How to make apple cider vinegar
Posted on 02 February 2014
Homemade apple cider vinegar, ACV, is so easy! I just love turning trash into treasure, and this apple cider vinegar recipe is great example of that.
Start your ACV: We simply take our apple scraps (normally after making juice), including the peels and cores and put them in a large glass jar. We then cover the scraps with filtered water and cover the jar with some paper towel secured with a rubber band to keep out bugs and dust. We then put it in a warm, dark place. You want a temperature of 15-27°C. Fermentation occurs more quickly at a warmer temperature. Some people add sugar or honey to kick start the fermentation but we never do and it always works out!
For 3-4 weeks: Normally we push the apple scraps down to try and keep them submerged every couple of days. This stops mould from developing during the early part of the process. You’ll notice the contents of the jar starts to thicken after a few days and a grayish scum forms on top. When your scraps drop to the bottom of the jar, strain out the scraps. During this stage you’ll notice a strong smell and some bubbling… This is from the apples turning to apple cider, producing ethanol (alcohol).
For 1-6 months: Leave the jar of liquid (scraps now strained out) for a month or so to ferment and try not to disturb it. The bacteria need air to remain active, so it’s best to avoid disturbing or stirring the mixture. It’s ok if your vinegar is cloudy, there will be some sediment from the apples and what’s known as “the mother”. It’s all good. Our first batch developed a mother of vinegar which looks like one of our kombucha SCOBYs. During this stage vinegar forms as the product of the fermentation of alcohol by bacteria to produce acetic acid. The acetic acid is what gives vinegar its tangy flavour and is also the ingredient that make vinegar useful for household cleaning. The length of time needed to convert the alcohol to acetic acid depends on the temperature, composition of the starting material, and availability of acetic acid bacteria. The slow process takes anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months. Initially, the bacteria will cloud the liquid, eventually forming a gelatinous layer on the top of starting material.
Bottle your ACV: Taste your vinegar and if it’s to your liking it’s ready to be bottled. If you don’t like the cloudiness of your vinegar you can strain it through a paper coffee filter to remove most of the sediment. However, we leave it as it is, leaving some of the vinegar behind with the mother of vinegar for the next batch. Mother of vinegar is a slimy, harmless substance consisting mostly of acetic acid bacteria (Mycoderma aceti) and cellulose. Any vinegar you make will contain mother of vinegar and can be used to produce subsequent batches of vinegar more quickly.
Now you can… use it! There are lots of ways to use apple cider vinegar. It can be used diluted with water as a hair rinse (don’t worry – the smell disappears quickly), a skin care product, in salad dressing, to turn milk into buttermilk… you can also mix with water or fruit juice and drink it which is great as a digestive aid.
Have you heard about using apple cider vinegar to deal with acid reflux?
A surprising number of people suffer from acid reflux and it is common to be prescribed an antacid or something similar to neutralize the acid in the stomach as a remedy for acid reflux symptoms… but this isn’t really a solution. Acid reflux may be due to having TOO LITTLE stomach acid, rather than too much. This will cause acid reflux symptoms because when there is not enough acid produced in the stomach during digestion, your brain will not get the signal that digestion is happening which means that the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) will not be closed. If the LES remains open while your digestive process is happening the acid will wash back up your throat causing pain and damage.
Next time you find yourself having an acid reflux attack try taking a tablespoon or so of raw apple cider vinegar. If this soothes your symptoms it may mean that you are not producing adequate stomach acid. You can take apple cider vinegar before your meals to encourage acid production. I’ve also read that good quality salt, sodium chloride, can help your stomach produce hydrochloric acid - you could also take supplemental HCL (stomach acid.)
If taking the shot of apple cider vinegar makes your heartburn worse, it could be that you are legitimately overproducing stomach acid, or that there is something that is not working optimally in your stomach. In these cases some things that can help are:
1. Finding a healthy weight
2. Keeping portions of meals smaller
3. Avoiding eating late at night
4. Alkalizing your body
Read more here.