Organic apple cider vinegar has so many benefits that people are anxious to try it, but they cannot always buy it locally. If you live where organic apple cider vinegar is difficult to find, try making it at home.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make Apple Cider Vinegar, our most popular home remedy!
The Easiest Way to Make Apple Cider Vinegar at Home
Lisa from Thousand Oaks, CA writes Earth Clinic: “Hi Everyone, I thought this would be of interest to many on here since Apple Cider Vinegar plays a starring role on EC. It’s how to make your own apple cider vinegar. It’s not unlike how I explained making my coconut kefir.
It’s as easy as first buying a raw apple cider vinegar (the type with the mother in it) and then mixing a cup of this with apple cider. It’s best to put this in a glass container, then cover it with a coffee filter and put it at the back of your pantry/ cupboard undisturbed for about a month. At this time you will see a mother floating on top or at least a thin film. Give it a taste and if it tastes strong enough you now, not only have more ACV but can then begin to make another batch. Now that you have a mother, the second batch will go faster.
Your next batch can be made in a large mason jar with 1/2 cup of the new ACV and then fill the rest with apple cider.
This is the same process for making kombucha. You can then share your mothers with friends and family and will no longer need to buy ACV.”
Lisa updates with more instructions:
“Hi Tina, I’m sorry if I was unclear. I will try to make it more comprehensible:
- 1 cup of Raw apple cider vinegar (the one with the mother in it)
- 1 cup apple cider
Put in a jar and cover with a coffee filter over it. You can use a rubber band to secure it. Put this in your pantry/ cupboard for about 1 month. At this time you will have a mother at the top or a thin film. Taste it to see if it is strong enough. If so, continue on-
For the next batch, use 1/2 cup of your vinegar in a mason jar and fill the rest with apple cider. This batch will go much faster and will be done at about 2 weeks.
You will no longer need to buy apple cider vinegar. You can share this with others and also the mothers can be given to friends and family for their use. Spread the love!
Hope this is much clearer! Lisa”
Lori from Watertown, Wisconsin writes Earth Clinic:
“I’ve tried two different methods for making cider vinegar. I used the method described on the website that calls for making hard cider first. Although it worked okay, it produced a milder-tasting vinegar and it took more time. (My DH did like the hard cider though, and set aside a bottle for his own consumption.) Using fresh, unpasturized, unfiltered apple cider, fresh from the orchard is my preferred method. It helps to have everything prepared before you leave for the orchard to pick up the cider. Wash and stage an appropriate number of large, wide-mouthed glass containers (the kind that bulk foods come in). Lay out cheesecloth and rubber-bands for covering the container openings after filling them with cider. Set aside a warm location out of direct sunlight for fermentation for the jars. (Out-of-the-way tables and counters work well. Cold shelves close to the floor do not work. ) Pitfalls of this method: 1) If you don’t have everything prepared the cider will need to be refrigerated until then. 2) There is more of a chance that a jar will get a mold-growth on top of the mother. I’ve had to throw out a few jars because of this.
One thing I have learned over the years is that some orchards (combo’s of apples) produce better vinegar results than others. Once you find an orchard with good results, stick to it.
One more note: The best batch I ever made was from windfall apples collected from random trees. If I’m ever able to make my own press I’ll be using this method exclusively.”
DIY Apple Cider Vinegar
Here’s a recipe found on the web 15 years ago to make apple cider vinegar.
Two factors require special attention when making vinegar at home: oxygen supply and temperature. Oxygen is spread throughout the mixture by stirring it daily and by letting air reach the fluid through a cheesecloth filter, which is used in place of a regular lid. The temperature of fermenting cider should be kept between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Lower temperatures do not always produce a usable vinegar, and higher ones interfere with the formation of the “mother of vinegar.” Mother of vinegar is a mat that forms on the bottom of fermenting wine that has gone bad.
Do not use a metal container when making vinegar; acid in the mixture will corrode metal or aluminum objects. Glass, plastic, wood, enamel, or stainless steel containers should be used for making or storing vinegar. The same holds true for making or storing foods that have more than 1 Tablespoon of vinegar in the recipe.
The following steps must be followed to make a high-quality cider vinegar:
- Make a clean cider from ripe apples.
- Change all of the fruit sugar to alcohol. This is called “yeast fermentation.”
- Change all of the alcohol to acetic acid. This is called “acetic acid fermentation.”
- Clarify the acetic acid to prevent further fermentation and decomposition.
1. Making the Cider
Cider is made from the winter and fall varieties of apples (summer and green apples do not contain enough sugar). Fruit should be gathered, then washed well to remove debris. Crush the fruit to produce apple pulp and strain off the juice. Use a press or cheesecloth for straining.
Adding yeast to activate fermentation is not essential, but will speed up the process. Special cultivated yeasts are available for this purpose at wine-making shops and biological labs–bread yeasts are not recommended. To make a starter, crumble one cake of yeast into one quart of cider. This makes enough starter for 5 gallons of cider; double the recipe proportionately when making more.
2. Making Alcohol and Acetic Acid
Pour all of the liquid into one or more containers to about three-quarters capacity; do not close the lids on the containers. Stir the mixtures daily. Keep the containers away from direct sunlight and maintain the temperature at 60 to 80 degrees F. Full fermentation will take about 3 to 4 weeks. Near the end of this period, you should notice a vinegar-like smell. Taste samples daily until the desired strength is reached.
When the vinegar is fully fermented, filter the liquid through several layers of fine cheesecloth or filter paper–a coffee filter works well for this. This removes the mother of vinegar, preventing further fermentation or spoilage of the product.
4. Storing Your Vinegar
The vinegar is now ready for storage in separate, capped containers. Stored vinegar will stay in excellent condition almost indefinitely if it is pasteurized. To pasteurize, heat the vinegar before pouring it into sterilized bottles, or bottle, then place in a hot water bath. In both cases, the temperature of the vinegar must reach at least 140 degrees F to sterilize the product, and should not exceed 160 degrees F. Use a cooking thermometer to ensure the correct temperature is met. Cool the containers and store at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
How To Make Flavored Vinegar
Flavoring can be added to homemade vinegar just before bottling. Good examples of additives include green onion, garlic, ginger, or any combination of dried or fresh herbs. To make flavoring, place material in a small cheesecloth bag and suspend in the vinegar until desired strength is reached. This will take about 4 days, except for garlic, which takes only 1 day. For every 2 cups of vinegar, use one of the following: 1/2 cup crushed fresh herbs, 1 tablespoon of dried herbs, 2 large cloves of garlic, or 8 small green onions. Other good flavorings include tarragon, basil, nasturtium, chives, mint, chervil, borage, hot chilies, and raspberries. Adjust the amounts to taste, but be careful not to overload the vinegar. Too much vegetable matter can destroy the acid and ruin the preservative quality of the vinegar.
Some flavorings may not go well with cider vinegar’s distinct taste and color. When flavoring store-bought vinegar, use more delicate or decorative flavors. When flavoring store-bought vinegar, you will still need to pasteurize it and use sterile bottles.
Flavored vinegars taste great and have a beautiful color, making them excellent for use in salads. You will be tempted to display flavored vinegar; however, be sure to keep your bottles out of direct sunlight, which will destroy the flavor, acidity, and color of the vinegar.
Uses for Homemade Cider Vinegar
Because the acidity of homemade vinegars will vary, do not use them in foods to be canned or stored at room temperature. Homemade vinegar is, however, excellent in salads, cooking, or freezer and refrigerator pickled products.
Prepared by Christine Nicholas, Intern Doris Herringshaw, Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
This information comes from the following website:
Continue reading for more tips from our readers on making ACV at home!