apple cider vinegar + hard cider

apple cider vinegar making

This is a very exciting harvest time for us, we just picked a truckload (literally) of apples from a number of different friends properties over the past week, and yesterday I loaded them all up and set off for the “Apple Jack” in Brilliant. William has been pressing apples with his home made hydraulic apple press sine the 60’s. He tossed and chopped and hauled and mashed and pressed and screened 25 Gallons of fresh raw unpasteurized valley apple juice for me and my friends. What an event! I didn’t bring my camera and sooo wished I had! The juice is divine, but I had other plans for this nectar…

I came home with just over 12 Gallons of juice and set to work today making 2 jugs of apple cider vinegar. I tried two different techniques and had two lovely brown glass jugs to house my experiments in. The first batch I made using a Mother from a commercial bottle of organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. I simply screened the mother and her beard out of the jar I had, and added it to some of the juice, then poured it all pack into the juice  jug. I then wrapped some cheesecloth around the opening and labeled and dated the batch. Batch number two I did pretty much the same thing except I used a small kombucha scoby in stead of a ACV mother… I found a very few threads online recommending that process and thought what the heck, if you can make a kombucha scoby with apple cider vinegar, it does lend some credibility to the idea you can make apple cider vinegar with a scoby! I am flush in both of these things so why not test it out?

ACV mother

As for the hard cider, we did 5 different 1 gallon bottle experiments and a 5 gallon carboy batch too! I read endlessly the dozen different ways to brew your own cider, and opted on a laid back, unpasteurized technique and played with various flavors and additions. I am pretty excited to taste them all, and will report back on how everything panned out. The one gallon I am most excited about is the wild brew, we just added a airlock and let the apple juice do it’s own thing. This is my kind of alcohol brewing!

hard cider experiments

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