The best and healthiest apple cider vinegar is one that is organic, unfiltered and unpasteurized. There are some areas around the world where really good apple cider vinegar may be hard to come by. In fact, here in Germany it was really difficult to locate the first few years we lived here. But meanwhile, it’s available in most grocery stores and bio supermarkets but usually not at the low prices you usually find in the US — which makes it very unpractical for canning or using in large quantities.
There are several different methods that you can follow when making apple cider vinegar, depending on what type of apple bits you are starting with. But lucky for all of us, apple cider vinegar is easy to make as well as inexpensive. The biggest thing that you need is patience, because fermentation can take some time.
Apple cider vinegar can be used in many different ways. If you can do some research you will discover that it can be used not only in the kitchen but elsewhere. Here’s a tip though, it is better not to use your vinegar in foods that are to be canned or stored at room temperature because of varying acidity. However, it is great to use with salads, cooking or freezer and refrigerator pickled products.
P.S. Use this link to see this in a print-friendly version — normally I would use a different format to make it print friendly, but with all the different methods, it just becomes a major mess!
Method 1 — Use Fresh Pressed Apple Cider
Using fresh pressed apple cider to make apple cider vinegar is probably the easiest of all the methods because you barely have to do anything at all. By the way, you still have just enough time to do this and give it as a homemade Christmas gift!
Materials and Ingredients:
- A large jar with a wide mouth/opening or a wine balloon
- Fermentation bell / air trap for top of jar or something to close off the jar without totally restricting airflow (you want the vapors to be able to escape from your jar as the juice ferments)
- Vinegar mother (if desired)
- Apple cider
Pour your apple cider into a large jug and add vinegar mother, if desired. (The cider will usually begin to ferment on its own after a week or so, but if you use mother the process will be sped up and you’ll have a better chance of ending up with a good vinegar in the end.)
Let it sit for 4-6 weeks, do a taste test and see if the flavor is to your liking. If it is, you’re ready to bottle it.