Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Simple Way to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

I am always looking for ways to cut our spending with food without giving up the whole, real, organic food that I find to be extremely important for maintaining healthy, strong bodies. In my search for ways to reduce our spending I'm finding that many of the products I have been purchasing are actually very easy to make and are often made with items that I'd normally throw away.

Insert apple cider vinegar here.

I always have cider vinegar in my pantry. I normally purchase an organic, unfiltered one that isn't necessarily cheap for the pocket book, but it's one of those items that has a variety of uses and I've found it essential to have on hand at all times.

I'm fairly certain that a couple of apples pies are going to grace more than one households table this week. So this seemed like a good time to share this "recipe". Organic apples are essential here. You don't want any unwanted pesticide residue in your vinegar.

What You'll Need

Scraps (flesh, skin, cores) from clean, organic apples
Filtered water
Large jar
Towel or cloth to cover jar
Rubber band or string to secure towel on top of jar

Getting Started

1. Allow the apple scraps to sit out until they become brown from the air, then place into a jar. Ideally try to fill you jar up to within a couple inches from the top.

2. Fill jar with filtered water to cover the apples. Use a plastic baggy filled with water, a rock or a small bowl/plate to hold the apple scraps below the water level.

3. Cover the jar with a towel or cloth so the mixture can have oxygen while it ferments. Place in a warm (60°F - 80°F works well, although the cooler it is the longer it may take the ferment), dark corner and allow it to sit for about a month.

4. After about a month of fermenting begin to taste to vinegar. Don't worry if the apples have become grey looking and the water is cloudy, this is apart of the process. If there is a white scum on the top of your vinegar, simply skim it off the top and discard and where there is no liquid wipe down the top of the jar with a damp cloth to remove any other unwanted scum. If the vinegar isn't strong enough for your liking allow it to sit longer. Our home is pretty cool (around 60°F) and I've found it takes longer than a month to allow the vinegar to ferment. I have one batch that's been going for 2 months now.

5. When the vinegar is to your liking remove the apple scraps. There will be some sediment in the jar. You can leave this, it's called "the mother". If you don't want the sediment you can filter it out by straining the vinegar through a coffee filter.

6. Store your vinegar is the refrigerator or a very cool root cellar so the fermenting drastically slows or stops.


The vinegar on the left was made with all red apple peels and the one on the right was made with all cores. Note the difference in color.

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