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Mar 23, 2005 10:44 AM

Strang floaties in my balsamic vinegar

  • w

I didn't notice before, but my bottle of balsamic vinegar has these floaties inside that looks like cork bits. I don't know if there were there when I first opened them. It's been a few months since I bought it, but I don't think vinegar is suppose to go bad.

I'm still using it, to no ill effects. It seems when I pour some out, the floaties floats towards the back of the bottle so it doesn't come out.

Any ideas? Should I discard and buy a new bottle?

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  1. I'm pretty sure that happens when the bottle gets old. Don't know if it's bad for you...but I have a hard time using it when it gets "chunky" like that.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sad2k

      If its little bits of cork and you just opened the botle, just strain it as rogue said. If it is really "floaties" or a gelatinous mass, it is vinegar "mother" that forms in unpasteurized vinegars. If you have mother in a bottle, the vinegar will tend to get weak and light in color. You can use the mother to ferment new vinegar from wine but it wont be the same as your current balsamic.

      There are also enough additives in what is sold as balsamic, and there can be precipitation of solids or evaporation products, I guess, which do not affect the quality of the product like the formation of "mother" does. So those can probably be strained out too, if they bother you, as you would do with the dregs in a bottle of wine.

      1. re: jen kalb

        I have had amorphous floaters in two dif. bottles (same brand: Antiqua) of organic balsamic. I'm not sure if this was pasteurized or not, but does it being organic have any bearing? Thanks for any info.

        1. re: Carb Lover

          I dont think so, though it might be more probable that organic vinegar isnt pasteurized. Pasteurization (heat treatment) would kill yeast as well as any bacteria, etc. Ive had the mother form frequently in wine vinegars, but have never seen it in Heinz cider and white vinegars for example, which are probably more processed filtered and refined than many other vinegars. Maybe someone with more scientific knowledge can give you a better answer on this.

          1. re: jen kalb

            I have had mother form in Heinz Cider Vinegar, but not in white.

    2. So strain it through a coffee filter.

      1. Don't be unkind to your mother.


        1. I'm pretty sure this is not mother. These are bits of cork like things. Kind of like if you can't open a bottle of wine correctly and ended up pushing the whole thing in?

          It's not a fancy bottle, not Heinz but just some brand from the local super market.