For many healthy eaters today, apple cider vinegar is a must-have in their pantry. With proven health benefits ranging from lowered blood sugar to the reduced risk of certain cancers, it’s no wonder this tasty product has become so popular.
The best apple cider vinegar is the organic kind that you can buy raw and unpasteurized. This contains all the beneficial proteins and enzymes from the microbes involved in the production process. However, you can’t always get hold of the good stuff, and, when you do find some, it’s often pretty expensive.
Fortunately, making this kind of vinegar is very simple, and you can whip up a batch at home at little or no extra cost. Here’s how to make apple cider vinegar in your own kitchen in 4 easy steps.
How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar
The only thing you’ll need is apples or apple scraps, sugar (to feed the culture), and lots of patience.
#1 Picking Your Apples
The first step is to pick your apples. The variety of the fruit you use will have an effect on the flavor of the finished product, but the vinegar can be made from any kind of apple – even the kind that grows in your backyard! Experiment with different sweet, bitter, and sharp varieties until you come up with the combination you like best.
Of course, you should only use organic produce. The good news is that you can use the leftovers from apples that you’ve cored and peeled for other purposes.
If your apples are not organic, make sure to rinse them thoroughly to remove all pesticides and dirt. CLICK HERE for more info.
#2 Getting Them Ready
To get your apples ready, wash them and coarsely chop them into approximately 1-inch pieces, including the skin, core, and seeds. Put these in a sterile wide-mouthed jar (boiling this for a couple of minutes will do the trick), and add a teaspoon of raw sugar or honey for each small apple you use.
You should then pour in enough filtered water to completely cover the apples while still a few inches from the top of the jar. Stir this mixture until the sugar is dissolved. When this is done, cover the jar with a clean cheesecloth or dishcloth, using a rubber band to hold it in place.
#3 Making Hard or Core Apple Cider
The next step is the fermentation that will create hard apple cider. All this entails is putting your jar of apples in a warm, dark place where it won’t be disturbed: a corner of your pantry or water cylinder cupboard will be perfect for this purpose.
Once you’ve safely stowed your jar away, all you’ll need is patience. After a week or two, you should start to see the apple pieces sink to the bottom of the jar. This, as well as an alcoholic whiff coming from the mixture, is a sign that the cider is ready.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the health benefits of fermented food.
#4 Fermenting Apple Cider Vinegar
A second fermentation step is where the apple cider becomes vinegar. Strain the hard apple cider from Step 3, saving the liquid and discarding the apple pieces. Return the liquid to the original jar, cover it with the same cloth, and put it back in its warm, dark place. Every few days, give it a good stir.
After 1 month, the microbes should have converted enough alcohol into acetic acid to turn the mixture into vinegar. As this happens, sediment will form at the bottom and a foamy mother culture will form on top. If the vinegar isn’t strong enough for you at this point, you can leave it to ferment for another month or two. If you find that it’s just right, however, you can transfer it to a bottle and start using your apple cider vinegar. And that is how simple it is to make your own apple cider vinegar at home. Enjoy!
Have you ever made your own ACV? How did it go? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below!
Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.