Red wine vinegar...can it be done?

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TCPT18

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I am planning on making some vingegar from my wines. However, I can not of course do so anywhere near my wine making.
Are any of you doing both wine and vinegar making? How close is too close and how far is far enough away?
My wine making is in the basement and I have about 140 gallons in process right now. I certainly do not want to compromise that in any way.
If I were to set up my vinegar keg (5L oak barrel) on the first floor would that be sufficient distance to protect the wine room? If not thoughts on where to set the keg up?
Second floor? Not too psyched about that as it is bedroom area and not really loving smelling vinegar production. Have a garage and shed but they are likely too cold to be effective in making the vinegar. Looking forward to your input.
 

Rice_Guy

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Yes I have made vinegar, no I have not intentionally made vinegar.

I would look at it and say it isn’t how close the two are but how clean the glass/ plastic/ spoons/ racking tubes/ etc are. The safe way is do not use anything from vinegar for wine, or if it is hardware as spoons one could do a boiling water treatment. The worst contamination I have seen was on a decent size winery with stainless and pumps and hoses. They had contamination in the equipment and all the wines had a hint of VA.
 

salcoco

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the bacteria for making vinegar is airborne regardless of location. keeping utensils separate as @rice guy suggests is the answer. I make vinegar in the kitchen and wine in the second bedroom in a small two bedroom apartment.
 

Sailor323

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I make vinegar in my pantry (room temp) as my cellar is basically too cold for satisfactory vinegar production
 

TCPT18

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the bacteria for making vinegar is airborne regardless of location. keeping utensils separate as @rice guy suggests is the answer. I make vinegar in the kitchen and wine in the second bedroom in a small two bedroom apartment.
great info. yes I wasaware of bacteria being airborne. i will insure no cross contamination with equipment. glad to hear that it can be safely done in somewhat close quarters without incident if careful.
 

Scooter68

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Safest bet would be two disconnected buildings. Like a detached garage for one production area and a room or basement in the house. Airborne bacteria is not uncommon and that means just walking through a room you could pick up the bacteria in your breath or on your clothes. How much does it take to contaminate??? Guess that depends on the bacteria and the conditions. And of course central A/C or Heat is a quick spreading mechanism too.
Comes down to how much risk are you willing to take for your wine.
 
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stickman

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Fresh juice and wine from grapes typically has various types of bacteria present, and often contains 1,000 cells per ml of vinegar bacteria, as long as you keep oxygen exposure low the bacteria can't produce damaging levels of vinegar. As others have stated above, don't get careless with bacteria exposure to your wine, but understand that normal wine is not sterile and typically has a significant bacteria count throughout fermentation and aging.

Lallemand has a nice graph showing the order of magnitude of typical microbes present during wine making.

Bacteria Cell Count.png
 

TCPT18

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thanks all. just as a clarification point i am talking about a 1 gallon oak barrel of vinegar. not mass production. i will keep it on the 1st floor with wine making in basement. there will be no shared equipment. appreciate the input.
 

Scooter68

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Remember that oak barrel will be forever committed to vinegar use unless you do some REALLY extensive sanitization on it. Also while I know it's cold weather, if you have central AC/Heat, that upstairs air is going to get into the basement unless it is totally sealed off. Again, if you are comfortable with that level of risk it's not an issue.
 

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