The longer you process the root — or even let it rest — without adding vinegar the more heat it will develop. The whiter the root, the fresher it is. I first heard and tried fire cider in Hawaii about 10 years ago- there it was commonly made with Hawaiian chili peppers and fresh turmeric- and without horseradish- as fresh horseradish isn’t widely available there. Isothiocyanate, the hot chemical in horseradish, wasabi and mustard, aerosolizes extremely rapidly, which is why your eyes water just standing over it. As for the vinegar, according to the link I have in the notes of the recipe the vinegar stops the enzymatic reaction causing the hotness of the horseradish, so if you don’t like it as strong add the vinegar immediately after shredding the horseradish. The root contains highly volatile oils which are released by enzyme activity when the root cells are crushed. Process again to make sure everthing gets coated, then strain the vinegar … Freshly grated horseradish is going to lose some of its potency within minutes, let alone a few hours. Here in the Pacific Northwest, my mother-in-law makes a version of this master tonic called Winkie Juice. Keep the root chilled to preserve the heat. So you can't preserve all of its potency. When it’s hot enough for you, pour in just enough vinegar to cover all the root. Fire Cider Recipe. But I like it hot and just like the flavor combination.
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