apple cider vinegar
There’s that kind of silence that can make you feel a bit panicked. And then there’s the kind of silence that wraps around you and starts seeping into your skin before you notice it. The later usually comes with early morning light, and it’s the very coolest thing. It feels nourishing somehow. Like your insides had been waiting for it all along but didn’t know how to get through your skin to soak the quiet up. It was a soak it up kind of morning out on the hill this morning, and everyone was keen to pass the silence along in foggy puffs of warm breath. It started with the cows, and then passed to a lone sheep, who begged me not to give away his true identity in a bovine dominated paddock, and then it rolled over to Stella, and she wet-nosed it into my hand so I could hang at the back fence holding it for a while. Super quiet in the winter sunshine.
It didn’t last for long. I haven’t figured out how to catch it completely yet, but I felt like I had packed enough peace into my pockets to get me through the first part of Sunday morning at least. I really try not to have too many plans for Sundays beyond tea drinking and riding of big brown horses. So there was tea. And then there was apple cider vinegar making. Mostly because we haven’t done that before, and because it didn’t seem to taxing an idea for a Sunday.
We were given a box of beautiful organic homegrown fruit from a friend’s orchard a while ago and after munching our way through fresh apples and adding them to our juice every morning, vinegar popped into my head. We whip through apple cider vinegar like no tomorrow, so it seemed like a grand idea to know how to make it ourselves. It gave us the perfect chance to put our finally finished cellar to good use too. And I completely appreciate this isn’t everyone’s idea of a relaxing Sunday, so feel free to skip homemade vinegar making, but give the ‘tonic’ recipe a go if you’re keen. It’s unbelievably good for you because of its alkalising effects, helping issues with fluid retention, cholesterol, memory, PMS, arthritis, blood circulation etc etc. The list goes on. And if you’ve developed any kind of ‘culture’ obsession, like we have with sourdough and yoghurt, kefir grains and mushrooms, then you can just call this good fun!
Apple Cider Vinegar
organic wax free apples
vinegar ‘mother’ (we got our’s from a friend)
We used our juicer to juice the apples. This gives a slightly cloudier version of vinegar but it continues to settle over time.
Once you have juiced your apples, put the juice into a large preserving jar and add the amount of champagne yeast recommended by the brand you are using. Don’t use yeast for making bread, they’re two completely different things!
Stir the yeast into the apple juice and cover the top of the jar with muslin held in place by a rubber band. This is the fermenting stage and will result in alcoholic apple cider. Depending on temperature, yeast culture and amount of sugar in the fruit you should have a fermented cider in about 5-7 days. You’ll notice the mixture will stop bubbling and start to settle in the jar.
Strain off the yeast from the cider into another jar as best as you can, leaving a little isn’t a problem, so no need to be too thorough.
When you have the strained apple cider add the vinegar mother culture and recap with a fresh lot of muslin to allow the cider to transform into vinegar as the mother culture works its magic.
Taste the vinegar after about a month and see if it’s to your liking. If yes, strain the mother off and begin a new batch of vinegar, otherwise leave things as they are to continue the process until you have the flavour you’re after.
Daily Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic
2 tsp organic apple cider vinegar
1 cup filtered water
1/2 tsp raw organic honey, or to taste
Mix together and sip on throughout the morning. If your tummy is handling the change then you can gradually increase the amount of vinegar to 2 tablespoons in the same amount of water.