I really try to do something with what many would just throw out. We are dealing with a lot in this world and having simple skills like how to make apple cider vinegar (ACV) at home is something cool to show off, save some cash from buying it, plus it's a greener alternative to just tossing the apples cores and peels especially if you don't like the skin. Since I have a ton of apples from apple picking last weekend, I've had a ton of cores and peels coming through my kitchen so I figured this is the best time to try to make some myself.
Before getting into the process of making ACV I want to talk about why it's so great and why I always have bottles of raw, unfiltered vinegar at home. First off it's an acid, so it's great for cooking. Acid is a basic flavor that really should be considered more often in cooking. It helps brighten up the overall flavor and cuts through sweet, salty, and bitter flavors. ACV, being an acid, is also useful in cleaning. It can help kill pathogens in your home so it can be used as a natural cleaner on surfaces in the kitchen! One of my favorite uses personally is as a facial toner. I have used a mixture of 1/3 ACV and 2/3's water as a toner after washing my face for years now. It helps cut through any grease on the face, kill any acne producing bacteria, and helps control redness.
Along with all the benefits outside the body, there is more and more research of its benefits in consumption. I've heard the midwestern generational thought of drinking a shot of ACV a day. And I know that in its raw form, with the bacteria that ferment it into vinegar, there are benefits similar to kombucha and other fermented foods. I strongly encourage you to do more research if you want to learn more about the benefits of this simple ferment. For now though let's talk about how it's made.
How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar
What you will need:
- Apple skins and cores, enough to fill jar at least 2/3's of the way
- Clean Jar
What to do:
First thing is fill the jar with the scrapes. Make sure it's about 2/3's ish full. It doesn't have to be exact so don't worry too much.
Once you have the scrapes you need a sugar water solution. I used a ratio of 1 tablespoon sugar for every 8 oz. of water. I used a standard white sugar that I used for baking but this can be done with any type of sugar, I have even seen people use honey. You just need something sweet for the micro life to use.
Once you have your sugar solution, fill up the jar and leave about 1 inch of head space.
Cover with a cloth or rag and secure with a rubber band or string. This will ferment for awhile and fruit flies love the smell of apples and the vinegar once it starts so make sure it is secure to prevent any small bugs from getting in while also letting the mixture breath to promote micro life.
Place the covered jar in a cool, dark place, and ferment as such for 2 weeks.
After two weeks, strain out any apple material and compost.
Cover jar again with a cloth and ferment in same place for another 4 weeks.
Once the mixture has fermented, test to see if it is strong enough. You should notice a cloudiness or strings of the "mother". At this point you have Apple Cider Vinegar!
So for now I am on step 5. I made two jars and left them to ferment. As I'm typing this it has been about 1 week. As I keep up with the process I will add more photos and information on what I do to this post. Until then have some fun this fall season with a new experiment and enjoy all the apples that come with the season!!