Earlier this week, I started my first ever attempt at a batch of vinegar, too - watermelon rind vinegar! It's only been a few days, and it's already smelling vinegary! Granted, the rinds sat in the fridge for... over a week, before I had a chance to do anything with them, which may have given them enough time to start fermenting, before I even got the water and sugar in the pot with them, lol.
The only thing...more expensive than education is ignorance.~Ben Franklin
Amy Gardener wrote:. Anticipating the potential mold, I will weigh down the pears to keep the fruit submerged
I wonder, given that vinegar fermentation and the primary fermentation stage of alcohol are both aerobic processes, whether weighing down the fruit will cause any problems. Maybe don't put all your pears in the same bucket, just in case 😁 I'm trying to make a lot of vinegar this year, so when I get to my apples and pears I'll try a batch with the fruit weighed down. It might be a handy technique.
I have to say mold generally isn't a problem though, except when I forget about the vinegar, which is easy to do when I'm out of the habit of making it and the jars are out of sight under the kitchen table, pushed back to the wall. As long as I give the jar a quick stir every day or two it's fine. So I don't think most people need to worry too much about igetting mold.