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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Genola, Ut
    Posts
    56

    Default Using plastic containers for vinegar making.

    Is it okay to use plastic 5 gallon buckets(obviously food grade) for vinegar making? Would it be wise to just spend the money and go with glass?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,821

    Default Re: Using plastic containers for vinegar making.

    I can't see why it would not work. I would like to try vinegar myself but worry about infecting my mead. What is the byproducts when the alcohol is metabolized into acetic acid? I wonder if you could seal it without and explosion?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Genola, Ut
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Using plastic containers for vinegar making.

    I wonder if you could seal it without and explosion?
    From what I understand the Acetobacter needs oxygen to convert the alcohol into acetic acid. So sealing it would
    not allow for all of the alcohol to be converted to acetic acid.
    With the acid involved it makes me wonder if the plastic would leach toxic substances into the vinegar; but then again
    I don't know. I understand that glass, and wood are safe containers for making vinegar, so glass it is.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,821

    Default Re: Using plastic containers for vinegar making.

    Do you have a vinegar mother?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Genola, Ut
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Using plastic containers for vinegar making.

    As an experiment, about a year ago I made about a gallon of hard cider(following a recipe I found online). I believe I had about 5 percent alcohol(newbie reading hydrometer) when I decided it was time to turn it to vinegar. I bought Braggs Apple Cider vinegar, which is not filtered or pasteurized so it contains the mother (the floaties in the bottom of the bottle). I spooned as much mother into the cider as I could.
    I know this method works because of the 1/8" thick membrane that started to grow on the top. The mixture also started to take on a strong vinegar smell. About 8 months in I decided to call it quits and dump it out(I never planned on actually consuming it). I was unsure of the acid level but when I added baking soda to the same volume of 5 percent vinegar I got a very similar reaction.(didn't have pH testers)
    I don't know what the pro vinegar makers out there use to start the mother. My main concern with the whole process is incubating a bacteria that will kill me. I will definately have to work on the whole sanitation thing.

    Here is a link Beemandan sent me that you might find interesting http://archive.lib.msu.edu/DMC/Ag.%2...e/PDF/e149.pdf

  6. #6

    Default Re: Using plastic containers for vinegar making.

    Food grade plastic buckets should be fine. The material they use to produce them is rated for medium acid….I don’t know the precise spec but what you produce as vinegar should be well below medium. I prefer glass.
    The way you started your mother should be fine but is slow. Whenever I produce a new batch I try to time it so that an older batch is finishing. Then when I harvest the older batch, I leave about a third to inoculate the new stuff. With a nice healthy population of active acetobacters, the new batch will begin ‘brewing’ much faster.
    You aren’t likely to grow any toxic stuff. Very little can live in the alcohol…except the acetobacters…and even less can survive in a 5+% acid vinegar.
    I’d better be careful before I give away all of my ‘trade secrets’.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Genola, Ut
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Using plastic containers for vinegar making.

    Thanks for your help beemandan. I think I am just going to have to get my hands dirty, and just do it.
    I'm thinking that a lot of the learning is going to be in actually doing it. There isn't a whole lot out there
    on the process. Everyone kind of does it a different way.
    If I am successful I will have more vinegar than I could ever know what to do with.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Using plastic containers for vinegar making.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Tervort View Post
    If I am successful I will have more vinegar than I could ever know what to do with.
    It'll keep
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

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