Like apple juice, the best apple cider vinegars are organic, unfiltered and raw (unpasteurized). Depending on where you live it may be hard to find really good apple cider vinegar.
Fortunately, it’s easy and very inexpensive to make. It just takes some time, naturally, to ferment. This varies depending on which of the two methods below that you choose to use.
This article will show you how to make apple cider vinegar using two different methods. The first method uses the scraps – cores and apple peels. The second method uses whole apples.
Method One – Make Apple Cider Vinegar From Scraps
This method uses scraps, like the peels and cores. I like this method because I get to eat my apples and make vinegar too. It’s also faster, taking around two months to complete the process.
a large bowl or wide-mouth jar
apple scraps, the cores and peels from organic apples
a piece of cheesecloth for covering the jar to keep out flies and debris
Leave the scraps to air. They’ll turn brown, which is exactly what you want. Add the apple scraps to the jar and top it up with water.
You can continue to add scraps for a few more days if you want. If you’re going to do this though, be sure don’t top the jar right up, leave some room for the new scraps.
Cover with the cheesecloth and put it in a warm, dark place. A water cylinder cupboard is perfect.
You’ll notice the contents of the jar starts to thicken after a few days and a grayish scum forms on top. When this happens, stop adding scraps and leave the jar for a month or so to ferment.
After about a month you can start taste-testing it. When it’s just strong enough for you, strain out the apple scraps and bottle the vinegar.
It’s ok if your vinegar is cloudy, there will be some sediment from the apples and what’s known as “the mother”. It’s all good. If you don’t like the cloudiness though, straining it through a paper coffee filter will remove most of the sediment.
Method Two – Make Apple Cider Vinegar From Whole Apples
This method uses whole, organic apples and takes about 7 months to ferment into vinegar.
10 Whole organically-grown apples
a glass bowl, and later a larger glass bowl
a piece of cheesecloth to cover the bowls
Wash the apples and cut into quarters. You can optionally core and peel them. If you do the scraps can be used to make apple cider vinegar by method one, above.
Let the apples air and turn brown. Then put them into the smaller bowl and cover with water.
Cover the bowl with the cheesecloth and leave in a warm, dark place for 6 months. Again, a hot water cupboard is ideal.
After the 6 months is up, you’ll notice a grayish scum on the surface of the liquid. This is normal. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter into the larger bowl, and leave it for another 4-6 weeks, covered with the cheesecloth.
And there you have it, your own homemade apple cider vinegar
How to use Apple Cider Vinegar
There are lots of ways to use apple cider vinegar. It can be used diluted with water as a hair rinse (don’t worry – the smell disappears quickly), you can also mix with water or fruit juice and drink it.