Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother
Back in September, Phil came across a wild apple tree that yielded us about… I’m going to call it a bushel and a half of apples. You can read about it here. In prior years, I have used apple scraps to make jelly… you can read about that here – it’s delicious! Anyway, I wanted to find an additional use for the scraps because I had more than enough from this haul for jelly. I use quite a bit of apple cider vinegar around my house, so it was kind of a no brainer to give it a whirl and see if I could make my own. Folks, this is so easy and so much more economical than the store brand that I will be doing this from scratch here on out and hence forth. Want to know how to do it? Let’s go!
I didn’t take pictures of my process, so just follow along.
You can use the scraps of your apples (peels and cores) – think of the leftovers from making apple pie, or you could just chop up some apples. Alternatively, you can start a bag in the freezer of your scraps and just take it out and thaw on the counter once you have enough.
Place scraps in a non reactive container – steer clear of metal or plastic – I have a 3 gallon porcelain crock that is used for pickles. Cover to about an inch above the scraps with fresh, cold water. For the amount of scraps I had, I added about a 1/2 cup of raw honey, but I really should have added more because my apples were TART! This is not an exact science, so you really have to base it on how your apples taste, but definitely add some amount of honey. Now, fill a gallon ziploc bag with water, seal, and place over the apples to make sure they stay submerged. Or, figure out your own way of keeping the apples under the water.
At this point, put the container in a dark, cool place. Check on the contents every couple of days. After a couple of days, you will start to see bubbles form – this is totally normal and the start of the fermentation process! At about a week or so, you will want to strain out the apples. Divide the mixture among mason jars, cover with a coffee filter, then screw on the rings. Place these again in a dark, cool place, and mark your calendar for four weeks. Some people stir their mix every few days, but I couldn’t be bothered. 🙂
Now, I waited for six weeks, and my vinegar is strong enough it could probably strip urethane off the cabinets. Next time around, I will pay better attention to the flavor of the apples, and adjust the sweetness accordingly.
Voila! No investment, and I have a whole bunch of homemade vinegar, with the mother, in my basement!