“Apple in a day keeps the doctor away”. Apple is a well-known household name. Its benefits are endless. From dieting to sweeteners, apples cover everything.
Another miracle name of apple is Apple Cider Vinegar. It is a blessing from Mother Nature. The goodness of ACV is beyond the limit. It is one of the top natural home remedies. Just like Coconut Oil, it is available everywhere, does not rot, and can be used with everything. Apple Cider Vinegar just rocks!!!
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Apple cider vinegar otherwise known as cider vinegar or ACV is a fermented form of the apple, apple juice or apple cider. It is a bit acidic and has a pale to medium amber color. It smells quite a lot and not really nice but it has its charms. It is a natural medicine without any side effects. It can be consumed orally and applied topically.
It uses air-borne bacteria and yeast. When left in a dark warm area and allowed to come in contact with air and breathe the apple turns to vinegar by going through various stage and change.
At first, it is an alcohol that can make you tipsy then it is a vinegar that can make you go crazy. The sugar feeds bacteria and yeast and turns to alcohol. In next stage acetobacter (acid-forming bacteria) turns the alcohol to vinegar. Acetic acid and malic acid is formed which gives out its sour taste. The higher the acid, the sourer the taste.
Once your Apple Cider Vinegar is formed, you will see a cobweb like a thing hanging around. It is called “The Mother”. It can make the vinegar look a bit congealed but it is completely liquid, flowing liquid that will go down your throat once you swallow (but don’t! it is highly effective and acidic and can be dangerous. So, just take sips or dilute it). It is wise to keep the mother so your vinegar is at its best. Most of the bacteria are left in the vinegar which helps you.
But, in the market, they usually do not. They filter it, pasteurize it and make it more stable (which is good in another way). If the vinegar is left for that long, it will grow stronger changing its taste. This mother-thing can also help you make your next batch of ACV faster. It speeds up the process as there are already necessary bacteria added.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
You need another 3 or 4 article to just write how good ACV can be. There is literally no end. You can use it everywhere in your day to day life and be benefited. Apple cider vinegar is a blessing I tell you again. And again. It is a blessing.
- It detoxifies! Make a healthy drink or a soothing bath to get rid of all toxins from the bath.
- It conditions hair. Your hair will be super soft and grease free.
- It balances the pH level of the body, skin, and hair. It means everywhere.
- It will get rid of acne and aging.
- It will whiten your teeth and nails. Enamels shiny as pearl and nails rosy as the rose.
- It takes care of acid reflux, blood pressure, blood sugar level, varicose veins, allergy, cold, fungus and yeast manifestation, and much more.
- It will help in weight loss.
- It will get rid of body odor.
- It will soothe you from sunburn, poison ivy, jelly fish, bug bites, etc.
- It will get rid of those pesky insects coming to your home, warts and so on.
- And the list does not want to end…………………
Rest, find it out yourselves. You will be surprised.
How to Make Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar
Tools You Need: These are almost fixed no matter how you prepare your vinegar.
- Clean big jar with a wide mouth
- Paper towel or cheesecloth
- Elastic band or string
Recipe No. A: The Classic Way
- 3 small apples with core and peels but no stem
- 3Tsp raw sugar (buy it from amazon.com)
- Filtered water to cover the top
Wash the apples nicely. Apples bought from the market can have germs and insecticides on them so it is only wise to clean each apple separately and nicely. You can also use fruit washing formula and fruit washer for being on the safer side.
Now chop your apples. Do not cut them big or too small, medium sized cubes are the best. Do not also get rid of the peels and cores. Keep it as it is.
Now place your apple in your glass jar. Make sure they do not reach the mouth. Layer them up nice and clean.
From the top add your sugar solution. If the water does not cover the apple till the top add more water in it. So, the apple is completely merged inside the liquid.
Now take the paper towel or cheesecloth making sure it fits the mouth of the jar well and there is still a bit of space hanging outside. Cover the jar mouth completely with it so there is no open place. Secure it in its place with an elastic band or string. This will keep your vinegar safe from everything and will let the preparation breath.
If needed or just to be extra sure, you can use both elastic bands and strings. Add a tag jotting the time and some designs if you want. (They do not only taste good but also look good. It will give your place a homey feeling. :p)
Now take the ready jar and place them somewhere hot and dark so the bacteria can work its magic. May be the pantry or deepest furthest shelves. Your wish. You know your home better.
Wait for 2-3 weeks. The time varies a lot each time. As it depends on the ingredients and the weather it is hard to tell. But 2-3 weeks time is decent enough to keep checking on it.
When it is ready, strain out the liquid and discards the apple pieces. How do you know it is ready? Simple! When vinegar will be formed, you will see something like a cloud forming on the top. That is why; you need a big glass jar with empty space at the top. So, you can see the cloud forming.
Return the liquid to the same jar and leave it in the same dark warm place covered.
This time it will be roughly 4-6 weeks. Change the date tag so that you know when. One important thing is you have to stir it once in a while. Use a plastic or wooden spoon only.
After first 4 weeks has passed, you will see that the liquid has changed to vinegar it smells and tastes good too. Now the more day passes, the more acidic it becomes. So, if the acidity matches your taste, you are ready to use it. Transfer in a convenient bottle and start using your homemade apple cider vinegar. Always seal the lid tight after using.
- 5 large apples (better if organic)
- Filtered water
- 1 cup of raw honey (buy raw honey from amazon.com)
Same as before chop your apples no less than 1 inch. Now fill the container with chopped apples to its half at least. Now pour in filtered water till the point where only a few inches are left at the top. Stir in the raw honey until it fully dissolved. Cover the top of the container like before.
Leaving it like before for 1-2 weeks, gently mixing once or twice a day let the mixture get fermented into alcohol. Bubbles will form and you will get the smell of change.
After the time passed, approximately 1 week, the apples will no longer float on the top and sink no bottom on the top it means it is perfectly ready. But, if in some cases it does not but the smell is alcoholic just be sure it is ready for the next step and that is straining.
Strain out the apple scraps and pour the hard apple cider into a fresh glass or mason jar. The choice is yours.
Again cover it and secure the jar like before.
Leave it for 3-4 weeks and wait. While waiting for your vinegar, keep an eye you will see a small amount of sediment forming on the top. After three weeks, it is ready to taste. Longer sitting will make it stronger so you can decide on the taste. If it accidentally becomes too strong just strain it and dilute it with more water. When the desired taste is achieved, store it using jars by straining them once more and use as you want.
Recipe No. C: Econovient (Economically Convenient)
Nothing beats an apple pie dessert for the weekend special dinner. Preparing an apple pie is satisfying itself but here comes a new point of view. Do not trash those left of peels and cores. Keep them nicely stored. They will come handy.
- Apple peels and cores (enough to feel at least ¾ of your container)
- Organic cane sugar or organic honey as you wish
- Filtered water
Same as before. Instead of applying, you are using the left over of apples. Is not it great?!!!
Recipe No. D: Using Apple Cider (Sweet or Soft Cider) or Apple Juice
It is very easy in fact you do not have to do anything for it except wait. And must tell you the waiting is long.
Just get the best unprocessed, no preservative added natural apple cider or juice and pour it into a container that has a big opening. As it is produced by fermenting and the fermentation process is aerobic the larger the open surface area is the more exposed to the air and more fermentation.
To protect from unwanted things going inside cover it up with a cheese cloth or any other mess cloth. Do not worry it will let sufficient air pass through for the vinegar to breathe. Use a rubber band to secure it in place.
First, it will turn into a hard cider, an alcohol. It may take a month to turn into vinegar but you have kept an eye on it by tasting. First, it will be an alcohol to make many get tipsy. As the wild yeast continues to feed on the sugar, you will witness several of changes from a carbonated beverage to a sweet bubbly one. And gradually it will take over the sourness of vinegar.
Now here tasting is the prime determining fact. You have to taste it within every few days to decide what you want. For milder soft vinegar bottle it sooner and for a strong wild taste wait further.
You can also add yeast to speed up the process.
Things to Be Careful About
Make sure you read this part and understand it well. Either your ACV may not turn out right.
Make sure all the containers and tools used are sterilized and cleaned completely. Soap or anything else left behind can ruin the whole thing.
For containers and tools, never and ever use metallic objects. As they react with the salts and acids produce during the process. Plastic can be used but some plastic can leach chemicals. And they are very prone to scratches and damages. If you do use plastic then make sure it is food grade and has not previously held non-food substances. So, the most preferred and perfect choice is glass containers. They do not give any headache. You can also use enamel ones without any chips or breaks in it or stainless steel containers.
The place should be dark without any light as this is the type of place yeast and bacteria likes to grow.
The temperature should be between 60 to 80- degree Fahrenheit or 15.5 to 26.6 degree Celsius. Below this temperature, you will not always produce usable vinegar and above it cause disruption in the making of the “Mother”.
Using organic apples is the best idea as you can use the whole apple but non-organic conventional ones may have pesticides on its skin. So, it is better to peel it off.
Bubbles mark the beginning of your fermentation.
Within a few days, white scum will be formed which is a sign that everything is going well and this scum will turn into your “Mother”. But, aside from white if any green, blue, gray or black is formed then discard the whole badge immediately. Go and feed your garden or something. It is the bad mold and be sure it is not only where you see it but everywhere as they spread horrifyingly fast.
For straining use cheese cloth or coffee filter paper or stainless steel sieve.
If you have left over from your previous bathing of vinegar or the “Mother” use it too. It will speed up the process.
If you leave your vinegar for a long time a new “Mother” is likely to form. Discard it. It is fine.
Now you can make your very own vinegar and control its making too. Prepare some at the safe boundaries of your home and use it in dressing salad, cooking, skin care, hair care or for first aid. It has a lot to give. A bottle of apple cider vinegar in the home is sure a good thing.