Making your own apple cider vinegar (ACV) may seem over the top.. unnecessary and take way too much time. Actually, I LOVE making my own. There are huge benefits to it, but also I can use ALL parts of my apples, not have any waist at all and get an additional product in the end! Who could complain about that!
Each year a purchase a few bushels of apples to make dried apples, applesauce and apple butter. We then get to enjoy the work all winter, spring and summer until the next apple season. When I do the dried apples I have an [amazon_link id=”B004NPM3NU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]apple peeler, corer, and slicer[/amazon_link] that works great for speeding up the job! However, I then have lots of peel and core that I hate to throw away.
ACV is the answer! I started doing this a few years ago and have looked back! There is no recipe and no measurements. Super simple and quick to set up. Then the long wait!
I use a gallon jar and fill it with as many apple peels and cores as possible. Then fill the jar with filtered water up to the neck and makes sure that the apple leftovers are completely covered. Filtered water is important or the chlorinated water will kill the healthy bacteria needed to ferment the vinegar. If there are any apples sticking out they will mold and ruin the batch. Cover the jar with a tea towel or paper towel or other cloth that will keep it dark, but also allow it to breathe. It will sometimes foam and bubble and you will notice stains on the cloth, but it’s nothing to worry about.
As I made it this year I took a few photos of the process. Slowly a mother will form on the top of the water. At the start it looks like mold might be starting to grow, or soap scum floating on top, or pond film… but just let it be and it will get thicker and eventually look a lot like a kombucha scoby.
You will need to let it brew for 2-3 months. The way you know it is done is based on the color of the vinegar and it’s smell and taste. It will get stronger the longer it brews. Once it’s complete run it through a cheesecloth to remove the mother and the apple pieces. There will probably be lots of sediment left in the bottom of the jars, but that is fine… part of it is mother and and other ‘stuff’ is apple and part of the ACV. It’s good to leave it in there and adds to the health benefits.
This can be pasteurized by canning it at 175 degrees for 20 minutes and it will be shelf stable, but it looses a lot of it’s health benefits. Just jar it and keep it in the fridge and it will be fine all year. Another mother may slowly start to grow, but then you know your ACV is healthy!
Have you given it a try before? What do you think? Let me know when you attempt it and what you think!