Ian (from Redback) very kindly sent me the following information for getting the 'mother' happening.
- I have bought a mother in a small jar from a winemaking shop - hard to find here I think
I couldn't get into Lismore to see if they have it...
- you can add an unpasturised vinegar available from most health food stores - there is a US brand of apple cider vinegar - pasturisation kills the mother
I found this it's called Bragg Organic Vinegar and contains some mother.
- I know people who add horse cider vinegar - this is just unpasturised cider vinegar - still has the live mother in it - available from most stock feed places
Did ask at the stock feed and it was in a 'big' container I think 20litres and had garlic in it... and then found the Braggs.
After giving it a wash I'll get some red wine vinegar going ready for summer and then over summer will white wine. DH has been looking up Malt Vinegar which is made from beer and now he's thinking of doing that...
Will let you all know how it goes.