Attempts at apple vinegar making

Previously I wrote a blog post with a link to a video which explained how to make apple vinegar versus cider.  You can review that video here.

In response to my posting, friend C sent me photos of her attempt in progress. She had obviously watched the video a while before I published the link. C told me ‘I started making cider vinegar on 15 May.

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On the left from my Sturmer apples and on the right from a variety of apples from Cygnet. After 1 week I strained out the apples and the result is the jars below.

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For some reason the Sturmers gave a lighter and clearer liquid. Tasting it now after 2 weeks the right jar starts to taste slightly sour, the left one from the Sturmers is still sweet.’

On the basis of C’s ongoing experiment, I decided to attempt vinegar making with one jar each of my home grown apples; Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples. On the 2nd June I followed the directives of the video.  I chopped the apples, added them into the largest jars I had (the remainder have been used in recent weeks for lots of produce preparations and storage), then dissolved raw sugar into water and poured it over the apples.

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I part filled small bags with water and pressed them on top of each jar hoping to keep the apples under the liquid to prevent a mouldy layer growing.

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A tea towel covered the pair of jars to allow oxygen but prevent normal dust etc from falling in. Now I must wait 2-3 weeks before straining off the liquid and squeezing out the additional juice from the fruit through a sieve, then continuing the process towards vinegar.

After 11 days I checked and found the water filled bag had rolled off one jar (presumably from the gas arising from early fermentation) and, while a tea towel stayed spread over the top, a smidgin of mould was growing on a small area of the top exposed apple. I picked these out, replaced the protective bag and stored both jars again in the dark beneath a tea towel. I was interested in the smell at this stage; both concoctions smelt clearly of apples and did not seem to have a vinegar edge.

After 23 days the jars looked like this.

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I strained off the juice and rebottled.

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Now they are back standing in the dark laundry, covered loosely with a tea towel, ready to oxidise for another three or so weeks by which time the concoction should have morphed into a palatable vinegar.

The Pink Lady apple liquid smelt like fresh apples while the Granny Smith apple jar had a less crisp smell.  Neither tasted like vinegar.  I imagine vinegar will result eventually. Meanwhile this is an interesting experiment.

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