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I made a ginger simple syrup. I took a large amount of ginger, simmered it in water to cover for an hour, drained it (reserving the water), and repeated the process with fresh water. I did this three times. I took the reserved ginger water added a bit of sugar and reduced to maybe 1/3rd. Let it cool and stuck it in the fridge. It was cloudy and clearly had some fine ginger particulate floating around in it. It was very strong and tasted great.

I used it for a couple of weeks to make ginger based drinks, and then it got stuck behind something in the fridge to be rediscovered this morning. I made it 43 days ago, and it's probably been untouched in the fridge for 28 days. I checked to see if it was still good and it smelled ok, however, it had the consistency of mucus. It was really, really disgusting. I did not taste it. My wife tried to throw it out but started gagging as it oozed out of the jar. Naturally, I got a camera (unfortunately it's acting up and I can't upload the photos, hopefully they'll follow).

What on earth caused this to happen?

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Hopefully you'll be able to get the pictures. I have had something similar (based on description) happen with a syrup, would be great to compare to the pic. I would be interested in the answer to this as well. –  jeffwllms Sep 25 '11 at 15:11

1 Answer 1

My guess is that:

 1) The syrup wasn't acdic enough 

and

 2) The sugar concentration wasn't high enough.

If the sugar concentration is high enough, the sugar so-to-speak draws the water out of bacteria by osmosis thus killing them. If you don't like the syrup to be too sweet, try adding lemon juice.

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So you're saying that bacteria grew because the solution wasn't acidic or sweet enough and that caused the change in texture? –  yossarian Sep 25 '11 at 15:26
    
Yes. (@yossarian : I had to wait for my reputation to exceed 200 before I could make this comment :-) ) –  soegaard Sep 26 '11 at 7:55

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