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Apple cider vinegar readiness

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In the Summer, I juiced apples and put the juice in a container along with a tablespoon of last year's apple cider vinegar.  Now in mid-winter, it smells quite acidic, and there's a thick layer of slime on top (the mother).

How do you know when it's ready?
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I just taste it... If it tastes strongly of vinegar, and hardy of alcohol, then I figure that it's done...

Also, in some cases, the mother falls to the bottom of the bottle when she has used up all the alcohol. I don't always get a mother, but when I do...

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