Monday, October 1, 2012
This is the time of year to make apple butter, apple pies, apple crisp and stock up on homemade apple cider vinegar. I thought you'd like to see how to make the apple cider vinegar. You can use whatever amount of apple scraps to make the vinegar. The most important ingredients for successful results are patients, clean apples, sterilized utensils and jars.
1. Wash the apples very well. Note: If you purchase apples at the store, many times they have a wax coating. You will need to remove the wax coating from the apples - If at all possible, buy organic, non-waxed apples. You can also use crab apples. Experiment with different varieties and find what suits your tastes best.
2. Peel and core the apples saving the skins and cores. (Use the apple slices for a pie, apple butter, apple cake or apple crisp.) I use between 8 - 12 medium sized apples.
3. After you peel and core the apples, you need to get a large bowl, crock or jar. (Check to make sure the glaze does not contain lead glazes.) Put the peels and cores into the vessel. I use a large glass jar I use for fermenting veggies. MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS STERILIZED.
4. Cover peels and cores with water (measure by quarts) and cover them by an inch or so of water. For every quart of water used to cover the apple scraps, you'll need 1/4 cup of sugar.
5. After measuring the sugar, mix it into the apple scraps and water until dissolved.
I use a small white glass plate that fits perfectly inside my 5 gallon fermenting jar to keep the scraps submerged.
(I have found it is easier for me to use the 5 gallon glass jar - it is easier to sterilize and I can peek at the progress!)
8. Cover the top of the vessel with a piece of cheese cloth so it can breathe and gas. It will also keep bugs from getting into your mixture. Secure on the vessel with a rubber band.
10. Strain the scraps in a colander lined with cheese cloth. Sterilize some Mason Jars (canning jars). After straining the scraps, pour the strained liquid into the sterilized canning jars leaving 1" head space and cover the top with a piece of cheese cloth and secure with either the rubber band or the screw band. ( I prefer using the rubber band because the screw bands sometime rust.)
11. Store the jars in your pantry or anywhere where it is still dark and cool for another 6 weeks. A film will start forming on the top of the liquid - This is the "Mother". There will be sediment on the bottom of the jar. You can stir it up and more "Mother" will form on the top. Saving some of the "Mother" will speed up the process the next time you make vinegar.
12. 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.
Apple Cider Vinegar that contains the "Mother" has numerous health benefits. While most apple cider vinegar in grocery stores do not contain the "Mother" - It is pasteurized and filtered which removes the health benefits. (You can find unpasteurized vinegar with "Mother" at health food stores for about $6.00 a quart or more.) Read about the amazing health benefits by clicking here.
CLICK HERE - My Youtube Video on Making Vinegar