Yes - it's definitely cheap. But it's one of those things that when you acquire the taste for it as a child, it's hard to let go of. And unfortunately distilled malt vinegar doesn't taste (or smell) like 'white' vinegar.
You know, I'm actually not sure any more
It's all a bit confusing. I have to confess I always believed that white vinegar was always the "industrial" variety created by the process described in the wiki article, but it would appear I was wrong.
The white vinegar I have is definitely of this variety, and I bought it in Holland when I lived there. IIRC I bought it from the household cleaners section not the food one, so there's no way I'd use it as a foodstuff.
So, what's the difference between unadulterated malt vinegar and the distilled stuff, apart from the colour? I've never tasted it myself .. if I make a bog standard vinaigrette I always use white wine vinegar.
I find the distilled one to be slightly sharper, and to have a less "round" flavour. I guess you could say its less malty, but not entirely "malty-less".
I use (undistilled) malt vinegar on chips....if my wife will share with me. She's a fiend for the stuff.
I used to use the distilled stuff for some dishes, mostly because its the taste I originally acquired, but mostly now I don't use it at all.
White vinegar isn't common here at all,
The confusion in the earlier posts didn't really help.
In fact the title didn't help, the op asked for white (distilled) vinegar, they are two different things, made from maize and barley respectively
Malt is best imo anyway, although I never have white (as in actualt white, not distilled)
I apologise for the confusion. I thought that what we called white (or white distilled) vinegar might just be called 'distilled' vinegar here. Again, I'll have to point you to the reference material for this stuff:
It's called white distilled vinegar. You are (I believe) still talking about malt and distilled malt vinegar.
Who would've thought that something as simple as vinegar could be so complicated, eh?
BTW I love the bit on that site about " ... made from sun-ripened grain and crystal clear water" ... are there any other kinds of grain? and who would want it if it was made from muddy ditch water?
Ironically, I believe its mostly made from corn, which is generally considered to be distinct from grain !
I'm confused reading this thread, but I have chef brand distilled malt vinegar in my cupboard to use on chipper chips when the chipper vinegar has evaporated. I got it in superquinns and it's clear.
And that's without even starting on balsamic. Or kombucha. Or cane vinegar... In fact vinegar clearly deserves its own forum
This complex subject has been covered over in the Sligo Forum!
Explanations and sources can be found in this link:
Unfortunately it's still malt even though it's clear. I actually checked the Sarson's brand today and it's distilled malt vinegar too.
I'm going to have to message Xiney -- I had the exact same problem finding proper pickles! Thanks for the link
OP - The vinegar you listed is a spirit vinegar, one difference from malt vinegars is that it contains a small amount of alcohol. Difficult to find any brand, but there is a brand called Safari, you may find in a South African speciality shop. Jabula.ie is an online seller that stock it. Stocklist here but you may be better off getting it in a shop first, just to make sure it is the same product.
"malt" refers to grains that have been turned into sugar, ready to be brewed. If you have grains they go through a malting process, turning starch into sugar. Then the sugar is fermented, making alcohol. The the alcohol is made into vinegar, you can buy "mother of vinegar" to turn alcohol into vinegar.
The "malt" bit really is distinguishing the vinegar as being one made from grain, corn (maize), barley, rye, wheat etc. It could just as easily be called grain vinegar, like some vodkas might be referred to as a "grain spirit". It distinguished it from wine or cider vinegars.
Grain is a very cheap way to make alcohol, so I would expect most distilled vinegar is made from grains, and hence can be called malt vinegar. You could also get "white vinegar" made from wine, cider, anything really, if you made rhubarb wine it can be turned into white vinegar.
I have never seen undistilled vinegar on sale in supermarkets. Some chippers make their own vinegars, which can be undistilled. Some will blend their brewed vinegar with distilled vinegars.
Most brown vinegars in supermarkets will be distilled white vinegar with colour added, and maybe some unfermented malt to sweeten and colour it. This is similar to what white & brown rum are, unfermented molasses is added back to the distilled white rum to produce brown rum. "Proper" brown vinegar would get its colour from being aged, just like whiskey, distilled whiskey is a clear liquid.
Some asian shops can sell acetic acid cheap enough. But IME clear distilled vinegar made from malted grains is very common.