Apple Cider Vinegar

Submitted by: Academy Canada Culinary Arts Program
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Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: Fifteen Minutes
Total Time: More than 1 hour

First Batch:
6 apples, washed (mix of your
favourite red/green apples)
2 cups sugar
4 cups warm water
Extra cool water (for topping up
your jar)
Day before: Cut apples into chunks about 1-2” big, including the core. Freeze it all.
Next day: Thaw apples and put them and sugar in a sanitized gallon jar (pickle jars work great – wash with hot, soapy water and rinse with boiling water). Mix well. Add warm water and stir until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add enough cool water to fill the jar about 80% of the way and stir well. Cover with a clean dishcloth and put an elastic around the neck of the bottle to keep bugs and dust out.
Every 2 days, for the next several weeks, use a wooden spoon to gently push the apples back below the surface. You don’t have to stir it. Eventually, the apples will sink (usually!) and the “mother” will form on top. Like a layer of jelly at first, it will eventually get cloudier and thicker – this is your mother! This may take a good 4-6 weeks for your first batch. Once you have reached this stage, set the covered jar in a pantry or cupboard and forget about it for at least 30 days. You’ll know your vinegar has formed once you smell and taste it – it’ll be distinctly vinegar. (If at any point you see mould growing in the vinegar, throw out the whole batch, sterilize the jar and start again.)
Strain the apples out, set aside the mother and ½ cup of the vinegar for your next batch (store it in a cloth-covered container in the cupboard, it will last a long time), and pour the rest of the vinegar into pint jars with the covers finger-tight. Store them in the pantry to allow the vinegar to settle and clear. This will take sev-eral days before it’s ready to use.
For future batches, use the same ingredients but replace the 2 cups of sugar with just 3 tbsp and add the 1/2 cup reserved vinegar from your first batch and the mother. Follow the same 30-day fermentation process. At the end, reserve the mother and 1/2 cup vinegar again before pouring up your pints.
Yield: 3-4 pints

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