Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is said to be liquid gold! Well, this does not come as a surprise because this versatile vinegar has a great number of uses. It aids digestion, helps balance blood sugar, and improves the condition of your skin and hair.
To be sure that you are using a completely natural and healthy product, you can prepare apple cider vinegar at your own home.
Selecting Apples for your Vinegar
It is very important to use organic apples to prepare this tonic. In this way, you will be sure that it does not have pesticides and is completely safe to use
Whenever you make an apple pie, applesauce, or even eat an apple, make sure to keep the cores and peels in a tightly sealed container in your freezer. Wash the apple peels with water and remove any bruised or bad portions. In a case you are not using organic apples, remove the peels and use only the cores.
When you have a big enough batch, you can start the fermentation process. If you want to start right now, you can use whole apples to prepare your apple cider vinegar instead of collecting apple cores.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Equipment
It is of utmost importance to use extremely clean or sterilized equipment in the process of fermentation. This will ensure that your apple cider vinegar is free of bad bacteria which can cause mold growth or prevent the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Use hot, soapy water to wash all containers and utensils. Rinse them in cool running water and dry with paper towels. Before starting, make sure to thoroughly scrub your hands and nails.
The apple cider vinegar found in supermarkets looks clean and clear. This is because of the filtering and pasteurizing process. Even though this ACV looks good, it does not contain the beneficial bacteria and enzymes for which ACV is so popular. ‘The mother’ is composed of proteins, beneficial bacteria, and enzymes and it is responsible for most of the health benefits of ACV. You may also notice white ‘fluffy’ scum floating on top of your vinegar. Don’t panic, this is normal! It can be gently scooped off.
Apple Cider Vinegar Recipe:
- Glass jar(s)
- Enough apple scraps to fill your jar(s) – Organic cane sugar
- Filtered water – Dash of store-bought organic, raw, unpasteurized, unfiltered ACV (optional) – Fermentation weight, small glass jar or plate
- Cheesecloth or coffee filter
- Elastic band
You should fill the glass jar to the top with the apple scraps. Then, dissolve the cane sugar into the filtered water. The amount depends on the size of your jars. It should be mixed in the ratio of one cup of water to one tablespoon of sugar.
If you use a store-bought ACV, you should add a dash to the mixture.
Pour the sugar water over your apples. Then, weight down the apples by using the small clean jar or plate. In this way, you will make sure that the fruit is completely submerged by the liquid.
Use a cheesecloth or coffee filter to cover the jar and store it at room temperature. Make sure it is not exposed to direct sunlight. Let the mixture stand for 3-3 weeks. Keep in mind that the fermentation process slows down in colder months and speeds up during summer.
It is recommended to check your vinegar every few days in order to ensure the apples are submerged. If you notice a dark substance in the jar, strain the mixture, reserving the liquid and composting the apple pieces. Then, return the liquid to the jar, and make sure to cover with a lid. Let it ferment for 2-4 weeks.
Don’t forget to gently shake the jar every other day. Taste the liquid on a regular basis until it gets an acidity you like. Then, you can transfer it to a bottle and start using it. You can keep your homemade ACV at room temperature.
However, in this way, it will continue to ferment and become more acidic. So, place your bottles in the refrigerator to prevent this happening.