Home Made Apple Cider Vinegar

by elaine
(alicante, Spain)

Sterilize a large mouthed mason jar by putting it in a hot oven for 10 minutes.
Scrub 5 apples, cut into small pieces (as big as your thumbnail) and leave for a while to oxidize and get brown. This takes about 30 mins.

Put the apple into the glass mason jar. Pour into the mason jar just enough water to cover the apple pieces - measure the water while you're doing this because you will need 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey for each liter of water.

Put the sugar in with the water and stir it all together till the sugar dissolves. Put a clean cheesecloth (or bandana) over the mason jar and keep in place with a rubber band. This allows the mix to breathe and ferment, and keeps the flies out.

Put the mason jar somewhere dark and warm. The water heater cupboard is perfect. Now wait! It will start to bubble at day 3 or 4. Keep it in the dark. UV will destroy the fermenting process.
At 7 days, check your mixture. If there is any black mold that has grown, remove it with a plastic or wooden spoon (do not use metal). If you have mold forming, the mixture was kept too warm.

After a while the fruit will sink to the bottom. After about a month taste it. If it tastes like vinegar strain the apple off. If not , wait longer.. Strain the scraps in a colander lined with cheese cloth. Sterilize another mason jar. After straining the scraps, pour the strained liquid into the sterilized mason jar, and squeeze the apple in the cheesecloth into the mason jar too, to get as much juice out as possible. Leave 2 or 3 centimeters head space and cover the top with a piece of cheesecloth/old bandana and secure with rubber band.

Put the mix in a cool dark place (back of the kitchen cupboard is fine) and wait another 6 weeks. A slime will develop on the top of your vinegar - this is the mother! At 6 weeks, the yeast should have eaten all of the sugar which leaves you with shelf-stable vinegar! Remove the cheesecloth and replace with a sterilized lid and screw cover.

Apple Cider Vinegar lasts indefinitely if kept stored in a cool dark place. Save the mother in a little vinegar and use it as a kick start next time you make ACV.

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