APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Traditional apple cider vinegar takes time to ferment, but it is worth the wait! A great way to use up leftover apple juice or old cider – simply set and forget. Apple cider vinegar is most commonly used in food as a preservative – pickling vegetables for example. It may also be used (strained and filtered) as a cleaner for some green cleaning projects around your home. Raw, organic apple cider vinegar with the mother may also be used to boost digestion, support the body’s immune system, balance blood sugar levels, strengthen hair and make skin healthy. 
    
Ingredients for Making 16 Cups of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Raw Apple Juice
3500ml (freshly juiced, preservative-free)
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
(with Mother)
500ml (available from supermarkets, health stores or online)
    
METHOD:
1. Measure apple juice into a clean, sterilised glass or plastic container (with an airlock attached i.e. demijohn). Ferment at room temperature for 4-6 weeks. The natural yeast in the raw apple juice will consume the sugar in the juice, creating alcohol and carbon dioxide (evident by bubbling), which is released via the airlock to make alcoholic apple cider.
2. Transfer alcoholic apple cider to a 4L-capacity wide container (plastic or glass). Add the vinegar mother and stir. Cover the container with tightly woven cheesecloth and secure with an elastic band to prevent contamination. Leave at room temperature until desired flavour is achieved – this may take weeks or months, depending on the flavour and acidity. Every batch of juice will vary slightly in the quantity of natural sugars present; hence the fermentation length will also vary. Expect around 3-4 weeks to make a mild tasting vinegar (up to 4% acetic acid), up to 6 months or so for maximum strength (i.e. 6% acetic acid), especially if you are making a very large batch of vinegar that contains a smaller proportion of mother vinegar.
3. Strain and filter vinegar (optional) and decant into glass bottles or jugs with airtight lids before labelling and storing bottles in the pantry. 
4. Test pH before use in preserving (i.e. pickling) to ensure the acidity is 6% or higher (pH 4.25-5). The pH can be tested using pH strips (available from homebrew stores) or by using an electronic pH meter. If you are unsure of the acidity, we recommend using store-bought vinegar for food preserving projects to ensure that all jars of pickled vegetables are safe for long-term pantry storage.
    
APPROXIMATE ACIDITY 6% (pH 4.25-5)
   
  

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