Sunday, January 14, 2018

Apple Cider Vinegar

Save up any apples that are beyond their prime—not rotten ones of course, but pulpy or spongy apples that are no longer suitable for eating are great for making vinegar. Of course, you can use fresh apples that are absolutely perfect too but I find that making apple cider vinegar from older apples is a good way to use up older ones without sending them to the compost bin.

Push them through an electric juicer to make apple juice. If you don’t have a juicer, just cut the apples into quarters and puree in a food processor (you can leave the cores and skins on). Then, push the apple pulp through a muslin-lined sieve or muslin bag to remove the fiber from the juice.
Pour the juice into clean, dark, glass jugs or bottles without putting a lid on them. Cover the tops with a few layers of cheesecloth and hold in place with an elastic band. Store the bottles or jars in a cool, dark place for between 3 weeks to 6 months, depending on the level of tanginess you prefer in your apple cider vinegar.

The longer the juice sits, the more acidic the vinegar will taste, while shorter times taste more like juice and only mildly like vinegar. Keep in mind that some alcohol may develop during the process, so if you use your vinegar early on in the fermentation cycle, it may actually taste more like apple cider wine than vinegar. Simply leave the apple juice/cider to ferment for a longer amount of time until the alcohol converts into acetic acid, which means it is now ready to use as vinegar.
If you purchased apple juice or apple cider, you can simply secure the cheesecloth over the top in place of the lid and store in a cook, dark place until it becomes vinegar.

You may notice a thick substance that forms on the top of the juice/vinegar. That’s the “mother” as it is known—the collection of bacteria that form in the juice that are responsible for converting it to vinegar. You can save the mother to use as a starter culture for the next batch of apple cider or other type of vinegar if you’d like. Using an existing mother helps to slightly speed up the process of making vinegar. Once you’re happy with the level of acidity, simply cap the bottles and store until you are ready to use.

For more great common sense tips on how to use everyday household items instead of expensive chemical based products, see

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Complete Sustainable Living Plan
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Acorn Flour Pancakes
Pemmican Recipe
Hardtack Recipe
Corn Bread
Sour Dough Bread
Corn Fritters
Apple Cider Vinegar
More on making Vinegar
Backing Soda vs Yeast
Baking Soda uses

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