Apple cider Vinegar
July 22, 2011 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Can Apple Cider Vinegar or any vinegar, go bad with time so you can't use it as food?
posted by page123 to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
According to the Vinegar Institute FAQ page:
"How Long Does Vinegar Last?

The Vinegar Institute conducted studies to find out and confirmed that vinegar’s shelf life is almost indefinite. Because of its acid nature, vinegar is self-preserving and does not need refrigeration. White distilled vinegar will remain virtually unchanged over an extended period of time. And, while some changes can be observed in other types of vinegars, such as color changes or the development of a haze or sediment, this is only an aesthetic change. The product can still be used and enjoyed with confidence."
posted by paulsc at 1:20 PM on July 22, 2011

Yes. Some bacteria and yeasts can live in acetic acid up to 9% and use the acetic acid as a carbon source.
posted by benzenedream at 1:21 PM on July 22, 2011

Anecdotally, I've had Trader Joe's orange muscat champagne vinegar go bad on me. I didn't notice the recommendation to refrigerate after opening, and after a month or two open at room temperature it turned a darker color and started smelling funky. I'm not sure if it was actually inedible, but it certainly got manky enough that I didn't want to try it out.
posted by pie ninja at 1:25 PM on July 22, 2011

It kind of goes "rancid" after a long time, you'll know if it happens it's unmissable. It would almost certainly not be harmful to you, but then, neither is sour milk and I sure don't want to be drinking much of that.
posted by smoke at 4:34 PM on July 22, 2011

I had a half bottle of balsamic vinegar gel up on me once. Still have no idea what happened there.
posted by KathrynT at 11:47 PM on July 22, 2011

KathrynT, maybe it was the mother? It's a big jelly blob that keeps growing and will consume all the vinegar if you let her. I've never seen it in balsamic though.
posted by librarina at 7:25 PM on July 24, 2011

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