Looking for a challenge in the realm of DIY experimentation while reducing your waste?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a minimal waste staple for culinary and cleaning in the home that is super easy to make. It is essentially the liquid from fermented apples, with very minimal ingredients involved (just sugar, apples and water!). Perfect for a salad dressing and also a great addition to DIY cleaning products, making ACV allows you to repurpose apple cores and peels, extending the life of your fruit (which can then be added to your compost!). Bottled apple cider vinegar is normally ~$10 for a 500ml, which a household might go through every month. With the DIY option, you will be making litres of the stuff for the same price!
Also a lovely gift in a reusable bottle for friends and loved ones!
1. Grab a decent amount of apples (whole, cores or peels), raw sugar and water
2. Thoroughly clean and air dry a large jar (proportionate to the volume of apples and amount of ACV you plan to make)
3. Chop the apples roughly and add them to the jar
4. Dissolve 2 tbsps of sugar into 2 cups of water (or larger volumes depending on the amount of ACV you are making)
5. Then pour it over the apples, ensuring they are covered
6. Cover the top of the jar with cheesecloth and a rubber band
7. Leave out of sunlight (eg. in a kitchen cupboard) for 2-3 weeks, checking every few days that the apples are covered and not moulding (stir them around very gently to prevent mould).
8. You will notice a layer or film starting to form on the top of the liquid. This is a good sign and is not mould (unless it has green spots on it!)
9. When the liquid smells quite vinegary after the 2-3 weeks, remove the apples and leave the liquid and the then formed film (aka the vinegar ‘mother’**) to ferment for 2 weeks more, stirring every few days
10. You can then drain the vinegar into flip top, air tight bottle. Save a small portion amount in a jar with the vinegar mother for when you make your next batch of ACV
**The film which initially forms on the top of your vinegar is known as the ‘mother’, which naturally occurs from the combination of the sugar when fermenting the fruit. It is the equivalent of the scoby used in the making of kombucha. As the mother develops, you can continue to use it in your following batches of ACV there after. It will assist with the flavour and fermentation process.
Comment below on what you discover in your DIY ACV journey!