3 Tb. Sugar
Mother or 2 Tsp. Yeast
Apple Cider Vinegar (or ACV) can be used for all kinds of things. We use it around the homestead all the time. We use it anywhere from in the chicken coop to bathing in it ourselves. There isn’t a room or area on the homestead that this wonderful liquid isn’t used. I want to encourage your to find ways to use ACV in your own life. Mama Natural has a fantastic list of uses for Apple Cider Vinegar Here. I encourage you to go check it out! So, since you will find all kinds of uses for ACV in your home, lets learn how to make it!
Ok, first thing first. You will want to use a large glass jar for this. I fill the jar about 1/3-1/2 of the way with the apple scraps. Many people don’t usually have a lot of apple scraps at one time in order to make big batches of ACV. A good way to accumulate these scraps is to freeze the scraps as you have them. Once you get enough scraps you can make your ACV. Just be sure the apples are room temperature or you might damage the mother. After you put the apple scraps in the jar, add the sugar. I give my apples a little stir to distribute the sugar. If you are starting your ACV from scratch (without a mother) you can buy RAW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR WITH THE MOTHER. Just add about 1/4 Cup of that vinegar to the apple scraps. It is also suggested that you add more sugar to the jar. It is trial and error with this step. So for my first batch of ACV that I made, I was actually lucky enough to have ACV that Tomithy had made as a test a couple years ago and it had a nice mother in it. I used some of the ACV as well as the mother. Maybe ask a friend for some of their ACV or maybe a little bit of their mother to start a batch. I know many people have been able to start ACV without the mother. Tomithy, actually, made his ACV without mother. So I know it can be done. If you do not have access to a mother, you can use yeast to start the fermenting of the Apple Cider Vinegar.
What is this “Mother” that I am referring to? This picture is from the mother that my first batch of ACV made. This “Mother of Vinegar” is a biofilm made up of cellulose as part of the fermentation process when acetic acid bacteria turns alcohol into vinegar. Mothers usually form at the top of the container of the liquid as it ferments. So it is usually the size and shape of the top of the liquid.
Gently place the mother on top of the apples in your jar. Then fill the jar most of the way up with room temperature water. You want to leave some room at the top of the jar because as the apples ferment and the alcohol forms, the liquid will bubble and over flow.
In this jar the Mother is the small pinkish clump in the front because it was taken from Tomithy’s bottle. Once the jar is full of water, you will need to take a clean, dry dish towel and cover the top of the jar. I then use rubber bands around the top to keep the towel in place so fruit flies don’t try and get in the jar and lay eggs. Since the vinegar is made only when the bacteria combines oxygen and alcohol you want the jars to be able to breath, so DO NOT PLACE A LID ON TOP! Also, the jar could explode if sealed, because between the yeast and the bacteria, there is quite a bit of CO2 being released which could build up pressure in a sealed jar.
Now that the jars are prepared, place them in a dark place. Some place that is easy to get to but not in direct sun. The jars will need to be stirred, gently, every couple of days to be sure mold doesn’t form on the top. The apple scraps will take about a month for fermenting. You will know when the ACV is complete because it won’t smell like alcohol anymore but like vinegar. Imagine that!
I wanted to show you that some jars had a mother and some did not. The jars with out the mother still made vinegar. This happened when Tomithy made ACV too. The mother actually collected and grew once the ACV was strained and moved to a different bottle. This caused the mother that came from his batch to be the diameter of the bottle neck (relatively thin) and quite tall. No worries. As long as it smells like ACV, you should be good!
Once the liquid is separated from the apple scraps, pour into containers and use when you are ready. I leave some space at the top of the jars just in case there is some late bubbling. I only strain my ACV one time at first. This will allow any mother to form from any of the little bits of apple that is still left over. When I get ready to use the ACV I will either run the liquid through cheese cloth or use a siphon to collect the liquid but not the apple pulp from the bottom.
I hope this post will inspire you to make your own Apple Cider Vinegar and you can find many ways to use it around your home!