We consume a ridiculous amount of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar in this house. At least two shots worth per day plus whatever else I use to cook with. After a while, at about $5 per bottle, it gets pretty expensive. So I found a recipe that worked for us.
We try to make apple picking a yearly thing. Before we went, I wanted to figure out the recipe for apple cider vinegar so that we could make a crazy amount when we brought all of those apples home. For this recipe, I used organic Gala apples. It makes a rosy colored apple cider vinegar that has a waaaay more mild flavor than the leading organic apple cider vinegar. Which is great, because that other stuff is really pungent!
First you need to wash the apples. I soaked them in warm water and vinegar to get any wax off of the skins. Then I mildly scrubbed with some soap and rinsed with water. You can skip that last step and just rinse. Next I used a peeler/corer. You can peel and core the old-fashioned way, but it took me so long with bushels of apples. So it was a worthwhile investment.
It takes a little getting used to but becomes a somewhat fun activity once you get the hang of it.
Spiralized apples are really fun to eat. My toddler kept pilfering pieces when I wasn’t looking. Kid could probably eat his weight in fresh fruit. There are worse things.
Toss those mostly peeled and cored beauties into a crockpot with some cinnamon, clove, allspice, a little water, and a little sugar. It makes a really lovely apple sauce when it cooks down after a few hours.
Now take all of those leftover peels and cores. Fill up quart glass jars 3/4 of the way. Those pieces of apple like to float, so I bought glass fermentation weights to weigh them down. I’ve heard of people using other jars, sanitized rocks, etc, but either way, those apples NEED to stay under the water. They could get moldy if they’re exposed to air. I use the fermentation weights for natural sauerkraut and kimchi. So they’re definitely worth it if you’re going to ferment things often.
Next you mix 1 cup of warm filtered water with 1 TBSP of organic cane sugar. You’ll need to make several of these depending on the size of the batch you’re making. I make 3 cup/3 TBSP increments. You want to leave about 1/2″-1″ of space at the top. The mixture with froth and you really don’t want it to overflow. It’s a sticky mess that I’ve had to clean several times.
The last step is making a lid. I use either cheesecloth or paper towel fastened on with a rubber band. Leave these jars in a cool, dark place. I keep them in a kitchen cabinet. I write the date in sharpie on the jar each time because I make so many batches.
After two weeks, take them out, filter the apple scraps from the liquid hard cider. We keep the used apples for smoking our bacon and other pork products on the grill. It gives them a wonderful apple flavor. I just put them in a freezer bag until we’re ready to use them. Pour the hard cider liquid into sanitized jars. Let them ferment for another 3-4 weeks. After the 3-4 weeks, your apple cider vinegar is ready!