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Home made vinegar questions...

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So I have been making vinegar with sprouted potatoes from last year. Ive been doing it in 1 gallon jars on my counter. 4 cups potatoes, 1 cup sugar,  the rest water, cover with a cloth, stir daily until it stops bubbling, then stir in another cup of sugar, stir and repeat until it stops bubbling again. With that, I strain it out and leave it on the counter another two weeks. I am at that stage for two jars right now. They smell like vinegar 😋.  I plan to rack it before use.
The next batch I did the same, but I replaced one cup water with a raisin ferment starter liquid to ensure a good start and more predictable outcome. This batch seems thicker after staining. Do I just leave it sit on the counter like the others and it will settle? Also what is the name of the strips to be used for testing acidity?

I am also curious if it would be possible for me to use a 5 gallon pail to make the next batch? I want to use up those potatoes before they go bad.
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Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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I think the bigger size should work. I did a batch of pear vinegar a few years ago that size.
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