How Is Vinegar Made?

Vinegar is made by a chemical change called fermentation. During fermentation, the sugar in wine or juice is changed into alcohol and gas. As the gas evaporates, it leaves only the alcohol and fruit flavors.

The next step in the fermentation process is called oxidation, when the oxygen in the air mixes with the vinegar bacteria in the alcohol to change the alcohol into vinegar.

Fermentation takes place when the liquid is in large wooden barrels. These barrels have holes to permit air to circulate. Since the alcohol in the juice or wine is lighter than the rest of the liquid, it rises to the top of the barrel.

At the top, the alcohol comes in contact with the air and forms an acid called acetic acid. This acid increases the alcohol’s weight, carrying it to the bottom of the barrel in the form we know as vinegar.

It can take from one to two years for a barrel of juice or wine to ferment naturally into vinegar!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

4 thoughts on “How Is Vinegar Made?”

  1. I have a question… whats in a dime that would react with vinegar? My dime got duller but i need to know how and why, the same goes for lime juice, coke, and just plain water.

  2. it was probably a peso or one of those fake dimes from Canadia, nothing made in the USA would be made of sub-par materials that would react in that way. It was most likely a forgery!

  3. Haha American silver coins are actually only coated. Inside they are only copper. Thats why the edges are brown or copper colour. Canadian coins are pure silver except obviously the pennies.

  4. Are there special preparations for some types of vinegars… for example, does extra sugars need to be added, or is it a totally natural (as in organic-typed, or even actually organic) process? Maybe just wash the fruit or veg and let it sit?

    Where do vinegar eels come from? What countries have to control or filter them? How do they assist the process?

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