the mother of vinegar, containing the bacteria needed to turn alcohol into vinegar.

scoby containing yeast and acetic bacteria or mother of vinegar
Vinegar SCOBY Containing Yeast And Acetic Bacteria

Place this substance into a clean glass bottle and add some Brown Rice Vinegar. Cover tightly with a lid and store in a cool, dark place until needed.

The Acetic Acid Bacteria present in the substance can be stored and submerged in vinegar for quite a while. Just ensure you refresh your stock regularly by preparing new batches of vinegar. Get creative!  

Note: You can feed small pieces of the vinegar mother to your chicks. They see it as a nice treat.

Benefits of Brown Rice Vinegar (BRV)

Brown Rice Vinegar is one of the most sort after condiments. It is known for drawing out the flavor in dishes while adding several nutritional and health benefits. However, it should be used in moderation since too much can do more harm than good.

Brown Rice And Sugar
Brown Rice And Brown Sugar Mixture

For instance, BRV can make you feel full while adding flavor to various dishes, such as salads. As a result, it is used extensively as a tonic to support weight loss, general health, and skincare.

Studies have shown promising results for using BRV or acetic acid in lowering cholesterol. However, these results were not conclusive. 

Brown Rice Vinegar is known to aid in digestion. Research supports its ability to regulate blood sugar, making it valuable for diabetic patients. However, this should be used in moderation under the guidance of s physician.

While BRV is considered zero calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, many of its benefits seem anecdotal. Still, they have enough promise to warrant more formal studies. 

In plants, BRV helps absorb various minerals, including calcium. It aids in accelerating growth while protecting the plants from some diseases. 

Hen And Chicks
Diluted BRV Mixed With Garlic And Fed To Chickens

In livestock, the acetic acid contained in Brown Rice Vinegar is shown to have a cleansing effect on the liver cells. It is a weak acid but is considered an alkaline food. It breaks down in the body resulting in alkaline compounds. 

Disadvantages Of Brown Rice Vinegar

Surprisingly, the disadvantages linked to Brown Rice Vinegar are due to excessive or incorrect use.

For example, one of the main disadvantages of BRV is tooth damage, which is partly due to the acidity of the vinegar. This can easily be remedied by adequately diluting the solution and using a straw.

The second issue is that Brown Rice Vinegar contains high levels of Potassium. Some studies suggest that consuming large amounts of Potassium actually lowers the body’s ability to absorb Potassium. This can possibly result in osteoporosis and bone and heart problems.

Note: The disadvantages are linked to overconsumption of BRV and hint that it should be used in moderation. However, these studies also pointed out the presence of Potassium which we will get to next.

Uses Of Brown Rice vinegar

Brown Rice Vinegar is one of the most used “ingredients” in Korean Natural Farming. It is added to every recipe, concoction, and even food. In short, it is almost impossible to have too much.

In cooking, BRV is used mainly as a flavoring but is promoted for its ability to reduce appetite and aid in weight loss. It has a mild flavor and is often used directly on salads or to create salad dressings.

In Korean Natural Farming, Brown Rice Vinegar is used mainly as an ingredient in the preparation of natural fertilizers, pesticides, and tonics. 

Eggshells Reacting To Vinegar
Making WCA With Vingar And Eggshells

It is usually diluted in a ratio of 1:500 when used as a cleanser or additive. However, it can be used almost at full strength when used as a catalyst to prepare solutions such as Water-Soluble calcium.

Basically, Brown Rice Vinegar is a valuable solution that is highly sorted after and is widely used in numerous culinary, medicinal, and farming applications.

Final Thoughts

Brown Rice Vinegar is a popular ingredient used by cooks, health enthusiasts, and natural farmers. It has numerous nutritional and health benefits and is priced accordingly.

It is easy to prepare, even though it takes a while. However, this effort will pay back a hundredfold due to its multiple uses within the home and garden.

In Korean Natural Farming, BRV is treasured for its ability to enhance the healthy growth of plants at various stages of the Nutritive Cycle, and improve the general health and well-being of livestock and humans alike.

Related Questions

Is Brown Rice Vinegar The Same As Rice Vinegar?

The main difference between Rice vinegar and Brown Rice Vinegar is how much the rice was processed, resulting in different nutritional content. Brown Rice Vinegar is made with unpolished rice, containing various vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, most of which are removed while polishing.

Is There A Substitute For Brown Rice Vinegar?

You can use an assortment of raw, unfiltered vinegar substitutes for Brown Rice Vinegar. However, you may wish to experiment with closer related vinegar, such as rice or wheat, for flavoring reasons before diverting to fruit-based alternatives.

What Is The Mother Of Vinegar?

The Mother Of Vinegar is the gel-like substance formed during the vinegar-making process. It is made as a by-product of acetic acid bacterial activity. It serves as a habitat for them to live in and multiple. As a result, it is a priceless substance in vinegar making.

Difference Between Apple Cider Vinegar And Brown Rice Vinegar

The main differences between Apple Cider Vinegar and Brown Rice Vinegar are the nutritional content and flavors carried over from the starting ingredients. However, they contain similar characteristics making them viable substitutes in cooking and other applications.


Cho’s Global Natural Farming. Fermented Fruit Juice. Access June 2022

Reddy, Ronhini. Cho’s Natural Farming. South Asian Rural Reconstruction Association. 2011 (PDF)

WebMD. Rice Vinegar: Is It Good For You? Accessed June 2022

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About Julien

Julien Kirton is the founder and main content creator at Micro Farm Guide. He has over 10 years experience in small-scale farming, and enjoys helping people build productive backyard farms using natural farming and other sustainable techniques.