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Old 10-10-2021, 06:29 PM   #1
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Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

A few weeks back I went apple picking. It has become an annual tradition to go apple picking and make homemade apple cider ( I have a hand cranked apple cider press).

We are always left with a significant amount of apple scraps as a result of the process. Initially, I would feed the scraps to the chickens, some in the compost and last year I made homemade apple wine ( which I wouldn't say was great, maybe not even good, but the process was fun.

This year, I decided to make apple cider vinegar. The process couldn't have been any simpler.
- Load a jar 3/4 with apple scraps ( peels, cores ...)
- Fill the jar up with sugar water ( 1 tbs sugar / cup of water)
- Make sure the apple scraps are completely submerged
- Cover with coffee filter / rubber band so it an breath.
- Let it sit in a warm/ dark place for 2 weeks ( I placed mine in the boiler room)
- Filter out the liquid in 2 weeks
- Cover with coffee filter/ rubber band and let the liquid sit another 2 - 4 weeks until desired taste.

Well, today was just shy of the 2 weeks the liquid sat, and it tasted great. not as concentrated as store bought vinegar, but really good and fresh tasting.

This is the site I used to make the vinegar

https://www.theprairiehomestead.com/...r-vinegar.html

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Old 10-10-2021, 08:22 PM   #2
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Wow - there´s something else I didn´t know. good tip - I´m going to give that a go.
I always thought vinegar had to have a vinegar "mother" - but is that just wine vinegar?
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Old 10-10-2021, 09:34 PM   #3
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Just before the recipe starts it says:

" If a gelatinous blob develops on the top of your vinegar, congratulations! You have created a vinegar “mother”. This mother can be use to jump-start future vinegar batches. You can remove it and store it separately, but I usually just allow mine to float around in the vinegar as I store it."

Sure enough, when I checked it today, a vinegar mother has formed. I honestly thought it was going to be more complicated.

Only issue is it did attract fruit flies, but I got that under control.
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Old 10-11-2021, 12:38 AM   #4
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Thanks Larry! What I love about that is even us single folk who only cook for one can easily save up enough peels and cores to nearly fill a quart jar. No need to buy Bragg's anymore.

Here's a link to Larry's post in CopyMeThat
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Old 10-11-2021, 04:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by skilletlicker View Post
Thanks Larry! What I love about that is even us single folk who only cook for one can easily save up enough peels and cores to nearly fill a quart jar. No need to buy Bragg's anymore.

Here's a link to Larry's post in CopyMeThat
Yeah, in the article I says if you dont have enough =, you can save the scraps in a container or bag in the freezer until you do have enough.

Im still going to let it go another week or so, since stye gave the 2 - 4 week range and im a about 2 weeks now, I has couldn't wait to taste it, so I cheated a few days early.

So far, as of now, I hit no problems ( other than the fruit flies, which I was able to control)

I did taste it after the first 2 weeks, was I drained he liquid from the solids, and it resembled more of a wine flavor.

My boiler room stays at about a constant 80 degrees F ( same room I usually start my garden seeds in), so I figured this would work with the vinegar, and it did.

I remember many years ago, when I was still living at my parents, one of my dads old Italian clients gave him a home made bottle of wine. MY dad put it in the basemen and forgot about it. By he time he opened it, it had basically turned into vinegar. Fast forward to a few years ago, I had made aa bunch of home made kiwi wine ( due o the abundance of kiwis from he garden). It didnt taste great ( which is being kind), so I figured, let me take one from my dads play book, and toss a few bottles downstairs ( in he boiler room) and hopefully it willl turn into vinegar. Like my dad, I totally forgot about i. A few months later we were having issues with the boiler and needed to have it serviced. After they had lef I went down to check it ou and saw all he stashed botles of wine. the only thing I could think was that the boiler repair man probably bought I was a closet drunk who snuck downstairs when my wife wasn't looking to sip from a bottle of homemade hooch.

Getting back to the vinegar,
- Manage fruit flies
- It can and likely will look a little funky as the apple parts ferment, dont panic
- Definitely %100 keep the apple fragments submerged in the liquid
- the coffee filter/ rubber band cover keep fruit flies from getting into he jar
* Once years ago, I was making something else and used cheesecloth, and the flies were able to navigate through the cloth into the jar, even when multilayered*
- Patience.

We actually went picking a few weeks later so I started aa second batch. Ill see if its picture worthy so I can have pictures of the different stages.
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Old 10-11-2021, 05:11 AM   #6
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About the flies and cheesecloth holes. The kind of cheesecloth I buy in the grocery store won't keep out fruit flies. I bought some grade 90 cheesecloth for kefir cheese that does keep them out. Or I use the mason jar lids with a small square of paper towel instead of the sealing disc.

But I wanted to ask about wine to vinegar. You're not adding yeast, the ferment comes from whatever yeasts and bacteria are living on the apple, right.
  • I wonder what the alcohol content was after two weeks.
  • In vinegar production, do the same little critters turning the sugar into alcohol then drink the alcohol and turn it into acid?
  • If you added yeast to the peels, cores, and sugar water would you get apple wine?
  • Even if that wine sucked, if you froze it and saved the alcohol, would the applejack suck?
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Old 10-11-2021, 07:59 AM   #7
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Can only answer some of those questions.

When I did make apple wine, I did add yeast , and the byproduct was definitely alcohol.
Although I was curious to test the alcohol content, but I was focussed on vinegar, so never did. Knowing me, being an experimental kinda person, If I confirmed I had alcohol content, I likely would have started splitting the project into wine and vinegar, so Im kinda glad I never checked.

- Also, the wine making process required a significant more amount of sugar ( to feed thee yeast). I remember using a whole 5 pound bag of sugar. I read that the kind of yeast used for making wine inhibits the bacteria that produces vinegar . Also, I know I added other things that also prevents the final product of wine from turning into vinegar..

When I tasted the ' vinegar in progress' after two weeks, did taste like its had some alcohol, so must have fed off of natural yeast. Not last strong as when I used the yeast.

I'm definitely not an expert in wine or vinegar making, so everything I'm posting is based on limited experimental experience and whatever I've read during the process.

I can say that vinegar was much easier, quicker and less technique sensitive that the wine making ( at least was for now). And the end product , in my limited experience, must much more positive with the vinegar than the wine. the vinegar tastes exactly as I expected ( maybe even better), and the wine was what it was.

Its also a biased opinion cause I love vinegar, and am not really fond of wine in general. So Im not sure any wine would have tasted all that good to me.

So some may be thinking, then what make wine if you don't like it ?
I do cook with it often ( sauces, gravies, onion soup ... I know your supposed to use wine that tastes good to you when you cook also. Since no wine taste good to me, this is good and the end product of whatever I out it in is good too.
Also, gives me something to use the excessive amounts of scraps during the cider making process. And the year I had over 800 kiwi's, I did everything you can possibly do with kiwis , and still had hundreds left over.

***All this is based off my first attempt at vinegar. For all I know it may be a fluke and the next batch wont work out as well. I usually wont consider a recipe a success until having made it a few times, but I was so excited that it actually worked out.***
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Old 10-11-2021, 10:32 AM   #8
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Sounds like you know what you are doing Larry and I'm so glad it turned out.


I've been making large amounts of vinegar for at least 5 years. I don't take a lot of time to manage it. The first two weeks I stir daily, strain, then stir much less often, and let it go 2 to 3 months, strain and bottle it. If you don't use it in cooking or making salads it can be used for cleaning purposes. I use the especially older stuff for cleaning because all of the sugars are fermented to alcohol then to vinegar making it taste more acidic and not sweet.



Out of maybe 10 batches I've also had 3 fail by getting mold, so I just dump them and get on making another batch the next time I have extra fruit scraps.


I think your instructions are great.
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Old 10-11-2021, 12:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by blissful View Post
Sounds like you know what you are doing Larry and I'm so glad it turned out.


I've been making large amounts of vinegar for at least 5 years. I don't take a lot of time to manage it. The first two weeks I stir daily, strain, then stir much less often, and let it go 2 to 3 months, strain and bottle it. If you don't use it in cooking or making salads it can be used for cleaning purposes. I use the especially older stuff for cleaning because all of the sugars are fermented to alcohol then to vinegar making it taste more acidic and not sweet.



Out of maybe 10 batches I've also had 3 fail by getting mold, so I just dump them and get on making another batch the next time I have extra fruit scraps.


I think your instructions are great.
Thanks, always glad to get confirmation from someone who has done it successfully in the past.

Once complete should it be stored in the fridge?
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Old 10-11-2021, 01:58 PM   #10
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Thanks, always glad to get confirmation from someone who has done it successfully in the past.

Once complete should it be stored in the fridge?

I keep it in glass canning jars or old vinegar gallon containers in the downstairs pantry. No refrigeration necessary. Over 3-5 years, the vinegar will eat through a metal cap so check them yearly if you have any that old. Plastic under the metal lids usually protect it enough. When I need some for cooking, I put it in squeeze bottles with a cap in the kitchen or glass jars with a cap.
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Old 10-14-2021, 08:13 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by skilletlicker View Post
About the flies and cheesecloth holes. The kind of cheesecloth I buy in the grocery store won't keep out fruit flies. I bought some grade 90 cheesecloth for kefir cheese that does keep them out. Or I use the mason jar lids with a small square of paper towel instead of the sealing disc.

But I wanted to ask about wine to vinegar. You're not adding yeast, the ferment comes from whatever yeasts and bacteria are living on the apple, right.
  • I wonder what the alcohol content was after two weeks.
  • In vinegar production, do the same little critters turning the sugar into alcohol then drink the alcohol and turn it into acid?
  • If you added yeast to the peels, cores, and sugar water would you get apple wine?
  • Even if that wine sucked, if you froze it and saved the alcohol, would the applejack suck?
I have been fermenting vinegar for more than 30 years and was able to get 19 International awards. (Google; Meet Mr. Vinegar) to give you a better perspective of where I'm coming from.

The home vinegar fermenter almost always has their batch go into "over oxidation". The yeast produces the alcohol for the acetobacter (Vinegar producing bacteria) to consume. When the acetobacter has consumed all of the available alcohol it will then consume the vinegar it has already produced. The batch is then converted back to plain water. Many do not have the equipment to titrate for this, so the old tasting method always works. Once you have a working batch and a mother has developed, it should only be approximately 6-10 days for completion. Before starting another batch, remove the mother and discard. There will be enough viable acetobacter within the liquid to start. The mother interferes with the O2 absorption at the surface. A good indicator of when your batch has fermented all of the available alcohol, is the formation of "excess" mother.
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Old 10-14-2021, 04:25 PM   #12
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Welcome to the forum!

Question for you mR.vINEGAR - if the acetobacter eventually start consuming the acetic acid, once they have converted all of the alcohol, how would a bottle of unpasteurized vinegar stay acidic? I can see that there would be little oxygen, at first, but once the air space increases in a bottle, does that mean the acidity starts decreasing?
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Old 10-14-2021, 04:27 PM   #13
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Interesting question Dave. Now, I'm curious too.
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Old 10-14-2021, 04:37 PM   #14
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Welcome to the forum!

Question for you - if the acetobacter eventually start consuming the acetic acid, once they have converted all of the alcohol, how would a bottle of unpasteurized vinegar stay acidic? I can see that there would be little oxygen, at first, but once the air space increases in a bottle, does that mean the acidity starts decreasing?
Hi Dave. When "active" vinegar is bottled, there will be a bit more fermentation action, but very little. It would probably use up the available O2 within an hour or so. Commercial vinegar does not contain active culture.

Unpasteurized vinegar should remain sealed, air tight for at least a month to ensure there is no more activity. If left open to the air, it may eventually start fermenting further due to the ever present, air born acetobacter. Home fermenters know how difficult it is getting a batch "started' so I don't think there would be a problem.

If you go to your nearest pub, they may have malt vinegar sitting on the tables in "open to the air" dispensers. Check the bottle to see if there is any floating material (mother). I have seen many of these because these dispenser usually sit, open, for many months (Or years). Ask the owner if you can have a small bit to take home, if you want to start a batch going. You wont need a lot, about a tbls. I hope this answers your question. Cheers
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Old 10-14-2021, 04:59 PM   #15
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Hi Dave. When "active" vinegar is bottled, there will be a bit more fermentation action, but very little. It would probably use up the available O2 within an hour or so. Commercial vinegar does not contain active culture.

Unpasteurized vinegar should remain sealed, air tight for at least a month to ensure there is no more activity. If left open to the air, it may eventually start fermenting further due to the ever present, air born acetobacter. Home fermenters know how difficult it is getting a batch "started' so I don't think there would be a problem.

If you go to your nearest pub, they may have malt vinegar sitting on the tables in "open to the air" dispensers. Check the bottle to see if there is any floating material (mother). I have seen many of these because these dispenser usually sit, open, for many months (Or years). Ask the owner if you can have a small bit to take home, if you want to start a batch going. You wont need a lot, about a tbls. I hope this answers your question. Cheers
I forgot to add; Acetobacter is a "Strict Aerobe" Without free O2, it quickly dies off.
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Old 10-14-2021, 05:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mR.vINEGAR View Post
I have been fermenting vinegar for more than 30 years and was able to get 19 International awards. (Google; Meet Mr. Vinegar) to give you a better perspective of where I'm coming from.

The home vinegar fermenter almost always has their batch go into "over oxidation". The yeast produces the alcohol for the acetobacter (Vinegar producing bacteria) to consume. When the acetobacter has consumed all of the available alcohol it will then consume the vinegar it has already produced. The batch is then converted back to plain water. Many do not have the equipment to titrate for this, so the old tasting method always works. Once you have a working batch and a mother has developed, it should only be approximately 6-10 days for completion. Before starting another batch, remove the mother and discard. There will be enough viable acetobacter within the liquid to start. The mother interferes with the O2 absorption at the surface. A good indicator of when your batch has fermented all of the available alcohol, is the formation of "excess" mother.
I don't understand. How will there be any acetobacter, if there isn't any mother? Do you start the next batch with some of the old batch, but minus the mother?
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Old 10-14-2021, 07:52 PM   #17
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thanks for chiming in Mr Vinegar. I just got home from work and cant focus, but I look forward to reading this thread tomorrow when I can concentrate.
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Old 10-14-2021, 10:04 PM   #18
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Thanks for the info, mR.vINEGAR. I know the first vinegar I made was some pineapple vinegar, and supposedly, the scraps from the pineapple seems to help trigger both the conversion to alcohol, plus the conversion of alcohol to acetic acid, so I have put some scraps in when making other vinegars, as well. I never had to find a "mother".

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Old 10-15-2021, 03:10 AM   #19
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Thanks for the info, mR.vINEGAR. I know the first vinegar I made was some pineapple vinegar, and supposedly, the scraps from the pineapple seems to help trigger both the conversion to alcohol, plus the conversion of alcohol to acetic acid, so I have put some scraps in when making other vinegars, as well. I never had to find a "mother".

How did it turn out? This intrigues me.
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Old 10-15-2021, 03:21 PM   #20
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I don't understand. How will there be any acetobacter, if there isn't any mother? Do you start the next batch with some of the old batch, but minus the mother?
Its the same as; "Which came first, the chicken or the egg". You must acquire a viable working culture before you can get a "mother". However, the mother is not conducive to good "static" fermentation as it hinders the absorption of the O2 at the surface of the batch.

Once you have a batch that is "finished", remove the mother with a slotted spoon and discard. There will be enough culture within the liquid to ensure another batch.
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