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Old 04-25-2013, 02:38 AM   #1
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How to make apple juice, cider, vinegar?

I am wondering about how one can make homemade apple products

Mainly

I know I can juice apple to make apple juice + other ingrediants optional like sugar ,...etc

I am alittle confused about the difference between apple cider , apple juice, and hard apple cider , apple cider vinegar.

Currently from what I am reading is that apple cider is raw apple juice that has not undergone filtration to remove coarse particles of pulp or sediment, like apple juice has. ( analogy equivalent to orange juice with pulp and without )

Obviously hard apple cider is the alcohal version of apple cider/juice.

Question is hard apple cider created from just adding a packet of active yeast and leting it react for a few days to produce the alcohal + CO2 or is there more to it?

Last Question is apple cider vinegar (or in general any vinegar made from an alcohal product) Do you add just another yeast packet or have it sit longer...
I just don't get the fine line of when alcohal turns into vinegar or stays alcohal...
I mean I see alot of alcohal products last a long time but do they eventually all turn into vinegar ?
Basically I am trying to understand what/how one could create the different products homemade.
(leaving off the warning of the 4%-7% acid for vinegar to be human consumed... think of it as a cleaning agent :) )

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Old 04-25-2013, 01:19 PM   #2
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I guess what is the difference in the fermentation process to create alcohal (for beer , wine,..etc) as opposed to acetic acid (for vinegar)

Is it a different enzyme used other then yeast or something ?
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:43 PM   #3
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alcohol is made when yeast consume sugar and metabolize it as alcohol. There is usually only one type of fermentation involved. I say "usually" because sometimes wine is also put through a malolactic fermentation, in which lactic acid bacteria consume harsh malic acid and metabolize it as softer lactic acid. And sometimes beer production also involves a secondary fermentation using a special yeast called brettanomyces.

Vinegar production always involves at least two fermentations. Using cider vinegar as an example, in the first stage apple juice is converted to cider through alcoholic fermentation (just like when making wine and beer). The second stage is when a type of bacteria known as acetobacter converts the alcohol to acetic acid.

The bottom line is that all fermentation can be thought of as controlled spoilage. By "pre-spoiling" certain foods, whether it be milk, vegetables, or fruit juices, we can create other foods that have a longer shelf life.
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:25 PM   #4
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ok but is it possible for me to create vineger from my alcoholic I have at home?
Because I don't quiet get what stops the process so you get 4%or 7% acetic acid ?

And would wine left open eventually turn into a vineger?
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:08 PM   #5
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Generally speaking, the acidity in vinegar is dependent on the amount of acidity in the fruit you are making it from. If you want cider vinegar with higher acidity, you use tart apples.

And yes, wine will eventually turn into vinegar if exposed to air. You can take a chance by just pouring some wine into a crock and covering it with a towel or cheesecloth for a couple of months. But personally, I would buy a starter culture (also known as "mother of vinegar") since it will help ensure you have the right mix of bacteria. The other option is to buy raw, unpasteurized vinegar from somewhere like Whole Foods and add some of that to your wine. Eden Foods makes raw Red Wine Vinegar that contains the mother.

Starter can be ordered from here.

Be forewarned. It's not the most appetizing looking thing in the world.

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Old 04-25-2013, 09:33 PM   #6
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If you don't use a starter on wine or cider when trying to make vinegar, it might make vinegar or it might just go off. I have read that at one time vinegar was more expensive than wine for that very reason. They didn't know about the starter.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:07 PM   #7
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I would definitely recommend buying a commercial mother culture the first time you make vinegar. After that, there's no need to ever purchase it again.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:49 AM   #8
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Ok, but my only question is looking into foods in general alot of foods/drinks
Are made by letting things dry up like raisens , or ferment like vinegar ...etc

What I am getting at is it seems humans can consume all types of parts of the plants , fruits ,vegtables ,...etc at an time in there life cycle

I guess I am trying to ask is when is a particular item stale or to bad to eat as opposed to an item that is naturally left out to go bad for consumption?

Seems like we eat almost any part of nature ... herbs,plants,veg,fruit,...etc at alot of different stages of there life and different parts of them.
So what constitutes when the food is not editble and why ?
For instance why do we have to preserve foods why aren't they like vinegar ? Most of them are exposed to the air in the same way

Cheese is another example
Flour is another example
Then you look at apples and apples go bad quickly (so can you eat stale apples since they are essentially going thru the process of turning into hard cider/or vinegar )

How can one know exactly weather a food is still editable for human consumption or totally spoiled or spoiling to the point of know nutritional value left (so no point in eating it)
Is it based on some half life chemical reaction and it has to do with a case by case bases... and how would one know if the new reaction doesn't have benifits to the body.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam111 View Post
Ok, but my only question is looking into foods in general alot of foods/drinks
Are made by letting things dry up like raisens , or ferment like vinegar ...etc

What I am getting at is it seems humans can consume all types of parts of the plants , fruits ,vegtables ,...etc at an time in there life cycle

I guess I am trying to ask is when is a particular item stale or to bad to eat as opposed to an item that is naturally left out to go bad for consumption?

Seems like we eat almost any part of nature ... herbs,plants,veg,fruit,...etc at alot of different stages of there life and different parts of them.
So what constitutes when the food is not editble and why ?
For instance why do we have to preserve foods why aren't they like vinegar is? Most of them are exposed to the air in the same way
We dry, salt, ferment, pickle, etc. to prevent the micro-organisms we don't want from growing on the food. Some micro-organisms are beneficial, some are benign, and others will make us sick. In my comment about making vinegar, I should have said that people didn't know about micro-organisms, so sometimes the wrong kind get into wine and just make it "off" rather than turning into vinegar.

Various preservation methods make the food an inhospitable environment for micro-organisms. Salt and sugar desiccate micro-organisms. Vinegar makes the pH of the food too acidic for them.

An example. Nice, soft bread goes mouldy after a few days. In Scandinavia they make "crisp breads", like Rye Crisp. They are too dry for the mould to grow, so dry is the preservation method.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam111 View Post
Ok, but my only question is looking into foods in general alot of foods/drinks
Are made by letting things dry up like raisens , or ferment like vinegar ...etc

What I am getting at is it seems humans can consume all types of parts of the plants , fruits ,vegtables ,...etc at an time in there life cycle

I guess I am trying to ask is when is a particular item stale or to bad to eat as opposed to an item that is naturally left out to go bad for consumption?

Seems like we eat almost any part of nature ... herbs,plants,veg,fruit,...etc at alot of different stages of there life and different parts of them.
So what constitutes when the food is not editble and why ?
For instance why do we have to preserve foods why aren't they like vinegar ? Most of them are exposed to the air in the same way

Cheese is another example
Flour is another example
Then you look at apples and apples go bad quickly (so can you eat stale apples since they are essentially going thru the process of turning into hard cider/or vinegar )
Foods "go bad" when dangerous fungi and bacteria reproduce on them in sufficient numbers to make someone sick or kill them. Bacteria need moisture to survive, so they can't survive in dry environments, like flour. Bacteria are also killed by acidic substances, like vinegar and lemon juice, so foods with those ingredients last longer than those without. Dried foods, like jerky, are usually dried quickly, so the bacteria don't have time to multiply to dangerous levels.

Bacteria can also be killed by irradiation, which prolongs the shelf life of produce, but not indefinitely, because there is still moisture present, and bacteria are all around us, on everything.

Here is a lot of good information on this topic:

Keep Food Safe! Food Safety Basics
Foodborne Illness: What Consumers Need to Know
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