I have a bottle of white vinegar on which it says that the presence of deposits is normal. My problem/concern is that there are LOTS of deposits. What are they? Is there any danger associated with eating these deposits?

  • What kind of vinegar is it? Depending on the vinegar, even significant amounts of deposits may be naturally occurring. – razumny Sep 19 '13 at 20:58
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    Can you provide a photo? – SAJ14SAJ Sep 19 '13 at 21:11
  • @SAJ14SAJ No, sorry – Shawn Oct 3 '13 at 5:15

There are unfiltered vinegars on the market that come with a lot of solids, and it's perfectly normal for those to have all kinds of chunky weirdness if they've sat for a little while.

Wine vinegar has a wide range of normal behaviour: it can get cloudy* or develop sediment, and that's normal. Even filtered vinegar can develop cloudiness and still be perfectly safe.

If your distilled vinegar gets cloudy, I'd worry. That shouldn't happen. Still, foreign bacteria do NOT grow well in vinegar. If your distilled vinegar is growing something, you probably know why.

Commercially produced vinegar very seldom goes bad, unless you're storing it outside on your deck, or something. If you brew your own, your mileage may vary.

*This is often a result of leaving live bacteria ("The Mother") in the vinegar. Some people think this makes it better, like live yoghurt cultures. There isn't much data either way, but it's certainly not harmful.


I don't mean to be insulting, but it's not full of fruit flies, is it? They don't care if vinegar is distilled


I don't think any bacteria will survive in a bottle of vinegar, the older the vinegar the more sour it becomes. There are some vinegar's out there that are 10 years old and super expensive.

  • It is possible for bacteria to survive in vinegar; that is generally how it was created in the first place. However, the largest danger is that it will become diluted and thus more hospitable, and that dilution can be local to for example, just the top of the bottle. Still, it is not the most likely scenario for higher acidity vinegars. Some of the arsenal vinegars with higher sugar levels and less acidity may be the target of molds or bacteria. – SAJ14SAJ Sep 19 '13 at 21:10
  • Regarding distilled vinegar, it's not very likely that it will become more sour as the fermenting bacteria will have been distilled out. – SourDoh Sep 19 '13 at 21:24
  • @sourd'oh And yet, if it is distilled, there should be no deposits.. . – SAJ14SAJ Sep 19 '13 at 21:25

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