Anita Martini wrote:I am not a savvy vinegar maker (yet), but have successfully made about two batches.
This was when I had a lot of apples at hand and processed them together (not freezing part of it). Also lots of peels.
Maybe you could throw in some peels (non-frosted) in the end when you set up the batch?
But I think the biggest difference was that I stirred the batches daily (at least) to prevent mold. If the bubbling stops after two or three weeks, I strain the residues out and put in a cooler place, covered with some tissue/cloth. Then it can take a while (I make a taste test from time to time).
I also managed to make a bad batch once, it didn't taste like yummy vinegar, more like vinegary water. I used it for cleaning and added it to the chicken waterer. I guess it is important to have enough apple cores/peels in the mix and also enough sugar to get the fermentation going.
Maybe some of the pros will talk about their experience as well.
Tereza Okava wrote:I've used both skins and cores, whatever I have, and found not much of a difference.
I have found that the entire process takes much more than 6 weeks. I have some vinegar that had to sit at least 6 months before getting acceptable acidity.
My process is very different- open more or less to the elements (covered with a sprout bag or a coffee filter) out in the open. No serious airlock, only a pickle weight to keep things more or less submerged. Only put in the closed dark cabinet after filtering (when it is no longer actively fermenting).
Larisa Walk wrote:We've made vinegar for over 3 decades. We always start by pressing cider from the apples (or waste parts of apples like cores). Remove all pomace - it belongs in the compost not in the vinegar ferment. Put the cider in a gallon glass jar, leaving at least an inch of headspace, and cover with a cotton dish towel either tied or rubber-banded into place. Put in a cool, dark place - a cupboard or pantry may be just the place. Let it sit until it smells right, faster in warm weather and takes longer in cold. When done put into glass containers, no steel tops that will rust but rather plastic, glass, or rubber lids/stoppers. That's it - never added any old mother culture and for sure never any water or sugar. We even use our vinegar for canning.
Brody Ekberg wrote:
Tereza, do you stir it daily or do you weigh the scraps down, cover it and let it sit until it’s no longer actively fermenting? Also, what ratio sugar to water do you use to submerge the scraps in?
Brody Ekberg wrote:
Anita, you stir it every day right from the start? I was under the impression that it just sits for 6 weeks or so, then strain it, then stir daily until it reaches the desired flavor/acidity.
Anita Martini wrote:to stir until the other smell changes to slightly acid and the fruit chunks sink down.
Then strain and let mature.