Vinegar has been a part of our diet and household since ancient Babylonian times. We have found vinegar in the tomb of ancient Egyptian emperors. They used to make vinegar from figs, dates, and beer.
Now in modern times, not much has changed. We use vinegar for culinary, medicinal, and household cleaning purposes. So having some extra vinegar at home is never a bad idea.
But how do you store vinegar? Can you freeze vinegar? What happens if you freeze apple cider vinegar?
In this article, we will answer all of these questions and then some. Let’s start with whether we can freeze it or not!
Can You Freeze Vinegar?
You can definitely freeze vinegar. Some people think vinegar does not freeze but that’s a misconception.
Vinegar freezes at 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Freezing vinegar helps to keep it fresh thus it doesn’t get discoloration.
But freezing has nothing to do with preserving vinegar. Vinegar has an indefinite shelf life. This means it never goes bad no matter how old it is. The flavor, however, can decrease depending on how you are storing it.
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What Happens When You Freeze Vinegar?
We use vinegar a lot. It’s everywhere from pickles to chips. Even though vinegar has been around for more than 10,000 years we still don’t understand it that well.
Vinegar is a very interesting ingredient that can be both eaten and then used to clean things. It’s an extremely versatile and functional product that has a wide range of uses.
The key thing that makes vinegar so acidic is acetic acid. It is created through fermentation which makes it antimicrobial. This is why vinegar never gets bad. It literally lasts forever.
So you might be wondering, why freeze vinegar at all? You don’t have to actually. If you store your vinegar in a cool and dry place, it will stay good for a long time.
One downside of not freezing is the obvious discoloration. As time passes by, vinegar tends to get darker and darker as the acidity level keeps increasing.
When you freeze the vinegar, this process stops and it stays the same color. It also doesn’t get more acidic with time.
How Do You Really Freeze Vinegar?
You can not and should not freeze the whole bottle of vinegar. That’s because most vinegar comes in glass bottles. Glass tends to shatter at freezing temperatures. So it’s not a safe thing to do.
So here’s how you freeze your vinegar the right way:
- Transfer your vinegar from the bottle to a container. We prefer refrigerator-safe airtight containers that do not crack or break under pressure.
- Seal your container after pouring the vinegar in it. Don’t fill the container too much as liquids expand after freezing.
- Cover the container with plastic wrap so nothing leaks out of it.
- You can also use an ice cube tray to make individual vinegar portions. When they freeze, transfer to a container or freezer bag and store.
- You can keep your vinegar in the freezer for an indefinite amount of time.
How Can You Defrost Frozen Vinegar?
Defrosting vinegar is actually really easy and simple to do.
All you have to do is transfer the vinegar cubes from the freezer to the fridge and let it sit overnight or until it melts totally.
If you are in a rush, put the frozen vinegar into an airtight container and close the lid properly. Then let it sit in a bowl of warm water for an hour. It should melt pretty quickly.
How to Store Vinegar the Best Way?
You don’t have to worry too much about storing vinegar as long as you follow these key things:
- Vinegar is an acidic ingredient. This means direct sunlight is the enemy. Make sure your vinegar is not anywhere close to sunlight.
- Keep your vinegar in a cool and dry place. We like to store our vinegar in the basement because of that.
- If you store your vinegar for more than a year, there might be some discoloration. It might go yellow or dark but don’t worry. The discoloration is an expected thing. It does not mean the vinegar is bad.
- Keep vinegar in glass bottles and containers. Make sure the container is airtight.
- Finish your apple cider vinegar faster as it is prone to losing its flavor.
What to Consider before Freezing Vinegar?
Now that you know exactly how to freeze vinegar, let’s look at some of the things you should consider beforehand:
- Different types of vinegar freeze differently. So you might not get your desired result by following the same steps for everything.
- Apple cider vinegar does not need to be refrigerated. It loses its flavor after thawing.
- You don’t really need to freeze vinegar as it is self-preserving. It won’t go bad as long as you put it in a dark, cool place.
- Your vinegar might discolor over time if you store it. But that does not mean it has gone bad. Freezing helps to keep the color consistent for longer.
Frequently Asked Questions
01. Does White Vinegar Go Bad?
Vinegar is a fermented food ingredient. This means, technically, it can not go bad. It has an indefinite shelf life which means it is self-preserving. Vinegar is highly acidic which helps it to maintain itself by killing all the bacteria and germs.
02. Does Apple Cider Vinegar Need to Be Refrigerated?
No apple cider vinegar doesn’t require any refrigeration as it has antimicrobial properties.
This makes apple cider vinegar self-preserving. The vinegar itself never expires but storing it in the refrigerator helps to preserve its quality.
03. How Long Does Vinegar Last?
All vinegar lasts an indefinite amount of time due to its highly acidic nature. But if you are trying to enjoy your vinegar at its best period, try to consume it within 2-3 years of manufacturing.
This is the time when your vinegar will taste its best. As time passes, it becomes more acidic and less flavorful.
04. What Temperature Does Vinegar Freeze?
Vinegar freezes at 28° Fahrenheit. So if you are planning to freeze your vinegar, we recommend not going higher than that. Too much cold can make the vinegar more acidic.
05. Does Rice Vinegar Go Bad?
Rice vinegar is less acidic than any other vinegar we use in dishes. It has almost a sweet taste to it. As it’s less acidic, it does not preserve its flavor as well as other vinegar does.
Rice vinegar has an indefinite shelf life thus it can last years past the expiration date. But keep in mind the flavor might vanish.
06. Does Red Wine Vinegar Need to Be Refrigerated?
Red wine vinegar is one of the classic vinegar for most European cuisines. It comes in a glass bottle which helps to preserve its flair for a very long time.
The vinegar itself lasts indefinitely. You don’t need to refrigerate your red wine vinegar to keep it in a better condition. Just store it in a cold, dry place and it will taste great for years.
07. Can Vinegar Kill Mold?
White vinegar is the most common type of vinegar for cleaning and hygiene. It is moderately acidic but not too much. This helps to clean an area without damaging the surface.
White vinegar can kill almost 82% of mold from an area. This includes black mold, which is notorious for being bad for our health.
Even though vinegar has a very strong odor, it goes away after a while. You can use a spray bottle to disinfect any surface instantly.
Freezing vinegar is a very debatable topic. Some people swear by it while experts think it’s totally unnecessary.
Whether you agree or disagree, we tried to help you with understanding vinegar and ways to freeze it.
Freezing helps to maintain the appearance and flavor of certain kinds of vinegar. As we think you are going to freeze vinegar, we suggest portioning out so you don’t have to defrost the whole thing every single time.
You can use vinegar to clean a lot of household gadgets. Check out our guide on cleaning Chemex coffee maker with vinegar.