Vinegar vs. Distilled Vinegar: What's the Difference?

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Key Difference

The difference between the vinegar and distilled vinegar is that vinegar is a liquid with a sour taste that contains about five to twenty percent of acetic acid and is obtained by fermenting dilute alcoholic liquids. On the other hand, distilled vinegar is a neutral spirit that undergoes fermentation and contains five to eight percent of acetic acid.

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Vinegar vs. Distilled Vinegar

Vinegar is the oldest thing being used for several purposes. It is obtained by the fermentation of the fruits usually. It has sour taste due to the presence of the acetic acid in it. There is about five to twenty percent of acetic acid in the vinegar, but when it comes to distilled vinegar, the solution becomes diluted as it is the fermentation of the neutral spirit or in other word diluted alcohol. Distilled vinegar contains five to eight percent of acetic acid and hence is less sour than the vinegar. The vinegar is obtained from fruits and is generally named according to them also for example market is flooded by a different type of vinegar produced by different fruits most commonly used are apple cider or grape vinegar. Basically, the things that contain natural sugar are the sources for the extraction of the vinegar. On the other hand, distilled vinegar is obtained from things like maze, corn or barley.

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Comparison Chart

BasisVinegarDistilled Vinegar
DefinitionVinegar is a liquid with a sour taste that contains about five to twenty percent of acetic acid and is obtained by fermenting dilute alcoholic liquids.Distilled vinegar is a neutral spirit that undergoes fermentation and contains five to eight percent of acetic acid.
The Concentration of Acetic AcidIt contains 5 – 20% of the acetic acid.It contains 5 – 8% of the acetic acid.
PH valueThe pH value of vinegar is 2.4.The pH value of vinegar is 2.6.
FermentationObtained by fermentation of the alcohol.Obtained by fermentation of the distilled alcohol or neutral spirit.
SourceUsually obtained from things with natural sugar content, i.e. fruits.Usually obtained from barley, malt or corn.
Common UsesVinegar is used widely in cooking, baking and food preparations.Distilled vinegar is not only used for cooking, baking and food preparations but also for cleaning purposes once diluted. For example for the coffee stains on crockery.
ExampleApple cider vinegar, grapes vinegar etc.Malt vinegar, cane vinegar etc.
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What is vinegar?

Vinegar is a liquid that contains 5 – 20% of the acetic acid. It is obtained by the fermentation of alcohol. It has pH value of about 2.4. Vinegar has a sour taste due to the presence of acetic acid in it. It is obtained from the things that have natural sugar content. It is mostly obtained from fruits like apple, grapes and cider. The liquid is being used overages for cooking, baking and food preparation. Recent scientific studies have found that the use of vinegar in food is very healthy. It helps to kill the food pathogens. The most common are salmonella and staphylococcus. The acetic acid in it also helps to kill micro bacteria in the food. Hence the use of vinegar is quite effective prior giving taste it ensures health too. The production of vinegar if done by the old traditional method of fermentation takes about a month or even a year. If the fermentation is done by the process commonly known as fast fermentation, it is completed within twenty to seventy-two hours.

What is distilled vinegar?

Distilled vinegar is not a diluted form of the vinegar but is obtained by the extraction of the dilute alcohol or neutral spirit. Then the product from fermentation is mixed with dilute acetic acid. It is less sour than vinegar due to lesser concentration of acetic acid. It contains about five to eight percent of the acetic acid. The pH value of the distilled vinegar is 2.6. Due to dilute acid it is less acidic than the vinegar. The maze, malt, corn and barley are commonly used for the extraction of distilled vinegar. Similar to vinegar, distilled vinegar is used for cooking baking and food preparation purposes. But its use is not limited to it. The distilled vinegar is being used for several other purposes that include: the distilled vinegar is used for cleaning purposes, coffee stains from crockery or oily surfaces could be wiped out conveniently by using distilled vinegar. In addition to it, it is also used for polishing brass, bronze and other similar metals. It also helps to kill bacteria more efficiently as compared to the other disinfectants present in the market. The distilled vinegar is also known by the other names as white vinegar, distilled spirit, virgin vinegar and spirit vinegar too.

Key differences

  1. Vinegar contains about 5 – 20% of acetic acid whereas distilled vinegar includes 5 – 8% of acetic acid.
  2. Vinegar has pH value of 2.4 whereas distilled vinegar has pH value of 2.6.
  3. Vinegar is sourer than distilled vinegar due to more concentration of acetic acid.
  4. Vinegar is used for food preparation purposes while distilled vinegar is used for the several another cleaning, polishing and disinfection of bacteria.
  5. Vinegar is obtained from fruits mostly while distilled vinegar is obtained from the maze, malt, corn and barley etc.

Conclusion

Though both vinegar and distilled vinegar sound same from their names yet they differ in concentration of acetic acid (5-20% for vinegar and 5-8% for distilled vinegar) and pH value (2.4 for vinegar and 2.6 for distilled vinegar) and difference in fermentation (vinegar is obtained by fermentation of the alcohol while distilled vinegar is obtained by fermentation of spirit or distilled alcohol).