If you love apple cider vinegar then I have got great news for you - this health tonic is incredibly easy to make yourself! Every September, we have a feral apple tree in the back of our farm that gives us about three bushels worth of ripe deliciousness.
Paul and I will head out back with a drop cloth, an apple picker, and a few apple boxes to harvest as many apples as we can. The first flush of fall weather gets us both so excited for crisp mornings and cinnamon spiced goodies, so apple picking is the best way to kick off the month. One of my favorite things to do with all our apples is to make homemade apple cider vinegar. Let’s dive in!
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Before you set out to go apple picking (or buying, but come on apple picking is one of the best things to do in the fall!), make sure you have these essentials to make apple cider vinegar yourself:
DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Supplies:
DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Ingredients:
1. Rinse your apples so there’s no dirt. Don’t wash them with a fruit and veggie wash or you will lose all the wonderful wild yeast that’s present on the skin. You need that yeast to help kickstart the fermentation process!
2. Set out your three large bowls. Use your apple peeler and corer to peel and core all your apples. Place the skins in one bowl, the peeled apples in the second bowl, and the apple cores in the third bowl. Once you get in a rhythm it goes quickly. I like to listen to Frank Sinatra while I work on my apples!
3. Wash and rinse your 1-gallon mason jar. Place your regular mouth funnel over the top and empty your apple skins into the 1-gallon jar. You should fill up the jar about ¾ of the way.
4. Add four or five peeled apples to the 1-gallon mason jar. The rest of the peeled apples can be made into applesauce or simply eaten. The cores can be composted.
5. Add 1 cup sugar to the 1-gallon mason jar.
6. Fill the 1-gallon mason jar up to within three inches of the mouth and stir to dissolve the sugar.
7. Fill a wide-mouth pint size mason jar with water and set it on top the apple peels to completely submerge them in the sugar water.
8. Cover with a coffee filter or cotton cloth and secure with a rubber band.
9. Place your jar in a dark warm place for three weeks (set a reminder in your phone!). I like to put it on the top shelf of our pantry or cupboard.
10. After three weeks have passed, check on your vinegar. If a white or brown scum has formed over the top, don’t worry it’s normal! You’ll need to strain the scraps next. Place your colander over a large bowl or stewpot. Strain out the apple peels and then pour the collected liquid back into the 1-gallon mason jar and secure the coffee filter or cloth over the mouth of the jar.
11. In another three weeks, check on your vinegar. It should have a sharp tangy smell. You can take a little taste to see if it’s tangy enough for you. If not, let it sit for another week.
12. Time to bottle it! Using the skinny neck stainless steel funnel, pour your finished apple cider vinegar into your two flip-top bottles. Label with the date and store in your pantry.
You can use your apple cider vinegar with cooking, cleaning, and beautifying - just like you would store-bought ACV. It’s crazy how easy it is to make and it’s the perfect time of year. Go treat yourself to an apple orchard trip and make some apple cider vinegar yourself!
Thanks for stopping by Green Willow Homestead! From chicken rearing to composting, we've got our hands full and we love sharing what we've learned along the way. Follow along as we strive to live sustainably and turn these five acres from just property to a fully functioning small-scale homestead.
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