Do you have an apple tree that gives you more apples than you could possibly eat? Turn the oversupply into your very own vinegar. Sound daft? Maybe, but it is fun and will save on some plastic and you will have the satisfaction of knowing you have made some part of your cleaning products from scratch.
Or if you don't have a tree but are going to make an apple pie or sauce, you can also use the core and peel to make vinegar too. Just ensure you use organic apples to reduce the contamination of chemicals that could have been sprayed on the fruit.
It will take about 5 minuets to prepare and about 3 to 4 months to turn into vinegar.
- Organic apples, enough to fit in the jar you have selected
- Wide mouth jar
- Brown sugar
- Time and love
This is one of the simplest ideas I have written about. The only thing is that unlike bicarb soda and lemon and the immediate fizz you get, this will take some time. All you need to do it clean the jar in a hot cycle wash in the dishwasher, or boil the jar for 5 minutes in water, and then carefully remove from the water and allow to cool on a clean surface.
Set the jar to one side and prepare the apples.
Cut up the apples into chunks or just use the peel and core and eat the rest of the apple. Place what you are going to turn to vinegar into the sterilised jar. Add 1 tsp of sugar for every apple, then cover with filtered water. It is important that the apples are all totally submerged in the jar. If you need to weigh them down, ensure whatever you use has also been sterilised, a small glass can work well.
Place a thin cloth over the mouth of the jar and attach into place with the elastic band. Now place the jar in a warm dark place. The larder is a great location, or just let rest at the back of a cupboard. Set a reminder in your diary for 3 weeks time.
Take off the cloth lid and pour the liquid thru a fine sieve (make sure the sieve is clean). Throw away the solids and pour the liquid back into the jar and seal again with the cloth. Set a reminder in your diary to stir the liquid once a week with a thoroughly clean plastic or wooden spoon. This should be done for 4 to 6 weeks depending on the mixture.
- You will see bubbles forming as the fermentation process starts.
- The white scum that forms on top of your liquid is just fine but any other colour (for example black or green) is not good and needs to be thrown away in the compost.
- You will know you have vinegar when you can see the mother  forming. The mother looks like a cloudy foam.
1. Mother and apple cider vinegar, Wikipedia