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So while wandering around our local Asian supermarket here in San Diego, my wife and I found some Wan Jia Shan red vinegar. My wife loves the taste of vinegar, and so we have about 9-10 different types of vinegars at home. Then we noticed on the bottle that it said to refrigerate the vinegar after opening. I had never heard this before, and though that this would be a good question to ask.

So does vinegar need to be refrigerated after opening? Thanks in advance.

  • I have some coconut vinegar that said to refrigerate after opening (the filipino type, not the health-nut type), so I suspect it's based on the specific vinegar. – Joe Dec 8 '16 at 16:57
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If in doubt, follow the instructions on the label - since this is a vinegar with extra flavoring, all speculation on whether it could spoil (by oxidation of flavor compounds) or even become unsafe to consume is just that: speculation.

Also, make sure that vinegar is stored with the lid down tight if not refrigerated: Asian bottles are often badly designed (caps that tend to stay half open or not seal well), and a half-open vinegar bottles can attract fruit flies and similar surprises into it.

  • Thanks for the advise. I know all to well about the little extra surprises when you leave one of those lids open just a bit. Glad I always check the condition of ingredients before I use them, I had found some dead bugs in my squeeze bottle of soy sauce. – JG sd Dec 8 '16 at 16:09
  • Chinkiang covereth a multitude of extra proteins.... – rackandboneman Dec 8 '16 at 16:27
  • You can use the fruit fly thing to your advantage -- take a small condiment cup with tight fitting lid ... poke a few holes in the top, then fill w/ cider vinegar and cap it ... then leave it where you're having fruit fly problems. You'll clear out the bulk of them in a day, but it might take a few days to get all of them. (and this assumes you also got rid of whatever they were attracted to in the first place) – Joe Dec 8 '16 at 17:00
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According to their web page, the red vinegar has sugar added (in the form of fructose). That opens up the potential for spoilage. The acid level would probably slow spoilage, but if they recommend refrigeration, I'd do that.

(I'd note that I have kept sweetened rice vinegar around at room temperature for years with no apparent ill effects. I didn't notice if it calls for refrigeration; I bet it does. Still, unless you're really cramped for space in the fridge, it's probably best to take their advice.)

  • Thanks, I was being lazy and didn't bother to check their website. Thanks for looking that up. – JG sd Dec 8 '16 at 16:11

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