Monday, May 18, 2009
Making apple cider vinegar is just one way we become a little more self sufficient. It is so easy and tasty. We make gallons of it each year and use it for pickles, cleaning, cooking, animal health, our own health and more.
If you have your own apples and press your own cider all you have to do it put some unheated (raw) cider in a glass jar (we use a 3 gallon glass carboy, like the kind used for brewing, and also one gallon jars), be sure to leave some head space, and secure cheese cloth on top with an elastic. Place cider in a cool, dark place and taste in about 4 months. If it is not strong enough for your taste, let it sit longer. You will see the “mother” forming in the vinegar. The “mother” keeps the vinegar working and makes it stronger.
If the vinegar is to your liking, you can strain the mother off and rebottle. We sometimes leave the mother in the vinegar and have not had a problem with the vinegar getting too strong for our tastes. A lot of times we use a one gallon wine bottle to make the ACV and when we remove the cheese cloth we just replace it with the lid from the wine bottle (make sure to sterilize all bottles and caps before using).
If you don’t press your own apples, try to find someone who does and get some fresh (unheated) cider to make your vinegar.
If you are unable to make your own ACV vinegar and have to buy it, make sure to buy some that is raw, and preferably, unfiltered. You don’t want all the goodness taken out of it!