Making My First Vinegar, But Why Not Alcohol?

in #alive2 months ago

So today, I wanted to try and make my first vinegar. My family uses vinegar to cook with and sometimes to clean, but I never really cared about its production.

Earlier in the morning, I watched videos about converting compounds into other chemical compounds. Honestly, I am not sure why I suddenly felt enthusiastic about learning chemistry. With that enthusiasm, I was thinking of doing a few projects focusing on chemistry, so I did some research.

First, I learned about compounds released when burning wood and how those compounds can convert into other compounds or elements that would be less harmful to me. After that, I found videos about pee (urine) and how urine can be a fertilizer. Lastly, the idea that further triggered my enthusiasm was breaking down calcium carbonate (found in eggshells) into calcium acetate, a calcium compound easily absorbed by microorganisms and plant roots. That final spark brought me to vinegar, as vinegar contains acetic acid, an important compound that will break down calcium carbonate.


In my fridge, there was some fresh produce we were likely not going to eat, such as a few small mandarin oranges and some green apples. After cutting the fruits, I moved them into a glass container.


As the fruits lay there, I filled the glass container with water. The volume was high, so I began chopping down the fruits while they were in the container.


Finally, I put a cloth mask on top of the container to ensure that any unwanted carbon dioxide may escape the container so some oxygen could enter to help the fermentation process. You might be wondering, "why didn't you decide to produce alcohol?"

In due time, I will probably create alcohol, but I wanted to start with vinegar because the result would be one of two. Either the mixture would produce vinegar with some trace compounds and elements for slight flavoring, or the mix would create mold. It isn't a fifty-fifty chance, but those are the results of this process. If I started with the final product being alcohol, I would have to consider the slow conversion into mold, alcohol, and vinegar. Ensuring I can produce vinegar effectively before I move on to alcohol is the goal.