When purchasing apple cider vinegar (ACV), people are typically urged to buy something organic that also states “mother” on the label. No, it’s not some indication of a family-made recipe, but rather a vital component that makes ACV so effective; mother of vinegar, or “the mother,” is what gives the vinegar its distinct sour flavor as well as its beneficial antibacterial and antifungal properties.(1)
However, there’s no need to rush to the local market to purchase a bottle.
Why not make your own? It’s a wise idea not just to ensure that it’s as fresh as possible but also to have plenty on hand when it comes to preparedness. As society continually teeters on the brink of devastating environmental, economic and social changes, being well-stocked with the essentials is key.
7 easy steps to make homemade ACV
Step 1: Wash 10 whole apples or the scraps from up to 30 apples with pure spring water or filtered water. Chop them up into pieces no smaller than one inch chunks.
Step 2: Fill a large glass jar (one-half gallon sized at a minimum) with the apple pieces at least half way. It’s okay to even include seeds and stems.
Step 3: Fill the jar of apple slices with water until it’s at least three-quarters or entirely full. Pearson warns, “Do not exceed 2 parts water to 1 part scraps which will leave you with a diluted, low acidity vinegar.”
Step 4: Sprinkle sugar (organic cane or wild organic honey, one-quarter cup to each quart of water) into the jar with the apple scraps and water.
Over the course of an hour, stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, making sure to cover the container with a cheesecloth that’s secured with twine or a rubber band. Then, repeat this process for one week, stirring the ingredients with a spoon and making sure to keep the jar in a darkened area. It will be normal for bubbling and foaming to take place, and for a strong odor to exist. That’s a good thing; it’s all part of the fermentation process and means that it’s working.
Step 5: Once the apples have settled to the bottom of the jar, use the cheesecloth to strain them so that only the remaining liquid is transferred into another container.
Step 6: Cover this liquid with a cloth and again, store in a warm, dark location. This time, it will be stored for four to six weeks, in which time you’ll see that the mother will form on the surface.
Step 7: Keep sealed and out of sunlight, just as you would with store-purchased ACV. After about another two weeks, it should lose its alcohol content, become more acidic and develop into the ACV you’ve come to know. Of course, you may alter the taste by straining the liquid from the mother and determining what best suits your taste buds. If the ACV is too acidic, you can add water to mellow the taste.