Sunday, May 18, 2014
USE IT - DON'T LOSE IT: Apple Cider Vinegar
There was a bumper crop of apples on the farm this year. They are not sold commercially and are unsprayed. We were given a large number of crates of these lovely fruit that had been picked days before and were fast deteriorating. We made apple purée, apple jelly, apple cider, dried apples and apple sauce. I was most excited to try my hand at apple cider vinegar. It worked so well that I wish I had made more, enough to supply me in vinegar for the year. I love to use it in cooking and it is very expensive. Some people take it medicinally every day, so it has to be good. Best of all, it cost very little to make.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Wash and roughly chop the apples and, in my case, remove any wormy bits. Sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of sugar for every 1/2 kg or so of apples. Place the apples in a large bucket and cover them with filtered water. Put a plate on the apples to keep them submerged. Leave them in a cool dark place away from fruit flies until the apples and liquid start fermenting. This will take a few days. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh ( I used milk filters) and place in large, sterilised jars. Cover the jars with clean cloths and secure with elastic bands. Place the jars in a cool dark place for at least six weeks
After six weeks you will see that fermentation has stopped. There will also be a film called the vinegar mother on the surface of the vinegar. My one jar formed a thick mother, and the other jar formed a thin mother.
The mother can be used to start a new vinegar, or left in the jar. The vinegar can be kept sealed in the large jars, or siphoned into sterilised bottles for storage. Try not to disturb the sediment at the bottom of the jars so that the resulting bottles of vinegar will be clear.
I now have around four litres of apple cider vinegar. That works out to about 450ml vinegar per month until the next apple harvest. I wish I had made more, but it's a good start. As I always say, use it - don't lose it. I used a lot of apples, however we lost a whole lot more. Hopefully next year I will have more time and energy.