In previous issues of The Daf HaKashrus (Vol. 10 No. 3-6) we have discussed the technical aspects involved in the production and concentration of vinegar. Beginning with this issue, The Daf will list a series of Psokim which serve as OU policy on various shaylos pertaining to vinegar. These “Halachic Highlights” have been agreed upon by the OU Poskim which are Rav Yisroel Belsky, Rav Menachem Genack and Rav Herschel Schachter, Shlita.
Vinegar as a davar charif
1. May one eat or have pleasure from vinegar made from stam yayin?
Answer: No. This is true even if the alcohol used to produce the vinegar was distilled from stam yayin. In cases of hefsed one may have pleasure from stam yayin and stam yayin vinegar.
2. Hot, kosher vinegar was put into a tank which had previously held hot, non-kosher vinegar. Is the vinegar permitted b’dieved if the tank was a kli sheini?
Answer: The vinegar is forbidden because the leniencies of kli sheini do not apply in this case.
3. What if the kosher and non-kosher vinegar had both been cold but had each sat in the tank for a few minutes? Would that create kovush?
Answer: The vinegar is kosher because kovush of vinegar takes 24 hours.
4. What would be the halacha if the cold, kosher vinegar had been kovush for 24 hours in a tank which had previously held cold, non-kosher vinegar for 24 hours?
Answer: The vinegar is forbidden because it reinvigorates the aino ben yomo flavor absorbed in the tank.
5. What if a cold, kosher non-charif product was kovush for 24 hours in a tank which had previously held cold, non-kosher vinegar for 24 hours? Similarly, what would be the halacha if a non-charif product is heated in equipment which is aino ben yomo from non-kosher vinegar production?
Answer: The kosher product would remain kosher. The chumrah that the absorbed taste of wine and whisky do not become permitted when they are aino ben yomo, doesn’t apply to wine vinegar (or grape juice).