Apple Cider Vinegar has long been used as tonic for health purposes. It was used to heal illnesses in Biblical times; Christopher Columbus drank Apple Cider Vinegar and ordered his crew to take it to circumvent scurvy when they were sailing the high seas; Julius Caesar and his army drank Apple Cider Vinegar to maintain their health. The best Apple Cider Vinegar is the kind you make at home. You can easily make homemade Apple Cider Vinegar if you follow these steps:
1. Use the Best Ingredients
Use fully ripe, worm-free, unbruised apples to make the best homemade Apple Cider Vinegar. Varieties of apples such as Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Jonagold, Gala, and Golden Russet contain the highest amounts of fruit sugar.
Note: Never use metal utensils or containers when you’re making or storing homemade vinegar. The acid in the vinegar will react to the metal. Instead, use plastic or glass.
2. Start With the Apple Juice
To make homemade Apple Cider Vinegar, you’ll need to wash enough apples to end up with one five gallons of strained juice. Quarter the apples, then crush them and strain the pulp through a piece of cheesecloth. Save the apple juice for the next step.
3. Add the Yeast
Using yeast to make homemade Apple Cider Vinegar will help hasten the fermentation process. But, don’t use yeast that’s designed to raise bread. Instead, visit your local wine-making supply shop. You’ll need the same type of yeast that’s used for making wines.
Remove one quart of the apple juice from the rest. Place a square of the yeast into the quart of juice; mix thoroughly. Now, stir the starter mix into the remaining gallons; mix well.
4. Start the Fermentation Process
The next step to make homemade Apple Cider Vinegar is to place the yeast/apple juice mixture into several glass bowls or lid-less containers. Each bowl or container should be approximately three quarters full. Cover the tops with cheesecloth so air can reach the mixtures. Then, set them where they can be left undisturbed out of the direct sunlight. The ideal location will have a temperature of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
One time a day, you’ll need to use a plastic or wooden long-handled spoon to stir the yeast/apple juice mixture in each of the bowls or containers. It will take approximately three to four weeks for the mixture to properly ferment. After three weeks, taste test the mixtures. You’ll have to use your personal opinion to determine if the vinegar is strong enough.
5. Filter Your Homemade Vinegar
When your Apple Cider Vinegar is ready, you’ll need to strain it. Use several layers of small-holed cheesecloth placed on top one another for this step.
6. Pasteurize Your Vinegar
You’ll need to heat your homemade Apple Cider Vinegar in a stainless steel pot on your stove top. Heat it over a low-medium temperature and stir it occasionally. Use a cooking thermometer to periodically test the mixture. You’ll want it to reach a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it reaches that temperature, immediately remove it from your stove top.
7. Store Your Vinegar
Pour your homemade, pasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar into clean bottles that have air-tight lids. Place the bottles into a hot water bath. Allow them to cool down. Then, store your vinegar in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Make homemade Apple Cider Vinegar to drink it for your health. Or, make it just because it tastes good. Apple Cider Vinegar is a great addition to cold salads. You can also add zip to cooked spinach by adding Apple Cider Vinegar. Or, sprinkle it on baked fish. Whatever you choose to use it for, enjoy your homemade vinegar!