I'm really getting into fermenting. The benefits are numerous and I love the ability to cut down on waste and preserve food. Sundays after worship time are my days to relax and work around the house. It's an extension of my worship, taking care of what God has blessed us with and starting the week with a clean, organized home. So today, my son and I started some apple cider vinegar! It was so easy, I'm not sure why I haven't tried it before.
I found many different recipes during my research, I'll share below what we did, and give an update when it's all done (a little over a month from now.) The great thing about making your own raw, organic apple cider vinegar is that you can use the peels and skin from apples you've used for another recipe! No waste and you get beneficial ACV! It's a win-win situation!
- Organic Apples (can be just peels and core)
- Filtered Water
- 1T Raw Sugar for every 1C water used
- Wide Mouth Glass Jar (a quart is good to start with)
Chop apples (or peels and cores, whatever you're using). Fill jar 3/4 of the way with apples.
Stir sugar into water until mostly dissolved and pour to completely cover the apples, leaving a couple inches at the top. Cover the jar with cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band.
Leave in a warm, dark place for about two weeks. After two weeks, strain and put your vinegar back in the same jar to ferment for another 2-4 weeks. When it has that tangy, vinegar-y smell then you know it's ready! Store in the fridge with a plastic cap when it's done. The cold of the fridge will slow the fermentation process down so you can use it without it continuing to ferment at the same speed.
- Many other fermenting info posts said that if the ingredients float to the top then they need to be weighted down to stay submerged. I had no way of doing that so we'll see how it goes. UPDATE: Upon further research, I found out that having the food floating above the liquid causes it to mold-you will have to throw your whole batch out, which I ended up having to do with my first batch. I was very disappointed! My wonderful mum found some glass fermenting weights on eBay, and they totally did the trick in keeping everything submerged.
- It's best to use filtered water but I didn't have any, so I boiled the water to purify it (do it in something that is not metal) and let it cool completely before using. UPDATE: I used store-bought filtered water for my second go-around with the ACV, it worked perfectly as all of my sources said it would.
- Make sure your jars and weights are cleaned and sterilized (in the dishwasher) to prevent anything from compromising the fermentation causing mold or sickness to occur.
- Using organic apples is highly recommended, but if you don't have any, it's best to not use the peels and/or wash them really, really well/soak them in vinegar water to avoid the harmful pesticides.
- If you see the stringy, floaty "mother" in your ACV, you can use it to jump start your next batch!