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How to Distill Vinegar

Updated April 17, 2017

It is possible to distil vinegar without even needing a boiling kettle. Distillation is performed in order to remove unwanted chemicals from liquids, providing a cleaner product as a result. Although there are countertop units available that can do the distillation for you, you can just use your existing freezer, a funnel and two 2-liter bottles. Your freezer will perform the distillation automatically for you, since vinegar has a lower freezing point than ordinary water. Distil your vinegar in your freezer in only 24 hours.

Fill a 2-liter bottle with the mother of vinegar until 3 inches remain empty. This allows for the vinegar to expand as it freezes. Place the cap onto the top of the bottle.

Place the bottle in your freezer, and let it freeze for 24 hours. It may take less time for the water to freeze, so check the status periodically before a full day has elapsed.

Take the bottle out of your freezer, and remove its cap. The water and dissolved chemicals will have risen to the top of the bottle and become frozen.

Insert the funnel into the opening of the second 2-liter bottle. Insert the opening of the first bottle into the top of the funnel.

Let the vinegar drain from the first bottle, through the funnel, into the empty 2-liter bottle. Drain the first bottle until the ice in it becomes clear, then discard it.

Tip

Let the bottle drain naturally without adding any heat to speed up the process, for it will melt the ice and allow the water and chemicals to be mixed back into the vinegar.

Warning

A permit is required for ethanol distillation. An application for a distillation permit is available through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau's website.

Things You'll Need

  • Two 2-liter bottles
  • Freezer
  • Funnel
  • Mother of vinegar (air-fermented wine)
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About the Author

Based in Florida, Robert Ceville has been writing electronics-based articles since 2009. He has experience as a professional electronic instrument technician and writes primarily online, focusing on topics in electronics, sound design and herbal alternatives to modern medicine. He is pursuing an Associate of Science in information technology from Florida State College of Jacksonville.