The cider vinegar I made using our crabapples was due to be ready somewhere between Oct. 31 and Nov. 7, or to taste.
I checked the flavour somewhere in between then, before moving it to the fridge. Here is what it looks like.
The finished vinegar has a lovely reddish pink colour to it. I happened to have some generic store-bought apple cider vinegar in the cupboard, so I was able to do a comparison.
The scent of the crabapple vinegar is very mild. So mild, in fact, that I wasn’t sure it would have much taste a all. Faint as it was, though, it was definitely slightly sweeter in scent than the store bought vinegar.
I tasted the store bought vinegar first. It had the expected strong bite of vinegar, softened somewhat by the apple flavour.
In comparison, the crabapple vinegar really did taste like crabapple. If you are familiar with the flavours of crabapples compared to apple, you would be able to taste the difference. It was also definitely “vinegar” and not, say, “spoiled fruit juice.” LOL The mild scent belied a tartness that was every bit is strong as the commercial vinegar, but it also had a slightly sweeter flavour as well. I used apples from just one tree, and that one has much sweeter apples than the other varieties of crabapple we have. No doubt, if I had used apples from another tree, or mixed them up, I would have had noticeable differences in both colour and flavour.
This was definitely a success. I look forward to making it again, and will likely make a larger batch. If possible, I will even try to stick to using apples from the one tree, as the fruit is also much redder than the others, and I’m really liking the resulting colour of the vinegar.
Weather willing, of course. This past summer was not a good one for our apples! So we will just have to wait and see how many we get next year.