Fall, the season of apple is here. It is the perfect time to take advantage of the season’s bounty and make some apple cider vinegar. Just like fruit juice, the best apple cider vinegars are unfiltered, organic and unpasteurised. Fortunately, it is easy to prepare organic apple cider vinegar at home. All you need to give it is a little bit of time so that the vinegar ferments well enough before you consume. Just follow these step-by-step instructions and your apple cider vinegar will be ready to use.
Apple cider vinegar is a natural product reputed for providing several health benefits like increasing stamina, boosting the immune system and making your skin and hair healthy. Making apple cider vinegar at home has been practiced since time immemorial. It tastes a lot better than readymade apple cider vinegar and is healthier as well.
Factors To Be Taken Care Of:
Making vinegars and pickles at home is not rocket science. However, before you start the process, you should be careful about some factors. In case of making apple cider vinegar you should be careful about some factors
1. You would require to monitor the range of temperature and the oxygen supply meticulously.
2. You need to stir the preparation regularly for supplying adequate oxygen to the mixture.
3. Further, do not tight the container with a lid when kept for ferment. Instead, use cheesecloth filter for the same purpose. It would also provide the mixture with sufficient air time to time.
4. Temperature is another factor; you should always keep in mind when preparing cider vinegar at home. The ideal temperature for fermentation is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Less or more temperature beyond the said range would not be able to bring same taste when fermented. Rather, it might spoil the preparation in all.
5. Avoid using any metal container while making apple cider vinegar at home. Acid used in the mixture may react with the metal of the container at times and make the vinegar toxic. Metals that are best, which you can use for this purpose can be glass, wood, stainless steel, hard plastic, or enamel.
How To Make Apple Cider Vinegar At Home:
Cooking and Preparation Time: 1 hour
Yields: 1 litre
- 10 apples, preferably organic (It is important to pick organic apples to get the full benefits of apple cider vinegar.)
- 3 teaspoons of organic sugar
- 1 litre filtered water
- 2 jars
- 4 paper towels
- 2 large rubber bands
Method Of Preparation:
Follow the step-by-step procedures that are mentioned below to prepare the apple cider vinegar at home:
Wash the apples and cut it in small pieces. You can include cores, seeds and stems. Then put it in a jar and add water and sugar to it. The chopped apples should fill half the container.
Stir in the water so that the sugar is fully dissolved. Cover the jar with a paper towel and secure with a rubber band. This will allow the vinegar bacteria and oxygen to get to the surface without being contaminated.
Store the bottle in a cool and dry place and allow it to sit for three weeks, gently mixing once or twice a day. Make sure the place is away from the sunlight as sunrays can interfere with the action of the bacteria. The ideal temperature should be about 29 degrees.
After two weeks, you will notice a gelatinous white film floating on the liquid. This is called the mother of vinegar, which is produced by the vinegar bacteria. You can use a simple hydrometer to determine if there is enough natural sugar in the juice to make a hard cider. When the apple scraps sink down at the bottom of the jar, the hard cider is ready.
Now take a strainer and strain the liquid in another jar. Cover the jar with a paper towel again and leave it for a month to allow the alcohol transform into acetic acid. Make sure you stir the jar well every day. This method is important. To ease the task, set a reminder on your phone or keep the jar in a place where you can see it every day. Do not overdo the stirring. If you disturb the liquid too much, it may affect its quality.
After letting it sit for a month, smell and taste the vinegar to determine whether it is prepared or not. No odour or flavour of alcohol should be present. By this time, you must have achieved the required acidity. You can also measure the acidic content by titration. If not, then leave it for another week and taste it again. If it still has not acquired the consistency, then leave it for another week. Once you are satisfied with it, transfer it to another jar and cover it with a proper lid. If you accidently leave it for too long and it turns strong, then strain and dilute it with some water.
Store the jar in a cool and dry place. You do not need to refrigerate it as the apples have already gone through the fermentation process.
Hope by now you must have got an idea on how to make apple cider vinegar at home. The product is excellent to use while cooking, and with salads, or refrigerated pickles.
Some Useful Tips:
Go through the tips that are mentioned below before preparing apple cider vinegar:
- Plan to make apple cider vinegar when you are using apples for other things like apple juice, fruit salads, pie and muffins.
- Always taste the vinegar with a clean spoon. Make sure the vinegar does not taste sweet at all.
- Speed up the next batch of vinegar making process by adding a spoon of ‘mother of vinegar’ to it.
- Do not use this vinegar for preserving food.
- You can use the solid as compost for your plants.
If you have already tried to make apple cider vinegar, share your method with us. If not, try this method and let us know your experiences in the comment section.
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