People are slowly discovering the many, many benefits of drinking Organic Apple Cider Vinegar everyday. Buying a fresh bottle every month can be quite expensive, that’s one of the reasons why I prefer to make it home!
Homemade ACV is most beneficial as you can be sure of the ingredients – like good quality organic apples and honey or sugar. And most importantly – you can retain the mother and all the wonderful friendly bacteria. So if you have been using a yucckkkkk……..refined, filtered, distilled, heated version of apple cider vinegar, you’ll be surprised with the amazing flavors when you make your own!!How to make this amber liquid gold at home?
Here’s my recipe to make homemade apple cider vinegar.
Oh yeah, if you’re wondering if you have the kitchen skills to pull this off – believe me, you just need to know how to chop!!! I cannot believe what stopped me from starting this earlier! Well, I for one am not going back to the store version.
Making your own ACV is so easy peassy…..and inexpensive, you’ll wonder why they charge you Rs 500 plus a bottle!! So, first off – all we need are good, local apples. If you can get organic – nothing better than that!! But in India that’s possible only in the major cities, or if you grow them yourselves!!
Once you’ve gathered your apples, wash them well to remove any sediments or dirt. Grab your knife- chop away and then dump them all in a big glass bowl or jar with water and honey/sugar! Cover with a fine mesh cloth – and wait. And wait and wait and wait!!!! Yes, you have to keep waiting – that’s the most difficult part IMHO. The apples need to ferment for at least 2 weeks before you can think of drinking it!!
This apple cider vinegar recipe I used calls for whole apples. But be contentious and use anything you can find – even apple scraps and cores can be used to make ACV. Yes, eat your apple and ferment it too!! Zero wastage!
So next time you make apple jam, apple butter or apple pies at home or just eat one – store all the scrapes in a air tight container in your freezer till you have enough to make a batch of ACV. It’ll be like a free bottle of ACV – you save around Rs 600 bucks!!
In India, since apples are in season only during winter, it’s advisable to make a big batch and keep for the year around. Fermentation process also depends upon the season – less during winter and more during summer! Anyone who has to make idli dosa batter in winter knows what a painful task it is, as the cold slows down bacterial growth!!
Once the apples are fermented enough, they will not float, but fall down. This is when you can strain your apple cider vinegar.
Once the ACV takes on a dark and cloudy bacterial foam –called the Mother you would your vinegar is on its way to perfection!!! This is the good and friendly bacteria that we need! A white clear scum kind of layer will also begin to form – and that’s good. This white scum will become the mother in a couple of weeks. But if it becomes to have a green, blue or grey tinge or a mold feel – then discard it immediately and try again!
When using organic apples, you can use the entire apple, leaving the stems. In fact you wouldn’t even need to peel them! If you don’t trust the apple source, it is advisable to discard the peels as they have the most amount of pesticides content. Be sure to remove any rotten bits! Raw and unrefined sugar works well especially if you are making it for the first time. Using honey is considered more beneficial, only it will take longer to ferment.
What I usually do is add one cup of a previous batch of ACV into my new batch. This also helps to speed up the process. This is also commonly called “starter liquid”. Much like how we use “joran” for making curd or yogurt! I’m also planning to make one ACV batch using palm sugar or gur!
Using a wide mouth glass jar helps to speed up the process, but you can use any glass jar. Make sure it sterilized well. Make sure there is no soap residue left anywhere in the jar. If you are making for the first time, and are feeling apprehensive, just halve this recipe and use only 3 apples.
Ingredients for making ACV:
• 6 to 8 apples
• 1 cup raw sugar or 1 cup raw honey or 1 cup brown sugar
• 1 to 1.5 liters Filtered water
• Clean Sterilized Glass jar – preferably wide mouth
• Plain cotton mesh cloth
• Rubber band
Instructions for making ACV:
• Wash the apples thoroughly. Peel and chop your apples into small or medium sized pieces. Place these in a clean, rinsed and sterilized wide mouth jar.
• Mix in 1 cup sugar or honey in one liter of water.
• Pour this on top of the apples. Add more water if needed, as the apples need to be completely submerged. This is important because any apples sticking out may begin to rot rather than ferment.
• Once the apple pieces are completely submerged, cover the jar with the cloth and secure it with the rubber band. This keeps bugs and flies away while allowing in the good bacteria.
• Place the jar in a warm, dark place for 2-3 weeks – I just kept it in my kitchen cabinet.
• After a week you will see white bubbles rising to the surface – this is the glucose in sugar or honey being broken down. After about another 7 days or so you’ll notice that all the apples instead of floating have fallen down. Once this happens strain out the liquid, using your normal tea strainer or sieve.
• Discard the apple pieces and return the liquid to the same jar you used and cover it again with the cloth.
• Again keep the jar in a dark warm place and leave it be for another 2 to 3 weeks. This can go up to 4 to 5 weeks in the winter.
• Taste the vinegar after these 3 weeks are over and see if you like the acidity and taste. If not, let it be for another couple of weeks.
• Once you get the acidity you want, store it another glass bottle with the cap closed.
ACV is really healthy and can be taken daily! Do you take ACV everyday? Have you tried making it at home?