I started making homemade Apple Cider Vinegar when I was looking for things to use up the wind fall from my apple tree’s but you can use any apples (shop bought or home grown).
The first batch I made I use as a house hold cleaner. It is fantastic for cleaning windows and mirrors and leaves a no streak shine. The initial vinegar smell evaporates away very quickly so don’t be worried that your house will smell strange.
You make it using all the apple cores, peelings and bad bits you don’t use.
Put all the pieces of apple in a bowl and allow to brown over about 24hrs.
Pack out a large jar/container with the browned apple pieces and pour in enough water to just cover the apples.
There are loads of slightly different recipes on the Internet but this is how I’ve been making mine.
Cover the jar with an old muslin/tea towel and put somewhere warmish and dark and leave for about 2-3 months. I leave mine in a cupboard in the kitchen which may be why it takes so long. Lots of people leave it in the airing cupboard (warm and dark – I’m going got try the airing cupboard next time and see how it changes the process).
You can keep adding apple peelings etc to the mix (make sure you top up with water) until you start to get a white grey scum forming over the top.
The white/grey scum forming on the top is meant to be there.This is know as ‘The Mother‘ and is a harmless symbiotic culture of bacteria and natural yeast.
You’ll be able to smell the apple and water mixture change. It will go from smelling like apple juice to cider and then to vinegar. You can also taste the different stages by dipping a spoon handle through ‘The Mother’ and into the fluid.
After around two months lift off ‘the mother’ and strain the liquid through a muslin or tea towel (you can also use a coffee filter). Pour it back into the jar, put the cover back over and leave for another month or two until strong enough. More ‘Mother’ may form during this time often at the bottom of the jar. This is totally normal
When ready (taste test required) strain off and pour into a storage jar with a lid.
It has so many uses. You can use in cooking, for heath remedies, as a cleaning product and in homemade beauty products. You can also flavour the vinegar with herbs.