making your own cider vinegar

Discussion in 'Recipe Share' started by kappydell, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. kappydell

    kappydell Well-Known Member

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    It occurs to me that many folks use cider vinegar for salads, cooking, disinfection and cleaning things. But do you know how to make more, in a long term SHTF situation? If you have apples and can mash them to extract the juice, you are halfway there. Here are two ways to make cider vinegar from apple juice, in case you want to practice up.

    Method One: The old way, which takes up to 6 months the first time.
    1. Buy unpasteurized apple juice or apple cider. No additives, not even ascorbic acid, as they inhibit fermentation, which you want.
    2. Put the juice in a clean glass jar or a crock, and cover with clean cheesecloth. Fasten the cloth down with a rubber band or tie on. You want air to get in, but not dust.
    3. Set in a cool, dark place for 3 months. Natural yeasts will turn the juice to vinegar. Taste it to see if it is as strong as you want. If not, re-cover and put back another 3 months. Generally it takes up to six months.
    4. Siphon the vinegar to clean jars with tight lids. Save the 'mother' that is on top of the vinegar - you can add it to fresh apple juice to get it working faster.

    Method Two: Faster, uses an airlock
    1. Buy unpasteurized apple juice or cider. Transfer as before into a clean glass jar or crock.
    2. Add 1 TB yeast to the jar, and shake well to distribute evenly. Bread yeast will do, or if you have some wine yeast it is also used.
    3. Secure an air-lock (available at wine making shops) to the bottle. This will keep out any wild yeasts. Set bottle in a cool dark place to work for a month.
    4. Check after 1 month to see if you have vinegar. If not, leave a while longer. Siphon the finished vinegar to clean jars, and cap tightly.

    This is easy enough to practice on before a need arises. Unpasteurized apple juice can be frozen to keep for long-term. In a SHTF scenario, you could then thaw it immediately and start making up your first batch of vinegar.
    I for one will never give up my 'sour' , so you can bet I keep this info in my binder just in case!
     
  2. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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  3. Possumfam

    Possumfam Well-Known Member

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    So, I went back and read the older posts, and I gotta know - how did the apple peel/core vinegar turn out? Our apples are ripening right now and I wanted to try making vinegar, too, but I don't know if I can use them. I'm under the impression that I need fall or winter apples, not spring apples. :dunno:


    silly me - I was searching the net when it dawned on me - duh - my little friends probably make this stuff all the time. Great info!
     
  4. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    I have used both early and late apples, you can also use any other fruit you would like.

    And you must tell us all about it. ;)
     
  5. mdprepper

    mdprepper I sold my soul to The_Blob. He had candy...

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    Mine got to the "hard cider" stage and never went any further :cry: I believe it was because I just did not have any place to keep it to maintain a constant temperature. Hubby had moved it to our shed and the temps dropped really fast. I may give it another try this year.
     
  6. stayingthegame

    stayingthegame Well-Known Member

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    how does it smell when making the vinegar? I would have to keep it my kitchen or laundry.
     
  7. Possumfam

    Possumfam Well-Known Member

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    Shame on me, I immediately assumed it didn't make it cuz someone drank it. :p
     
  8. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    I keep mine in the kitchen that way I can keep an eye on it. As for the smell,
    it goes from the smell of fresh apples to vinegar and the only time I smell it is
    when I take the cloth off to give it a stir.
     
  9. Possumfam

    Possumfam Well-Known Member

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    Based on reading the different posts, I could use some guidance before I blow it (well, actually it could already be too late). I have two different vinegars started. In one jar, I have the remnants (mostly cores), a tiny bit of sugar cuz they're tart apples, and water covering the apples, weighted down. In the other jar, I have juice (ran the apples through the juicer), again, I added a little sugar and a little yeast. Both are covered w/ cheese cloth. Did I miss anything? Also, I do have some Bragg's vinegar w/ the mother that I can add to either or both if needed. I just wanted to do it w/o adding anything else. Thanks in advance! :flower:
     
  10. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    I've never added sugar or yeast to mine .... so you will be teaching me. ;) I have read that if it don't want to turn, you can give it a little help with "Mother" ...
     
  11. Possumfam

    Possumfam Well-Known Member

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    Okay, now what? How do you know when it's "done"? It's been a couple of weeks, both versions smell like wine/vinegar, but I don't know how long it's supposed to take. Some say a few weeks, some say a few months. I keep the A/C about 79 degrees. Some say the "mother" is floating on top, some say it's in the sediment on the bottom, some say it floats in the middle....and I don't know. I just don't want to ruin it by not putting it up in a sealed jar when I'm supposed to. HELP!!! :) thanks.
     
  12. Possumfam

    Possumfam Well-Known Member

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    :threadbump:

    Hoping that if I bump this, someone over the weekend might be able answer the question. How do you know WHEN the vinegar is done? When am I supposed to bottle it? Could it be as little as a few weeks? anybody - somebody - heeeeeeeellllllllllppppppppp. :confused:
     
  13. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Mine would go 2 ta 3 weeks, when it got the "good vinegar" smell ... I bottled.
     
  14. Possumfam

    Possumfam Well-Known Member

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    :D

    Thanks, Andi, me and my "mother" thank you!! tee hee
     
  15. kappydell

    kappydell Well-Known Member

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    yup, when it smells and tastes good and vinegary. Some like it stronger, some less....
     
  16. kappydell

    kappydell Well-Known Member

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    the mother will speed things up. some folks dehydrate some 'mother' for later use, others just transfer it to another jar of apple juice (or whatever juice they are making it from)
     
  17. Jimthewagontraveler

    Jimthewagontraveler Well-Known Member

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    Seems just like mead or wine.
    Look through the jar for bubbles(use a light)
    No bubbles=all done.
    But mead or wine can bubble for years.
    The longer it sits the stronger it gets.
    Remind me some time to tell you what you get splattered all
    over the wall roof and in the next room if you bottle with out
    taking it to 31 or 200 degrees.
    My motto when in doubt let it sit.
    Oh yea your friendly bugs live everywhere in the mix.