I am wondering if my latest batch of vinegar is either too sweet or too alcoholic for the acetobacter to flourish. Are there well known thresholds for alcohol and sugar that acetobacter will tolerate?
The latest batch is an attempt to make balsalmico tradizionale de Ohio. I made a sweet wine from a white grape juice and white grape reduction. The fermentation was vigorous and finished product sweet and very alcoholic. I added the wine and vinegar starter to a wide mouth mason jar filled to the top. I am more than two weeks in and have added vinegar starter multiple times. There is still no mother growing on top and the acid levels do not seem to be progressing.
Variables I've considered:
- Preservatives: I double checked the grape juice for ingredients. Ascorbic acid only. The yeast fermentation went fine, so preservatives should not be the culprit. That said, sugar is a preservative...
- Temperature: The house is between 70-80 throughout the day. I have batches of vinegar in progress sitting 2 inches away.