With all the craze about apple cider vinegar now days, wouldn't it be great to be able to just make your own? I mean, it can be kind of pricey, right?
Making vinegar is probably one of the easiest things I do on the homestead. apples are usually of the abundance come fall, and there is just so many things to do with them, and it seems a shame to throw away all those skins and cores, or is that just me, lol.
Anyway, I have linked my video to help you get your vinegar going, and I will expound on that here as well, so lets make some vinegar!
I use the big gallon jars, like those huge pickle jars. It doesn't have to be glass, it can plastic, I have found no difference in the two.
After I have peeled and cored all my apples for canning, I put them all in the jar. I fill them quite full, but not packed.
Then I fill them with water. If you happen to have a jar of ACV in the cupboard you can pour a bit in as well, this will help jumpstart the process. I take a rubber band and a coffee filter to use as a top. The vinegar has to breath, you can use a rag as well. I sit it on top of my buffet, or just choose a quiet spot on the counter, where it wont get in the way.
That's it! Really, that is it.
Now for a few caveats. The goodness we get from apple cider vinegar comes from the "mother". That is all the floaty bits you see at the bottom of the jar you get at the store. Not only will your vinegar develop a "mother", but it will develop a scoby as well. Scoby is short for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, and is sometimes considered part of the "mother". Sounds appetizing doesn't it! Now vinegar scoby differs slightly from Kombucha scoby, but they both are rich in probiotics, and great choices for a healthy gut.
This scoby will develop and float on top of your vinegar and apple bits over time. So do not think it is mold. You will also notice some bubbling action going on, this is the fermentation process. After a few weeks, you can strain out your apple bits. Be careful to take the scoby off the top, you can use it to jump start future batches of vinegar. I keep mine in a "Scoby Motel".
I collect all my scobies in a jar of vinegar, as you can see, I have quite a few! So if you need any to jumpstart a jar, just hit me up!
Ok, so now that you have removed all your apple bits, and checked your scoby into your "Scoby Motel", pour everything back into the jar, minus the apple bits and scoby, and place your breathable lid back on. Your vinegar will continue ferment, and you can safely continue to store it this way. After a few months, I jar mine up, in bottles or other jars. Thos gallon size growler bottles are great, and they are cheep, if not free to get.
The next time you want to make up some ACV, just grab a scoby and add ti to your apple bits, and the process will go even faster than the first batch you made. But BEWARE! You can easily find your self swimming in vinegar, so don't hestitate to give some away to your buddies!