Apple season is in full swing, so why not try your hand at making apple cider vinegar? It’s easy.
A couple things to know first:
The best cider vinegar results from fresh, raw, organic, apple cider. If you don’t want to make the cider yourself, make sure that you have a source for unpasturized cider.
Strong cider is made from apples that are sweet. Most apples will work fine, but if you can find sweet rather than tart apples, all the better.
Metal containers should not be used for making vinegar. Glass, plastic, wood, enamel, or stainless steel containers should be used for making or storing vinegar.
You can speed up fermentation times by adding yeast or a “mother” starter. This is optional though, the cider will ferment on its own without the yeast, but will take longer (much longer).
Make or procure raw apple cider.
Add some “mother” or cider yeast (you can get this at a winemaking store) to your fresh raw cider. One cake of yeast for every 5 gallons. You can also use Braggs to get things going. This works well for small batches, 1 part Braggs: 3 parts cider.
Fill your containers to 3/4 full.
You should not use a lid, but you can use a cheesecloth or a screen to keep bugs out.
Keep the containers out of the direct sunlight at a temperature of 60-90 degrees Fahrenheit (the warmer end of this spectrum makes for quicker fermentation).
Full fermentation takes up to 4 weeks. Check the taste often.
To store the final product, filter out the floaties (the mother–these can look pretty nasty, but don’t be alarmed. Save them in a little of the vinegar for your next batch or give them away). You can use a cheesecloth or coffee filter. By filtering off the mother you will slow further fermentation.
Store in capped containers out of the sunlight.
If you want to pasteurize the cider vinegar through canning, make sure you heat it in a water bath to 140 degrees, but not more than 160 degrees.
That’s it! Enjoy!
To find locally grown apples for making cider, or to buy and sell cider or cider vinegar, check outPick-A-Pepper.com!
- Home Apple Storage for Winter
- How To Prevent Fresh Berries From Molding
- Homemade Applesauce
- Mulberry Wine
- Preserving Garlic