Monday, September 16, 2013

Save Your Scraps! ~ Make Apple Cider "Scrap" Vinegar


"Everything must be saved,
nothing wasted of all the summer's bounty.
Even the apple cores were saved for making vinegar…"
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farmer Boy


I love when nothing goes to waste. Of course, apple scraps could go to your goats, chickens and compost piles, but I like the idea of creating something useful for our pantry even better! This idea came from Fresh Eggs Daily (though the pioneers did this for years) but we modified the recipe for easier use with a Fido jar. Some call this apple cider vinegar while others refer to it as apple scrap vinegar. Being this has no real cider but starts with scraps, I deem it apple scrap vinegar but will use it like apple cider vinegar.


After thoroughly washing your apples and using them for whatever you had in mind (we made delicious apple crisps), place all the leftover scraps on a clean plate. Let them sit for an hour to develop a bit of browning on the outside.

Note: You can accumulate scraps for this project, just store them in the refrigerator until you have enough to work with. I had about 2 quarts worth (use as much as you have, there is no set recipe). You may also consider using organic apples because the skins are used in this project and apples are one of the #1 sprayed trees.


Next, place your scraps inside a sterilized Fido jar. I chose to use a Fido jar because I didn't want to worry about skimming the growth off the top in this first stage (see this post if you want to use a regular canning jar).


Prepare a sugary brine for your scraps. For every quart of water, add 1/4 cup of sugar. Don't worry about the sugar because it will be eaten up in the fermentation process. Stir this mixture until it is dissolved.


Pour your sugary brine over your apple scraps until they are completely submerged under the liquid (if you have more apples, just keep making up the brine until you have enough to cover all your scraps).


The trick in keeping the scraps submerged is to place a ramekin on top of the apples and close the jar upon it. This works wonderful for all my fermentation needs.

Important Note: You can only close the lid while making vinegar when using a Fido jar because they keep the oxygen out, which is the focus of fermentation, while allowing some of the CO2 to safely escape.

Store jar in a cool, dark location for one week.


After a few days, you will start to see the bubbles. It is fermenting. This is good!


Once the proper time has elapsed, strain your liquid into another sterile jar (at this point, a regular canning jar works well).


If you use red apples, your solution may have a pinker cast in the beginning.

Note: Green apples contain less sugar so you may have a stronger vinegar with red apples.


Cover your jars with cheesecloth and store in a cool, dark location for approximately six weeks.


After a few weeks, the "mother" will make her entrance (filmy stuff on top). You can swirl your jar to allow it to settle to the bottom and create some more (or you can leave it be). This is good stuff!

For more information on the benefits of fermented food, visit here.


Your vinegar will darken as it ages. Isn't it pretty?

Note: Be patient on this project because the liquid will turn to hard cider before it becomes vinegar. Our object here is to make vinegar ladies ;)



Once the six weeks expires, you will notice a vinegar smell instead of a brewery. It is ready to be bottled (or jarred). Some people strain out the mother though a coffee filter but I kept it in for medicinal benefits (and with hopes to start a new batch of vinegar quicker with the "mother"). When you are finished, you have a vinegar that you can "Bragg" about (pun intended)! There is no need for refrigeration as this is now "shelf stable" (store in a cool, dark location, like your pantry).


We use this as a salad dressing, in meat marinades and for adding into our bone broths as they simmer to draw out the minerals. I do not recommend using your vinegar for canning because the acidity level is unknown. Your apple scrap vinegar would also make a nice (and thrifty) gift when dolled up a bit in a decorated canning jar or placed inside a pretty bottle (we used a neat pouring spout on ours). Here is our printable label sheet that you may use (just download from the link and print) to further embellish your bottles.


If you enjoyed this project, we share 100+ more ideas on how to use up fruit scraps in our Ebook here! Happy kitchen-crafting, ladies!


This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysRoses of InspirationTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting WednesdayCoffee and ConversationSo Much at HomeHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl FridayFront Porch Friday Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpSimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. Note: This tutorial was a collaboration of gleanings from the following sources: source onesource twosource three and source four.

48 comments:

  1. You are awesome! Thank you for this!!!

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    1. I was thinking of your abundance of apples when I posted this ;) Imagine a pantry filled with bottles and bottles of your creation! It really doesn't take much human "work", just takes "time" sitting on the shelf...

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    2. Good sharing, yes, apple cider vinegar (ACV) helps to boost metabolism, blocks the body’s storage of dietary fat plus breaks down and dissolves existing body fat. A study at Australia’s University of Sydney in which subjects who consumed two tablespoon of ACV daily experienced fewer surges and crashes in blood sugar levels. Read more at:
      http://kidbuxblog.com/apple-cider-vinegar-acv-helps-to-boost-metabolism/

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  2. you have amazed me once again, JES! I would love to make this :) I hope you're enjoying your Monday.

    Hugs!

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    1. Thanks! It's a rainy day Monday and not good for my piles of wash… but, I did get a nice break to do other things… :)

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  3. Wow! I was planning on making a tincture with apple cider vinegar and I was going to buy some. Now I won't!!! Thanks!

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    1. Hi there :) I am not sure if this would be strong enough to "keep" a tincture… Maybe look into it a little more? I would love to hear the results either way!

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    2. Thanks for the tip! I bought my Fido jar at the thrift shop today!

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    3. Perfect place to purchase it!!! Just make sure the rubber gasket isn't brittle… Let me know how it turns out!!

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  4. So glad I found your blog through the Domestically Divine blog link up. I look forward to all of the new things I can learn from you!
    Jennifer
    http://bonfiresandbluejeans.wordpress.com

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    1. Nice to "meet" you Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  5. Thanks for this. I've pinned it to Pinterest. :-)

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  6. This is awesome- making your own apple cider vinegar? I would love to try this. You make it look so easy. :) And I love the opening quote. Such a good book! I look forward to reading more on your blog.

    I found you through the Domestically Divine link-up.
    www.fivelittlefrenches.com

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    1. Thanks for introducing yourself Vickie! I love the Little House books too as you can see ;)

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  7. I loved learning how to make this staple, apple cider vinegar for myself. Thanks a lot for sharing this post. Glad I found you on Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

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  8. Apples from the orchards are plentiful now, I think I will make some of this..It is supposed to have many
    health benefits, and a wonderful idea to use up the scraps...thank yo.

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  9. JES, I am doing this now! I have over 100lbs. of apples to can and instead of feeding the chickens all those scraps, I will be making gallons of vinegar. I spend about $18 per gallon of raw apple cider vinegar right now, so this will be some $$ saved.

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    1. Oh yes! That will be perfect! Let me know how it turns out! :) Keep in mind that it won't be as strong because it isn't made with pure cider but it is still a good and healthy alternative as it is raw and full of probiotics...

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  10. I must echo Farmlife Chick - you are awesome!
    I've got this in the making right now and can't wait to see how it turns out. I think I will love it if it's not as strong as apple cider vinegar from the store. That won't bother me at all. My jar is from red apples and is pretty as a picture! Thank you for the labels, too! Yes, awesome is the right word!

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    1. Oh, that is exciting to hear! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  11. Just made the first step and put my jar in the bottom of the pantry. My kids are bad at not eating a whole apple, so I cut up the scraps for this. So excited!

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    1. Perfect! This is a neat project because you get a usable product for pennies and it makes you feel so pioneer-ish… If that is a word :) Let me know how it goes and feel free to comment with any questions! Have a wonderful weekend ~ JES

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  12. Would it work to use frozen apple scraps? We were gifted a bunch of apples from a neighbor's tree and I am concerned the scraps will not keep in the fridge for too long.

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    1. Hi there! :) Are you talking about keeping them in the freezer until you have accumulated enough to begin? If this is what you are asking, I don't know if certain enzymes would be killed if freezing a fresh apple… It would be worth a try. However, if you have a quarts worth of scraps, you can start with that much or even a pint if you really wanted too just to try this out as a trial run. Hope this helps!

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  13. Would it work to use apple scraps from the freezer? We were gifted a bunch of apples from a neighbor's tree and I am concerned the scraps will not keep long enough in the fridge.

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    1. Hi there! :) Are you talking about keeping them in the freezer until you have accumulated enough to begin? If this is what you are asking, I don't know if certain enzymes would be killed if freezing a fresh apple… It would be worth a try. However, if you have a quarts worth of scraps, you can start with that much or even a pint if you really wanted too just to try this out as a trial run. Hope this helps!

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  14. I came across this post about a month or so ago, and thought it was something I'd really like to do. I work weekends at a consignment shop, so when a Fido jar came in during the apple part of canning season (which mom declared officially OVER Monday night!) I got super excited and snapped it up. I was actually gonna DO this thing! We had an overkill abundance of apple scraps (we're talking quarts upon quarts of apple pie filling, apples for baking, apple sauce, and apple juice here!!!!!!) so Monday night, I whipped up this recipe and placed it under the stairs (cool and dark area, consequently also the place our home-canned goods are :) Looks so "pioneer-ish" like you said LOL Phenomenal accomplishment!) and I was psyched. I checked on it the last two nights and we have bubbles/fermentation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIPEE!!!!!! I avidly use ACV (rinsed my hair with it for over a year-- I was a hard-core no poo girl until i discovered the curly girl method! now I use all organic hair pro's and make my own gel LOL) much to the chagrin of some of my siblings and I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Excited to see how this lil experiment ends up! THANKS SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your apple cider experience! I think it feels so good to get a usable product from something we would have thrown away ~ it is exciting indeed!! Let me know how it turns out :)

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    2. well; we're down to the 'cheese-cloth covered, storing for six or more weeks while it turns to vinegar' stage. :) DEFinitely smelled 'vinegary' last time i checked on it and looked like pink version of your 4th pic from the bottom-- where "the mother" forms-- only my "mother" is filmy pink like it is in the original post you linked back to at the beginning of the post, so I think everything is workin!!! :) lol

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    3. That sounds perfect! My apples were green which is probably why I didn't get the pink cast though it did eventually turn brownish in the end. Thanks for the update!!! You are on your way to vinegar my dear :)

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    4. I don't know about the "curly girl method"; can you explain what that is? Thanks!

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    5. Sorry I can't help (as I has no clue either ;)… Perhaps you can click on HisPrincessWarrior and connect with her.

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  15. I would like to thank you for the efforts that you have made in writing this post about Apple Cider Vinegar. This is exactly what I need,Thanks a lot.Keep blogging.


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  16. I would like to thank you for the efforts that you have made in writing this article about Apple Cider Vinegar. This is exactly what I need,Thanks a lot.Keep blogging.


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  17. Wow great post. My Cowboy would love it if I made him some! And I love the printables. Come by and link up for Fall! Have a great week.
    Sherry

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  18. This is amazing! Homemade apple cider vinegar...Who knew? Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Coffee and Conversation.
    ~Candy
    P.S. Have I told you that I want to be like you when I grow up? ;) The homemaking tips you share are amazing!

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    1. You are too funny! Thanks for the smile :)

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  19. I love this and can not wait to make my own! I wanted to let you know that I will be featuring this post at my link party, Tuesdays with a Twist this week. Please stop by for a peek, have a great week. :-)

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  20. Thank you for sharing the recipe and insight! I'd pinned this page sometime back (maybe even last year), and just shared a link to it on a Fall Foods recipe round-up. :) Thanks for your time invested!

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    1. Thanks for sharing it on your Fall Foods Round Up! Tis an honor :)

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  21. This is so cool! I never thought about making my own vinegar. We are taking a trip to an apple orchard in a couple weeks and will be coming back with lots of apples, so we will definitely be trying this! Thanks so much for sharing.

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  22. I am definitely making this. This will be great on my hair! :-)
    Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop. I hope we see you again tomorrow. Pinning!!

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  23. Thanks for the post! I tried this recently, but a "mother" never developed. Thanks to your post, I think I know how to do it differently. Since I still have a few bushels of apples to process, I have several chances to try again. I'm visiting the Our Simple Homestead blog hop.

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  24. I've been very nervous about recipes that use the peelings and scraps. I'm afraid they will be bad and make one sick. I've seen soup stocks that use peelings, too. I usually only cut off bruised parts. How can one know if it is safe?

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    1. Hi Laura! For me, as long as I know that the product has been washed well and that there is no trace of mold, it is fair game! :)

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  25. You are amazing. We used to have a bunny for all our scraps. I will now be on the hunt for fido jars!

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