Apple Cider Vinegar – homemade
I have a lovely Belle de Boskoop tree in my garden. Year after year it gives a very good yield. These aromatic apples can be used for much more than applesauce, so this time it is on homemade vinegar.
Note that the apple cider vinegar is not the same as the apple vinegar. Apple vinegar is vinegar added concentrated apple juice while apple cider vinegar is apple juice that is fermented to cider and then acidified to vinegar – this is the pure product.
There are several ways to make start the fermentation. If your apples are ecological, you can, with a little patience just leave your juice and wait for wild fermentaion. This may last several days – be patient. You can also buy some cider yeast that is fairly easy to find on eBay – where you can get in a few days.
The way to vinegar?
When fermenting wine, cider and beer, the process should preferably be done without oxygen. It is just the opposite with vinegar – after your juice has got the initial fermentation to cider. To start the vinegar process, you must have a “vinegar mother”, which most of all is a little slimy lump lying in your vinegar. It is not for sale so many places – are mostly sold out – so I got hold of one at eBay – fx search for “apple cider vinegar with mother”. It takes less than a week to get it home and once you have it, you can use it again and again.
I pressed 5 kg of apples to juice. It gave me around 2.5 l juice. If you have a slow juicer you may possibly get more out of the apples. I grated the apples in a food processor and pressed the juice through cheesecloth.
Pour it into a well-cleaned container. I have some buckets that are made for food purposes, but 2l water bottles are excellent too. Add 40 gr eco sugar per liter of juice and cider yeast (or no yeast – here you can just wait).
After a week or so with “peace” in the fermentation, you can add your vinegar mother. I do it the way that I use half of the purchased and then priming the container where the mother was. Then there’s mother for the next time if you somehow miss the one in the big container.
Wait a month or two and pour the juice in another container if there are many impurities at the bottom, but be sure that there is access to oxygen. I put a clean tea towel over the bin or put a cotton plug in the bottle.
You can, after a week or two smell the scents of the juice that is now a mild aromatic vinegar. It may still be cloudy, but you should not worry about that – it is a living, aromatic liquid you here have made, that is great for all kinds of cooking. Also, it will last a very long time.
And where it can be used
Apple Cider Vinegar can be used for cleaning windows! It’s up to you to use those golden drops for this purpose;-) There are other uses, be it for dressing, as the addition to other cooking – you name it – use your own aromatic vinegar. It is worth the effort.