Malt vinegar is an essential condiment that makes a flavorful accompaniment to different types of sides like fish and chips and fries too.
Pour a little of the vinegar solution and enjoy the tangy flavor that follows.
It is a fermented solution, widely obtained by choosing barley, which is then mashed and fermented in barrels so that the wood can impart the additional flavor, and you get an enriched solution.
Malt vinegar, widely used for curing and prepping the meat before its cook. You can either use it for marination or pickling purpose.
The intense flavor is the reason it is not used for dressing purposes or as a sauce.
The most obvious question that will strike you is how long does Malt Vinegar last? It, in turn, depends mainly on the nature and conditions of storage.
The color and appearance will vary depending upon the freshness of the malt vinegar. Usually, it is of a deep brown shade.
How Long Does Malt Vinegar Last? Does Malt Vinegar Go Bad?
Malt vinegar has the qualities which help it last for a long time, even for an indefinite period of time.
Hence, it doesn’t spoil quickly and remains fresh for a long time.
However, the longer it stays on the kitchen shelves, the properties of the malt vinegar undergo a drastic change.
Further, the appearance of the malt vinegar turns turbid as its quality degrades over time.
Most of the store-bought malt vinegar has a specific date mentioned on the label of the container.
The date is referred to as the ‘best by’ date and is indicative of the quality of the malt vinegar.
The expiration date mentioned on the label has no relation with the spoilage as it is with the reduction in quality.
Hence, the dates mentioned on the pack are mere indicators of the quality of the vinegar.
In the unopened state, the quality can remain intact for a duration of two years. However, specific attributes like aroma and flavor can fade away with time.
Though vinegar has preservation properties to a large extent, malt vinegar has an additional ingredient in the form of barley.
Hence, apart from the turbidity, it can also change with respect to sedimentation.
Particulates or sediments may also be the reason for the turbid nature of the condiment.
It doesn’t need refrigeration to last longer, but it certainly needs protection from oxidative damage.
Hence, please ensure that the malt vinegar is stored in tightly capped containers with no air to enter the bottle.
It is ideal for storing the vinegar in cool, dark places with no exposure to direct heat or sunlight.
Also, you should thoroughly check the containers for the presence of air pockets, if any.
How to Tell if Malt Vinegar is Bad?
It is simple to know the extent of damage caused to the Malt Vinegar by a mere glance at it.
When stored for an extended duration, the vinegar develops a layer of a slimy substance or sediment on the surface of the vinegar called ‘mother.’
Though the substance is undesirable in appearance and somewhat off-putting, using it as a starter can undoubtedly help produce another batch of vinegar.
Hence, complete usage of the malt vinegar is guaranteed.
Further, the bottles or jugs used for storage should not have any air space inside the bottle.
The presence of air can also damage the malt vinegar and leads to its deterioration.
Hence, the best way to save it from extensive damage is to transfer a small amount into a tiny or medium-sized container for daily usage.
The larger container can then be tightly capped and kept safely for storage purposes.
Further, microbes’ chances of causing extensive spoilage in the batch increases if there are air pockets present in the container.
The reduction in acid content can also lead to the alteration of the quality of the malt vinegar.
Thus, to ensure the longevity and quality of the malt vinegar, it is recommendable to store them in sealed containers.
Opening and re-opening the bottles should not be an option.
It indeed leads to exposing the vinegar to external environmental factors, which leads to deterioration of its quality.
The best part of storing malt vinegar is that though there are minor changes in appearance, using the product without a doubt is possible.
So, if you’re a hoarder and love to buy but not use, then think again. Using the product in various applications comes highly recommended rather than storing it away for a rainy day.
Not only the potency but even the quality will differ from the new varieties. Hence, use it while it is fresh and supreme.
Also, if you have any doubts, do not question yourself and get a new bottle of malt vinegar right away.