How to Keep the Mother of Vinegar Alive (Storage Guide)

The Mother of Vinegar is a set of bacteria and cellulose used to prepare vinegar. With the same “mother,” you can make several batches of vinegar, and well how is the mother of the vinegar preserved?

You should preserve the mother of vinegar in a container with an airtight or screw cap filled with vinegar in a dark and cool place at room temperature for five years.

Keep the Mother of Vinegar

If you want to learn how to preserve the mother of vinegar, you just have to continue reading. 

How is the mother of vinegar preserved?

After having the first batch of vinegar ready, the mother can preserve it for a long time to continue taking advantage of it as many times as desired. 

But we must bear in mind that with each new batch of vinegar, a new mother will generate (usually called son), which will increase the size of the cellulose that makes it up. 

To preserve it, you just have to keep the mother of the vinegar nourished and avoid exposing it directly to extreme temperatures or the sun’s rays

In addition, I recommend you follow these tips:

  • Step 1. Use a container with a lid.

The container should be of glass or plastic. You should never use metal containers because the vinegar corrodes them so that some particles can leach into the vinegar.

Also, the container must have a screw cap or airtight, which seals the internal contents well.

  • Step 2. Add vinegar and wine to the container.

The mother of the vinegar should be dipped in vinegar, preferably her own vinegar. And you can add some wine to nourish the mother.

  • Step 3. Cover the container well.

Covering is essential because the mother of vinegar does not need air to maintain itself. Air is only necessary when you want to ferment, but not when you want to store the mother or prepare more vinegar.

When the mother of vinegar has no air, it goes into dormant mode. But if you expose it to oxygen, it will ferment once again, having the risk of producing acidic acid at dangerous levels.

  • Step 4. Save to the pantry.

Store the vinegar mother in a dark place away from heat-emitting equipment. In this way, the mother of the vinegar will be able to last about five years or more.

Can the mother of vinegar be kept in the fridge or freezer?

I don’t recommend storing the mother of the vinegar in the fridge unless you are preparing vinegar or want to keep the raw vinegar obtained from the mother, the unpasteurized vinegar. 

Technically, you could keep the mother of the vinegar inside the fridge, but the internal temperature should not fall below 5°C. So it is better to leave it in an isolated place at room temperature.

Can the mother of vinegar be frozen? As I mentioned above, the mother of vinegar is quite sensitive to low temperatures, so you should not store it in the freezer

It has been proven that the mother of vinegar loses stability after thawing, shortening its shelf life, and the quality of the vinegar goes down.

How to know if the mother of vinegar no longer works?

In general, although it is dead, the mother of vinegar can generate a new version of itself. However, if it does not have the necessary care, the colony of bacteria can change and become harmful for consumption.

The type of bacteria present in the mother of vinegar belongs to the species Acetobacter aceti, and if the vinegar loses acidity, the safe environment disappears, and mold arises[1]

If mold appears on the mother of the vinegar is a sign of spoiled.

How long does the mother of vinegar last?

With the necessary care, the mother of vinegar can endure indefinitely. 

Product                          Duration
Mother of vinegar at room temperature5+ years

What is the best way to preserve the mother of vinegar?

The best way to preserve the mother of vinegar is to store it inside an airtight container and place where the sun does not hit it, nor is it exposed to extreme temperatures.

In this way, the mother of vinegar will last as long as the person wants. Refrigerating is only an option when making vinegar or fermenting wine or cider.

If you are interested in this type of content, you can read about different topics related to food preservation on this site.


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