My friend sent me a message today, asking if her ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) was bad. After looking at her photos I really couldn’t tell. I then thought to myself, “Can ACV even go bad?” “Wait, how long has mine been in the cupboard”. So of course, I had to investigate.
How long does an unopened bottle of ACV last?
If you’re like me, you put your ACV in the cupboard and never think to buy a new bottle until the first one is empty. I’ve never even thought to check the use by date or even storing instructions for that matter. Up until recently I didn’t even use it that frequently.
Thankfully, ACV (along with honey, hard liquors and vinegars in general) has such a high PH level that bacteria and yucky stuff (technical term is actually microbes) can’t grow in it. Which means, your bottle of ACV is safe in your pantry for many years.
What happens when opened?
Then there are those of us who have maybe two (ok four or five) bottles opened at the same time. We are busy people after all, so sometimes buying another bottle is easier than looking for the last one (that’s the story I’m tellin’ and I’m going to stick with it!). Don’t worry! Once you have opened that seal, there really is no difference in quality or PH with the product itself.
So long as you tightly close the lid, your ACV will last for ages. You do not need to pop it in the fridge, just a cold dark pantry will do. That means all five bottles are okay to use for years to come.
What if my bottle/s have floaties?
This was the exact instance my girlfriend was messaging me about. Legit floaties! And nobody likes floaties. It looked like a hazy cloud of smog but inside a bottle. I could of likened it to a scoby growth almost. (WILL ADD PICS TO POST) It also had a weird sediment forming at the bottom. Ew, right? WRONG!
After thorough investigation I have found that this, let’s call it the icky bottle, is actually much better for you than non-icky ACV. Having the icky in your ACV actually means that the vinegar is unpasteurized, unfiltered and unrefined. UN-believable, right?
The Mother of all ick
Ok, I also found out that it isn’t called the ick (what a shock!). It’s an actual thing. Doctors and naturopaths like to call it the ‘Mother’. It is actually cellulose and is the most nutritious and beneficial part of the bacteria. Usually during the heating process of ACV, the beneficial bacteria and living enzymes are stripped from the vinegar. But in an unpasteurized “icky” vinegar, you get all that added goodness.
If the label says RAW than you should find the Mother inside the bottle.
But can it go bad?
None of this means to say that ACV doesn’t go bad, just that it is rare. Once it does go bad though trust me, you will know. It will have an odd taste, odder than the usual ACV hit. The colour of the ACV will change and you will have extra floaties that aren’t the Mother.