Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar can easily be called an elixir for health. It can be used to naturally treat, control and manage a wide variety of diseases and conditions.
From treating long-term medical conditions like diabetes, hypothyroidism and uterine fibroids to digestive issues like acid reflux, indigestion and even stomach ulcers, apple cider vinegar acts as a panacea for all ills. Furthermore, it helps cure yeast infections and skin conditions like hyperpigmentation, rosacea and melasma, to name a few.
Apart from using it to treat ailments, you can also drink 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water on a daily basis to aid weight loss and boost your overall health.
Additionally, you can use apple cider vinegar to get gorgeous hair and skin, especially to get rid of acne.
While apple cider vinegar is readily available in the market, it is always better to make your own raw apple cider vinegar because of two main reasons. First and foremost, you cannot be sure of the purity of the commercial products, and secondly, organic, raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is very expensive and will cost you in the long run.
When you make it at home, you are assured of the purity of the product and do not have to shell out cash to enjoy a long and healthy life.
Below are two tried-and-true ways to make homemade raw apple cider vinegar. You can try them both and see which one works best for you. The second method does not use any sugar and is a healthier option, especially for diabetics.
- Preparing Your Containers
- Method 1: Using Apples & Sugar (or Raw Honey)
- Step 1. Clean and chop 6 large apples
- Step 2. Place the apples in a large Mason jar and add sugar solution
- Step 3. Place a water-filled ziplock bag on top of the apples
- Step 4. Cover the jar top with cheesecloth & let the ingredients ferment
- Step 5. Track the fermentation process at regular intervals
- Step 6. Strain out the fermented liquid after 70 days
- Step 7. Let it sit another 60 days, then strain & transfer to a bottle
- Method 2: Using Apples & Ready-Made Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
- Step 1. Peel and chop 6 apples, then put it all in a Mason jar
- Step 2. Add water and apple cider vinegar; prepare for fermentation
- Step 3. Cover the jar with a cheesecloth lid and store for fermentation
- Step 4. Track the fermentation process at regular intervals
- Step 5. Strain out the vinegar after fermenting for 2 months
- Step 6. Let the liquid ferment another 45 days, then strain it again
- Step 7. Transfer and store apple cider vinegar in an airtight bottle
Preparing Your Containers
Before you start making your homemade raw apple cider vinegar, it’s extremely important to ensure that all the containers used in the process – whether for fermentation or straining – are sanitized and free from any bacteria. If the jar contains any bacteria other than what is in the vinegar, it will likely develop mold and will not be fit for consumption.
To sanitize your containers, bring water to a boil in a pan and then turn off the heat. Immerse the containers in the water for at least 5 minutes. For proper sanitization,the bottles must be completely immersed and not floating on top.
Method 1: Using Apples & Sugar (or Raw Honey)
Here, we show you how to make homemade raw apple cider vinegar using apples along with sugar and water. Once you have done all the prep work, it is merely a matter of doing the right thing at the right time and letting the natural process of fermentation proceed unhindered.
In this method, we used sugar to kick-start the fermentation, as it acts as a catalyst to start the process of transforming the raw ingredients into vinegar.
However, if you feel that sugar is not a very good option for you, you can substitute it with raw honey, preferably organic. Just keep in mind that if you use honey, the fermentation process will take longer and the resulting apple cider vinegar will not be as strong.
Things you’ll need:
- Apples – 6 large
- Sugar – ¼ cup
- Ziplock bag – 1
- Filtered water, as required
- A long length of cheesecloth
Step 1. Clean and chop 6 large apples
- Dip and clean the 6 apples individually in a bowl of water to make sure that the skin is completely clean.
- Chop the apples into roughly medium-sized pieces, leaving the skin on.
Step 2. Place the apples in a large Mason jar and add sugar solution
- Place the chopped apples in a large Mason jar.
- Make the sugar solution by mixing ¼ cup of white, granulated sugar into 2 cups of water. Stir it until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Pour the sugar solution into the jar.
- Ensure that the apple pieces are completely covered by the sugar solution.
Step 3. Place a water-filled ziplock bag on top of the apples
- Fresh fruit will float upward in water. When making apple cider vinegar, you have to ensure that the apple pieces stay below the water level to prevent them from going bad.
- Simply fill a ziplock bag with just enough water to weigh down the apples and seal it shut.
- Next, fold and insert it carefully inside the jar. Be gentle so that the bag doesn’t spill or burst.
Step 4. Cover the jar top with cheesecloth & let the ingredients ferment
- Place a folded piece of cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar. Use a rubber band or piece of twine to secure it in place. The cheesecloth will allow all the elements to breathe and ferment without developing mold.
- Store the jar in a cool, dry and dark place for fermentation.
- Check it after 2 to 3 days. You will notice that bubbles have started to form inside, which means the fermentation process has begun.
Step 5. Track the fermentation process at regular intervals
- Leave the jar in storage and let the natural fermentation proceed unhindered for at least 17 days. Then, just check up on it to ensure that things are progressing as desired.
- Mark your calendar and check it again after 14 days and after 28 days to keep track of the fermentation process. As long as the apple pieces are floating upward in the solution, the fermentation process is not complete.
Step 6. Strain out the fermented liquid after 70 days
- Eleven days after the last check and roughly 70 days since the fermentation process began, remove the jar from the storage place.
- You will notice that the apple pieces have sunk to the bottom, which indicates that the fermentation process is complete.
- Remove the cheesecloth. You will notice some fizzing or bubbles, which means it’s time to strain out the vinegar.
- Use a pair of cooking tongs to remove the ziplock bag from the top of the jar.
- Secure the cheesecloth over another Mason jar using the same rubber band. Mold it around the jar’s mouth and neck to create a strainer.
- Slowly pour out the fermented liquid into the makeshift cheesecloth strainer. The cheesecloth will let the vinegar seep through, while the solid compost material remains behind.
- You now need to let the vinegar ferment on its own for a while. Just cover it with a clean piece of folded cheesecloth and secure it in place using a rubber band.
- Store the jar in a cool, dark and dry place.
Step 7. Let it sit another 60 days, then strain & transfer to a bottle
- Leave the jar in storage for another 60 days. Right now it has the composition of alcohol, you need to let it ferment further for it to convert into vinegar.
- After 60 days have passed, remove the cheesecloth cover and taste the vinegar to see whether it has the desired tartness and consistency.
- If you feel that the vinegar is not yet ready, you can let it ferment for a few more days.
- Once your apple cider vinegar is ready, strain it into a glass pitcher in the same manner as described in the step above.
- Transfer the vinegar to a corked glass bottle and put in the cork.
Now, what are you waiting for? Mix 1 tablespoon of your homemade raw apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and drink it daily in the morning to enjoy good health and improve your metabolism and digestion.
If you are drinking apple cider vinegar for the first time, you can start by mixing 1 teaspoon in a glass of water daily for 1 week, slowly increase it to 2 teaspoons and finally work your way up to 1 tablespoon.
Method 2: Using Apples & Ready-Made Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
In this method, we show you how to make homemade raw apple cider vinegar using apple peels, chopped apples and ready-made raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. This recipe does not contain sugar and is a healthier option, especially for diabetics.
Another reason to use organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is that it speeds up the fermentation process in comparison to sugar. Some people even use the raw, unfiltered “mother” to further hasten fermentation.
Things you’ll need:
- Apples – 6 large
- Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar – ¼ cup
- Zip-lock bag – 1
- A peeler
- A long length of cheesecloth
- Filtered water, as required
Step 1. Peel and chop 6 apples, then put it all in a Mason jar
- Clean and carefully peel 6 large apples.
- Chop up the peeled fruit as well.
- Carefully place the apple peels inside a large Mason jar.
- Add the chopped fruit as well.
Step 2. Add water and apple cider vinegar; prepare for fermentation
- Pour water into the jar, leaving just 1 inch of apples at the top uncovered.
- Add ¼ cup of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to boost the fermentation process.
- Fill up a zip-lock bag with just enough water to keep the apples down in the liquid and seal it.
- Fold and carefully insert it inside the jar on top of the apples to keep them below the water level.
Step 3. Cover the jar with a cheesecloth lid and store for fermentation
- Place a folded cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar and use a rubber band to secure it in place.
- Place the jar in a cold, dark and dry place and let the fermentation process take its course.
- Check the jar after 2 to 3 days. You will see tiny bubbles throughout the jar, which indicates that the fermentation process has begun.
Step 4. Track the fermentation process at regular intervals
- Check on it at regular intervals to keep track of the fermentation process and to check for any growth of mold.
- Check it after 17 days and again after another 14 days to ensure that the fermentation is proceeding smoothly.
Step 5. Strain out the vinegar after fermenting for 2 months
- Approximately 28 days after the last check and 2 months from the date the fermentation process began, remove the jar from its storage place.
- Next, remove the cheesecloth lid.
- Using a pair of kitchen tongs, remove the water-filled ziplock bag from the jar.
- Strain the fermented vinegar into another Mason jar using a folded piece of cheesecloth to separate the liquid from the solid compost.
- Cover the jar with the strained liquid using a clean piece of cheesecloth and a rubber band. Store it in a cool, dry and dark place to continue fermenting.
Step 6. Let the liquid ferment another 45 days, then strain it again
- Let the vinegar ferment for another 45 days.
- Remove the cheesecloth lid and check to see whether the vinegar has the desired acidity and consistency. If not, you can leave it to ferment for a little bit longer.
- Once your vinegar is ready, strain it into a pitcher using another clean piece of cheesecloth.
Step 7. Transfer and store apple cider vinegar in an airtight bottle
- Transfer your homemade raw apple cider vinegar into an airtight bottle and put on the lid.
Consume 1 tablespoon daily to enjoy good health and keep digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome along with gas and bloating at bay.
- If you notice white foam on the surface, do not worry. It is the ‘mother’ containing live bacteria formed as a result of the fermentation process. It gives apple cider vinegar most of its beneficial properties. However, if the foam is of any other color like blue, black or green, it means that the vinegar is not fit for consumption and should be discarded.
- For best results, make sure that you wash the apples thoroughly to remove all dirt and impurities along with any pesticide residue. In fact, it would be best if you could get pesticide-free apples from an organic store.
- Another factor to keep in mind while making homemade raw apple cider vinegar is to ensure that all the apples you use are of the same variety.