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Re: Vinegar eels
> Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 10:14:26 -0500
> From: "Tomoko Schum" <tomokoschum at knology_net>
> I am puzzled about the white cottony film on the surface of
> my vinegar eel culture. When it gets thick enough I can
> sink it down easily by gently pushing on it.
> Can someone tell me what this white stuff is and what I
> should do with it?
It's a mat of mixed microorganisms that are living on the vinegar.
I'd recommend that you remove it periodically because it is competing
with the worms, and may raise the pH to the point where the worms
die off. Otherwise, it is harmless.
If you've ever made sauerkraut or fermented dill pickles, you may
have noticed a similar film. The recipe always says to skim it off
since it will consume the lactic acid and the vegetables will rot
at the higher pH. If you buy or make a natural unpasteurized vinegar,
you may find a mat near the bottom. THis is 'mother of vinegar',
another mixed mat that converts sugars into acetic acid. A similar
culture is sold as 'tea mushroom' for making a sour drink from sweetened
tea. The drink is hyped as having all kinds of magical health benefits,
but it's just another mother of vinegar type mat of bacteria and fungi.