You know you’re starting to get “weird” about food when finding some Unpasteurized, Raw Apple Cider Vinegar “with the Mother” in the grocery store is the highlight of your entire shopping trip. 😉 And the reason why this is particularly thrilling is because you want to start making your own ACV and in order to do so you need something called a SCOBY or “the Mother.” Yep! 🙂
Let me “esplain.” The other night I spent an hour or so looking up various methods of making your own Apple Vinegar. I had no idea…. it’s amazing! Those of you who follow me on Pinterest probably noticed the surge of vinegary pins. 😉 Some things I learned. 1) SCOBY or symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast are vital to making vinegar OR kombucha which I also want to make! The thing about both of those liquids is that they are fermented. And that’s where the good ol’ SCOBY comes in. It looks something like a jellyfish and it’s a living breathing thing that is full of good bacteria that you want in your guts!! Oh yes! In fact I read so much about SCOBY’s that I dreamed about them all night! 😉 You can purchase SCOBY’s online, of course, but I wanted to grow one myself. So finally I settled on the best course of action would be to find some of this raw vinegar with the mother (which is bits of the SCOBY) that I could use as a “starter” for my own batch. Once you have a SCOBY you can use it again and again unless it gets damaged and dies. 🙁
Another thing I learned is that you actually have to make alcohol to make vinegar! Who knew?! I had no idea that vinegar came from “hard cider.” And that if you want to rush things you can actually buy hard cider and add a SCOBY to it. But I want to start more scratchy than that. So the process goes something like this… and I’m only repeating what I’ve read. I have not made a success of this yet, but you can bet I’ll blog all about it when I do. 😉 So you get a glass container that you can put apple scraps, peels and cores, in and cover them with really filtered, or distilled water and a couple spoonfuls of the starter stuff. You don’t want to use just tap because if you get any “other” bacteria in there it’ll damage SCOBY and possibly just make it all go bad. Blah! Then you cover it with a cloth so it can “breathe” and in about a week you strain out the apple bits and supposedly it’s fermented into alcohol now. Then you cover it again and leave it in a warmish place for 4-6 weeks during which time the SCOBY forms and starts converting the sugars/alcohol to vinegar. Amazing!! After that time you should be able to distinguish a distinctly “vinegary” smell/taste and once it’s reached that point you remove the SCOBY and keep it for another batch and voila! Vinegar! 🙂 Ha!
I hope it’s as easy as that anyway. Pretty much every post I read had it down that way, and if so it seems like a pretty simple process. I plan to start making it so that I can offer it to the animals and chickens. I’m also planning on starting us all on an ACV regimen this week. I hope we can stomach it! People say, in plenty of places, that the raw vinegar has some amazing effects on the body including keeping gut flora in good balance, which in turn keeps the immune system working well!! Also it’s said to help with allergies as well, and a friend of mine actually used it for that and was able to reverse a shellfish allergy! Wow!!
I plan to use one of the vinegar SCOBY’s to eventually make Kombucha (you can read about it HERE if you’ve never heard of it) which is a fermented, good bacteria drink made from sweet tea and kinda vinegary but apparently you can add it to fruit juice and such if you need it to be sweeter. I’ve never had it, but want to try it. Not enough that I’m willing to buy a SCOBY for it, but if I have some on hand, because each batch of vinegar will grow a new SCOBY, then I’ll be able to give it a try without a $ investment on something I may or may not like. 🙂
Anyway, just another step in the process to more healthy eating and sustainability. 🙂