Apple Cider Vinegar

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,998
Location
So Cal
It all started when my husband got a new job this December. His new boss very kindly sent us a fruit box with fancy fancy apples and pears. Well, she accidentally sent us TWO fruit boxes. I went into frugal mode and made a batch of apple pear butter so as not to waste this windfall. As I was looking at the bucket of cores and peels destined for the compost pile, I remember reading an article about making vinegar from the scraps. Something like this one: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2014/04/make-your-own-apple-cider-vinegar-from-scraps.html

Now I love fermenting things. The very idea of an army of microbes doing all the work while I sit around on my butt and take all the credit is my idea of a great craft! Today I just decanted off my first batch of homemade apple cider vinegar that was started in mid December, and it tastes FABULOUS! (the pretty clear jar with the chicken scribble chalk label).

When I brew beer we often re-use the yeast "cake" at the bottom. Any why not? its a large active culture of beasties raring to go, especially adapted for your home-brew environment. I had an epiphany that the gunk at the bottom of the jar I just decanted the vinegar off of was probably the same - or as some call it the vinegar "mother". Now every picture Ive ever seen of a vinegar mother looks like a slimey gooey blob, and my stuff looks more like a yeast cake from a beer batch, but never mind - what could possibly go wrong? So I dug out a half gallon of apple juice I had lying around and combined it with the tiny army of microbes from the previous batch, aerated well to oxygenate and poured into new sanitized jars. They need to be in the dark, so the soaping cabinet is the obvious choice - you can see the cheesecloth coverings they get so they can breathe.

Im sure this is old news to some of you. But Ive only ever fermented juices to make alcohol and avoid vinegar. Im excited about having some fancy fancy vinegars at WAY cheaper than retail, for almost no effort. And Im interested to see the differences between these two batches. The first one had the benefit of the wild yeasts and critters in the skin to start the fermentation, but the second one is relying on the colony carrying on. It's like having pets :)

ACV first batch.jpg


ACV from juice.jpg
 

IrishLass

Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
17,299
Reaction score
11,101
Location
Right here, silly!
Thanks for sharing! :) I need to do this (again).

I've made apple cider vinegar only once so far. It was a few years ago (my first and only try at home-brewing anything), but I let it marinate way too long before bottling..... because, um, I kinda got distracted with other things and forgot about it for a bit. lol Anyway, it turned out so pungently strong that it was much too unpleasant to use (which is saying a lot for me, because I love vinegary things). I figured the only thing it might be good for was as a substitute for smelling salts, because it seemed to be strong enough to wake the dead, and then some ! lol.

My method of madness: I had used a mixture of all-organic apples that I juiced myself in my masticating juicer, and I dissolved a sprinkling of an ale yeast (Safale S-04) in the juice before topping my bottle off with an air-lock.

It made great hard sweet cider on it's way to becoming wine, btw.

After that stage, it progressed into a dry apple wine, and when it reached a specific gravity of 1,000, I siphoned it off into sanitized canning jars, added a small bit of Braggs apple cider vinegar to 'jump-start' it's journey to vinegar, covered with cheesecloth, and let it steep in a dark place (one of my soft-sided coolers, actually).

From the beginning of making the apple juice to the end where I finally bottled the (overly) finished vinegar, it was a period of 3 months. And you know the rest of the story.

I want to try it again, but I'm thinking I won't wait so long to bottle next time. :p

Edited to add: If you have any words of wisdom to share, I'm all ears!


IrishLass :)
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,998
Location
So Cal
The main difference I see is that I added no yeast. Which I think encourages the vinegar making / lacto bacillis making beasties sooner. Try it the easy way I did next time?

When I want hard apple cider, I use yeast and an anaerobic environment after mixing. And sometimes added juice concentrate to the juice. Never white sugar. The vinegar methods use less fermentables than if I were brewing, so if it were to be hard cider, it would be low abv.
 
Last edited:

Bamagirl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Messages
230
Reaction score
204
Location
Alabama
Love making fermented things! My husband just finished off the latest batch of kraut last week. I fermented tabasco peppers this summer and have the pepper mash in my fridge waiting to be turned into hot sauce when it is needed. I really want to try the apple cider vinegar, especially since my husband adds it to salads and veggies every day! I need to add it to my "to do" list for this summer when the apples are ready.

I hope it turns out wonderful and please keep us updated on its progression.
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,998
Location
So Cal
Well I have discovered that while apple cores and chunks make wonderful ACV, my trial with apple juice (100% apple juice, but not organic and with BHT/CA etc) was a dismal failure. It tasted of oxidized wine and cardboard - bleh. I have a feeling it would have been fine with organic unfiltered apple juice, just not with what I used.

But the batch after that was from chunks and peels, and turned out well, and a third batch of scraps I had frozen + a little from the batch previous is rolling right along. Hubby says I can stop then, we have plenty of ACV for awhile :)

Now Im experimenting with a ginger bug, and have used it in my first batch of ginger beer. I'll know in 2 weeks if it turns out!
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,471
Reaction score
19,390
Location
USA
I made honey (mead) vinegar last year, and am studying up on vinegar fermentation processes so I can make better vinegar.

If you let the acidic fermentation go too long, the vinegar bacteria will run out of alcohol to eat and will begin to decompose the acetic acid as a food source. That's when the vinegar starts taking on a blech aroma. Ideally, you want to stop the vinegar beasties while there's still a tiny bit of alcohol left in the vinegar (like 0.3%).

The % of alcohol in your starting product will approximately equal the % acetic acid in the finished vinegar under ideal conditions, so beer, hard cider, and lower alcohol wines are good candidates for vinegar making.

If your vinegar forms a mother (some don't) and the mother turns brown, fish it out and let the vinegar make a new mother. You want the mother to be light colored for the best vinegar -- brown mother can contribute off flavors.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top