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-   -   Did I make malt vinegar? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f56/did-i-make-malt-vinegar-82600/)

Anbrew 10-02-2008 03:13 AM

Did I make malt vinegar?
 
I recently cracked up an old belgian white I made months ago, as I opened it...I realized it was improperly capped (no hiss, it came off very easily).

I took a drink and...uh...tasted like pure vinegar! Has this ever happened to you?

I think I'm going to use it to make a dressing/marinade of some sort. I guess some mother of vinegar just happened to propogate in this improperly sealed brew?

scinerd3000 10-02-2008 06:11 AM

according to wikipedia: Malt vinegar is made by malting barley, causing the starch in the grain to turn to maltose. Then an ale is brewed from the maltose and allowed to turn into vinegar, which is then aged

Havent had this happen to me personally but ill never say never. You basically did what a vinager producer would only by accident. Any other bottles spoil?

EvilTOJ 10-02-2008 12:03 PM

WTF? Now I know wikipedia isn't always right, but come on! Someone's been smoking the cockmonkey before editing articles. wiki also says vinegar is made by oxidation. No. no no no NO NO NO. It is a bacterial process that converts alcohol to vinegar.

If it only happened in that one bottle, to me it sounds like fruit flies got into it. Acetobacter live on the bodies of fruit flies, and just one getting into any alcoholic beverage (or carboy) can ruin the entire thing.

Yooper 10-02-2008 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EvilTOJ (Post 877392)
WTF? Now I know wikipedia isn't always right, but come on! Someone's been smoking the cockmonkey before editing articles. wiki also says vinegar is made by oxidation. No. no no no NO NO NO. It is a bacterial process that converts alcohol to vinegar.

If it only happened in that one bottle, to me it sounds like fruit flies got into it. Acetobacter live on the bodies of fruit flies, and just one getting into any alcoholic beverage (or carboy) can ruin the entire thing.

OR, you have a lacto bacterial infection. Lacto infections are common, and makes the beer taste sour but not as "harsh" as vinegar. Think sour milk-ish.

ETJ is right- acetero bacter cause vinegar by infecting the beer. Most commonly it's caused by fruit flies. Lacto infection is a different infection, caused by different bacteria, but it also makes it taste sour.

Beerrific 10-02-2008 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EvilTOJ (Post 877392)
WTF? Now I know wikipedia isn't always right, but come on! Someone's been smoking the cockmonkey before editing articles. wiki also says vinegar is made by oxidation. No. no no no NO NO NO. It is a bacterial process that converts alcohol to vinegar.

If it only happened in that one bottle, to me it sounds like fruit flies got into it. Acetobacter live on the bodies of fruit flies, and just one getting into any alcoholic beverage (or carboy) can ruin the entire thing.

It is oxidation in the chemical reaction sense not in the "beer oxidizing" sense. The acetobactor (or brett) will oxidize the ethanol into acetic acid.

zoebisch01 10-02-2008 12:55 PM

You'll know an acetic infection. It is sharp and clean, unlike lacto which is more relaxed and mellow. You can probably save that and use it as a mother if you like, there should be evidence of the growth in the beer. It will often form a jelly like cap on or near the surface. Be careful and don't use any of your brew equipment on it (just to stay on the safe side).

If you let it continue to live, then the pH will continue to drop so be careful. It won't be like your supermarket vinegar which is diluted. That will take some time though.

Anbrew 10-02-2008 09:36 PM

Very intersting information guys. Yeah it's just this bottle, the cap was barely even on it.

This is definitely a clean and sharp taste. There are some black specs on the bottom of the cap too.

The fruit fly thing has got me terrified. If just one of those buggers touch your wort the whole thing could be infected? They often hover above my airlocks :eek:

EvilTOJ 10-03-2008 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anbrew (Post 878395)
If just one of those buggers touch your wort the whole thing could be infected? They often hover above my airlocks :eek:

In a word, yes. All the more reason to keep your airlocks full.


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