People have drunk Apple Cider Vinegar dating back to Biblical Times as a way to cure illnesses and diseases. Documents show that Romans used to drink it to maintain good health. Today, people still use this vinegar to improve gastrointestinal functions, improve skin health, lose weight, and to decrease their chances of getting colon cancer. Other people use Apple Cider Vinegar in Salad Dressings or in cooking to add flavor. And despite what one may think, Apple Cider Vinegar it is an easy item to make at home.
The first obvious ingredient is apples. You should choose an apple variety with the highest sugar content such as Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Russet, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, or Gala. These apples must be very ripe, but not bruised. First, wash all of the apples with warm water, and pat them dry. Next, crush the apples into a pulp. Strain the pulp by using either cheesecloth, or a vegetable and fruit press. Set one quart of juice to the side, and then put five gallons of juice in a glass or plastic container. Do not use any type of metal to stir or contain the juice because the acid will cause a reaction to the metal.
The next ingredient that you need is one cake of the yeast that is used in winemaking. Take this cake of yeast and crumble it up into the one quart of juice. Stir these until the yeast is dissolved. Then, add this mixture to the rest of the five gallons of juice. Once you have stirred everything together, cover each container with cheesecloth. These containers must be stored in a dark place at 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit for three weeks. Stir these containers every day. The importance of using cheesecloth instead of a regular lid, and for stirring the cider every day is to allow oxygen to enter to turn it into vinegar. It is important to taste the vinegar to see if the flavor is to your liking before going to the next step. Once you have the right taste, strain the fluid again through cheesecloth.
In order to pasteurize the vinegar, you must heat it up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. To do this, pour all of the fluid into a giant pot. Stir the vinegar frequently over low heat, until it reaches the desired temperature. Remove from heat. Once cool, you will need a funnel in order to pour the Apple Cider Vinegar into glass or plastic bottle. Cap the containers, and submerge them in very hot water to sterilize them even more. Remove the bottles from the water, dry them off, and store them in a dark, cool place, as direct sunlight will ruin vinegar.
If you are short on time but are able to purchase Apple Cider, you can follow the same steps of this process from adding the yeast through the last step. The key to choosing Apple Cider is ensuring that it is 100% juice, since the process will not work if other ingredients are in the cider. The exception to this is at the end of the vinegar process. If you would like to add additional flavoring, you can add this right before you bottle the final product. Some examples of flavorings are onion, herbs, garlic, and hot chilies. Be careful not to over-season the vinegar though, which can ruin its quality and flavor.