Making your own apple vinegar is a very satisfying city farming project because:
- It makes magical use of waste scraps of fruit – rather than throwing them away
- It produces a useful, expensive-to-buy product that is great for food flavoring, home remedies and for cleaning (See my recipe for homemade citrus-infused all-purpose cleanser)
- Since this is a product that is usually purchased in a plastic bottle, this is a zero-waste alternative
- It’s very little work for you. Mostly it just sits and ferments in a jar while you get on with your life. The microorganisms are working for you while you sleep. There is something so satisfying about knowing that!
It’s just simple!
Homemade Apple Vinegar Recipe
Collect a large amount of apple scraps, peels and cores. I usually do this when I’m making my Pure and Scrumptious Homemade Apple Sauce. I usually make this once a year in the winter, when apples are at their peak and apple sauce is desired to compliment our Chanukah Latkes.
Alternatively, just collect scraps in a bag and keep them in the freezer until you’ve added enough that the bag is full.
Place all the scraps in a large jar and cover with water. I have used both glass jars and food-grade plastic containers with success. Add a tablespoon of sugar dissolved in a cup of water (not essential, but speeds things up).
Cover your container with a clean cloth secured with an elastic band and put it in an accessible place, like your kitchen counter. I love seeing my fermentation jars lined up on my kitchen counter. It reminds me how hard all those microorganisms are working for me, while I do other things.
Note: Since you are facilitating a process of fruit fermentation, which some non-farmers call “rotting fruit,” this concoction may attract fruit flies. If you have a fruit fly situation, it’s fine to cover it with a secure lid. It will still work BH.
Stir vigorously with a large spoon daily for a week, to give your growing bacteria oxygen. After a few days, you should start to see bubbles. This is a sign that your ferment is ALIVE.
After 1 week, strain out the apple scraps and put the liquid back in the jar, and cover again. At this stage you can add some “mother” from a previous batch of apple vinegar. This is NOT essential, but it seems to get the fermentation moving faster and stronger.
If anyone wants some “mother,” I have plenty to give away in Ramat Beit Shemesh. Please be in touch.
Let it sit somewhere in a closet or storage room for a month. Stir once-or-twice a week. It should be smelling decidedly like Apple Cider Vinegar by the end of week 2.
Get on with your busy life. After a month, you can start using it.
I strain out a bit and let the rest continue fermenting for a few months.
What to do with your Apple Vinegar?
A Google search reveals that there are literally hundreds of uses for Apple Cider Vinegar. I use it to add tang to soups, to make my daily all-purpose cleaner and to help my chickens with gut health. I’ve also used it to successfully treat a case a ringworm in one of my kids BH.
I don’t always use it in salad dressing. It depends on how my current batch tastes. Last year’s tasted distinctly “fermented,” which some members of the family didn’t appreciate. This year’s batch smells wonderful so far, so hopefully we’ll be eating even more of it.
But what about those “Wasted” fermented scraps
Come on, Bloomah – you used those apples to make apple sauce AND apple vinegar AND a hundred resulting products. Those apples have served their purpose. Now you can throw them away, right?
Are you kidding? They make a great chicken treat. Tasty and full of beneficial bacteria!
My name is Naomi and this is my tiny little farm in the heart of the rapidly growing city of Beit Shemesh, Israel. I enjoy growing, making and processing as much of my family's food and household essentials as possible, while nurturing a biodiverse ecosystem filled with beauty and life.