How to Pasteurize Vinegar

vinegar and grapes

After the vinegar stock has been converted to vinegar and is ready to bottle, you can pasteurize the vinegar. Pasteurizing will kill the acetobacter so they cannot continue to affect your vinegar. If left unchecked, the acetobacter may continue to work after all of the alcohol has been converted and the quality of your vinegar will deteriorate.

Once pasteurized, vinegar cannot be used as a mother culture for future batches. If you want to start another batch of vinegar, make sure you keep a portion of the vinegar separate from what you are pasteurizing.

The vinegar will most likely contain solids that you may or may not want in the bottles. If you want to strain the vinegar before pasteurizing, pour through a double or triple thickness of fine cheesecloth into a pot.

You can also add oak character to your vinegar with oak cubes, it may be best to do this before pasteurizing. It will be easier to remove the cubes from the vinegar while straining through cheesecloth instead of after bottling.

1. Gently heat the vinegar in a non-reactive pot over medium low heat until it reaches 150°F and hold it at this temperature for 30 minutes. Keep the pot covered. Do not heat higher than 150°F or you could lose some of the acetic acid to evaporation.

2. Pour the pasteurized vinegar into sanitized bottles using a funnel.

3. Cap and store at room temperature