Mixing Vinegar, Alcohol and Starter

An optimal acetic acid – alcohol ratio ensures a clean fermentation start.

Whether surface, generator, or submerged process, the initial mixture to start a vinegar fermentation should contain a certain amount of acetic acid or rather vinegar to avoid off-taste and moldy smell. The heightened acetic acid content protects against most kinds of unwanted microorganisms and vinegar eels. Alcohol is food for the vinegar bacteria. A solution with 4 % acetic acid and 2 % alcohol has proven the most effective mixture in practice.

Acid content
Alcohol content
Volume
(ACTUAL) Liquid I:
% acid
%vol
(ACTUAL) Liquid II:
% acid
%vol
(ACTUAL) Starter:
% acid
%vol
Liter
(TARGET) Mixture:
% acid
%vol
Liter

Calculation example

2.77 liters of liquid I with 6.50 % acid and 0.70 %vol alcohol
mixed with
0.60 liters of liquid II with 0.20 % acid and 12.50 %vol alcohol
and
0.50 liters starter with 3.70 % acid and 1.10 %vol alcohol
and
1.13 liters of water
produce
5.00 liters of mixture with 4.00 % acid and 2.00 %vol alcohol.
Starter: filtered, fermenting vinegar without the gelatinous layer, the so-called mother of vinegar.

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