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I love the taste of Balsamic vinegar, and I think having just a hint of it would be fantastic in a stout's flavor profile. My concern is what would happen to a beer after this is added. Would it start converting the beer to vinegar, like acetobacter contamination?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

  • 1
    Just 15 minutes of boiling is so near sterilization that some people call it sterilization, although isn't. But, it isn't a sterilization because some spores cannot be destructed in just 15 minutes, but the bacterias membranes aren't so hard to destruct. – Luciano Oct 23 '15 at 20:49
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I have never done that, but I base my answer on information about acetobacter on Wikipedia.

The growth of Acetobacter in wine can be suppressed through effective sanitation, by complete exclusion of air from wine in storage, and by the use of moderate amounts of sulfur dioxide in the wine as a preservative.

I suppose it can be done, taking the appropriate precautions:

  • Acetobacter need air to grow, so I would add the vinegar just before bottling to minimize the exposition to air. Fill the bottles well, leave minimal air inside (about 3/4 of an inch).
  • Boiling the vinegar is important, 10 minutes seems the safest.
  • Adding sulfites would affect the taste of beer, I don't think I would add any (or just a little?).

Edit: I want to add that I would test it first at a small scale, in case it goes wrong, I wouldn't want a whole batch to get spoiled.

References:

Information about boiling to kill bacteria

Acetobacter on wikipedia

Bottle filling by J. Palmer

  • "Fill the bottles well, leave minimal air inside." can be dangerous advice if someone want to bottle-condition beer. Air space in bottles helps to deal with CO2 solubility changes with temperature. if there is less of it, pressure will rose more rapidly, and there is only so much bottle can hold. I had bottle grenades once or twice, I didn't like it. – Mołot Oct 27 '15 at 18:17
  • Of course I agree with you Molot, I wasn't saying to fill the bottle to the top. One inch of air should be fine, but some people leave up to 2 inches of air space. So in this particular case, I am suggesting to leave the minimum (about 3/4 of an inch). – Philippe Oct 27 '15 at 19:41

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