Apple cider vinegar is a valuable ingredient for good health, and it’s easy to make at home. I don’t enjoy peeling and coring apple after apple to make a pie or a cobbler, but I do love being able to make something valuable out of the scraps. Apple cider vinegar helps to fight inflammation and digestive problems, and it also has a detoxifying effect. In addition, many people use it as a household cleaner and a facial cleanser.
Once you’ve peeled and cored the apples for whatever yummy treat you’re making, you’ve done most of the work. Follow this simple, step-by-step tutorial to make your own batch of apple cider vinegar. Adapted from this recipe for apple cider vinegar, I substituted sugar for the honey. Either sweetener will work to ferment the cider vinegar, but sugar makes things move a bit more quickly.
Step One: Prepare the Ingredients
Place the peels and cores of 6-8 apples (ideally organic) into a quart-sized mason jar. Pour water into the jar to cover the scraps by one inch. Add one tablespoon of sugar per cup of water.
Step Two: Soak the Apple Scraps
Place a paper towel and a canning ring on top of the jar, and put it in a dark cabinet. Warmer temperatures will move things along more quickly than cooler ones. Leave the jar undisturbed for two weeks.
Step Three: Strain and Wait
After two weeks, strain the contents of the jar through a fine-mesh strainer. Discard the solids, and return the liquid to the jar. It should smell like wine. Cover again with a paper towel and canning ring, and return the jar to the cabinet for another two weeks.
Step Four: Wait Some More
After this second period of two weeks, remove the jar from the cabinet and examine it. You’ll notice sediment on the bottom of the jar, which is normal. If your cabinet is quite warm, it may have turned to vinegar by now. Smell it and see if it smells more like wine or vinegar. You can also taste it to see if it tastes like strong vinegar yet. If it doesn’t seem ready, return it to the cabinet and check on it weekly until it has darkened a bit and tastes like vinegar. In my cool New England climate, it typically takes four to six weeks in this second phase before I have vinegar.
Step Five: Transfer to Storage
When your vinegar is as strong as you’d like it to be, strain it through several layers of cheese cloth or butter muslin to remove the sediment. I like to store it in a mason jar with a metal canning top.
Good luck, and let me know if you try it!