Making your own apple cider vinegar is a simple and rewarding project. It requires just a few ingredients and some patience while the vinegar ferments. Homemade apple cider vinegar has many uses and benefits. It provides probiotics, enzymes, and acetic acid and is great for dressing salads, marinades, chutneys, and other recipes. Follow these steps to make your own delicious apple cider vinegar

1. How To Make Apple Cider Vinegar

Ingredients

  • 5-6 apples, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 gallon filtered water
  • 1 cup sugar (optional)
  • Cheesecloth
  • Sterilized glass jar

Equipment

  • Knife and cutting board
  • Large pot with lid
  • Wooden spoon
  • Funnel
  • pH test strips

Instructions

Prep the apples. Peel, core and coarsely chop 5-6 apples. Organic apples work best, but any type is fine.

Make apple juice. Place the chopped apples into a large pot and add filtered water until the pot is 3/4 full. Add sugar if you want a slightly sweeter vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30-60 minutes until apples are soft.

Strain the apple juice. Place a cheesecloth over a large bowl and slowly pour the cooked apples and liquid over it. Let it cool. Gather the cheesecloth corners and tie closed. Squeeze and twist the cloth tightly to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the apple pulp.

Activate the fermentation. Pour the fresh apple juice into a sterilized glass jar. Add the “mother” from an existing batch of apple cider vinegar, or a few tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar with the mother. This starts the fermentation process.

Ferment the vinegar. Cover the jar with a tight lid or cheesecloth secured with a rubber band. Store in a dark place at room temperature for 4-6 weeks. Natural fermentation converts the apple juice to alcohol and then to vinegar.

Monitor the vinegar. Check it periodically and look for a cloudy sediment forming at the bottom. This is the mother, which contains beneficial enzymes and bacteria. Taste the vinegar and continue fermenting until the flavor is to your liking.

End fermentation. To stop fermenting, strain the finished vinegar through a cheesecloth or coffee filter into a sterilized jar. Cap tightly and store in a cool, dark place.

Check acidity. Test the vinegar’s acidity using pH test strips. Mature apple cider vinegar has a pH between 2.8 – 3.2. If it’s not acidic enough, leave the lid loose to further ferment.

Flavor (optional). For flavored versions, add herbs, spices, fruit juice, etc. directly to the finished vinegar. Popular options are honey, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and basil.

It takes some patience, but making apple cider vinegar at home is simple and fulfilling. Now you can control the flavor profile and enjoy this probiotic powerhouse knowing it has the “mother” and is unprocessed. Use your homemade vinegar for salads, marinades, pickling, health tonics, cleaning, and more!

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julia jane

Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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