Apple Cider Vinegar: Shelf Life and Proper Storage

The shelf life of apple cider vinegar depends on various factors. On the one hand it depends on the storage and on the other hand on whether it is a bought or a homemade product.

Apple cider vinegar: Shelf life depends primarily on storage

Vinegar products, including apple cider vinegar, do not have an expiration date prescribed by law and therefore this information can hardly be found at any manufacturer.

  • Basically, you should store vinegar in a cool and dark place. The kitchen cupboard is ideal as a storage location, but storage in the refrigerator is also possible.
  • A purchased and unopened bottle of apple cider vinegar has a practically unlimited shelf life, but at least ten years.
  • After opening, store-bought vinegar can be used for one year if stored properly.
  • Always close the bottles well, otherwise the aroma will evaporate.
  • Homemade apple cider vinegar usually has a shelf life of at least two months. It also depends on how hygienic you are during production.
  • It is also important that no impurities get into the bottle, as this can quickly cause bacteria or mold to form. Therefore, close the bottle quickly after each use and remove any dirt from the spout with kitchen paper.

Vinegar made from apples: how to check if it’s still usable

Above all, the smell tells you whether your apple cider vinegar is still usable or has already spoiled.

  • If the scent is fresh, fruity and intense, the vinegar is new. On the other hand, if it smells musty or acrid, this is a sign of a spoiled or older product.
  • If you spot mold on the apple cider vinegar, which can also be identified by small white dots, or if an indefinable layer floats on the surface, dispose of the product immediately.
  • If you open the bottle and notice a pressure that discharges with a hiss, the vinegar is fermented and should also be disposed of.
  • Good to know: When stored for a long time, a sediment often forms. This is not a defect and not a sign of freshness. Even streaks in the liquid are harmless and you can still drink the apple cider vinegar.
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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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