Crab Apple Cider Vinegar: bottling day

For those of you who have been following this blog for a while, you may be wondering what happened with our cider vinegar.

Yeah. The stuff we were supposed to taste test 2 months ago, to see if it was done!

It’s been sitting in the old kitchen all this time.

Given how cold it gets in there, I wasn’t too worried about it.

For those who are new to this blog (welcome! Happy to see you!), you can check these posts out. All the links will open in a new tab, so you won’t lose your place here. 🙂

Prepping a cap for an airlock – using the tools at hand
Making Crab apple cider vinegar: airlock or cheesecloth?
I am such a goof: crab apple cider vinegar reboot!
Crab apple cider vinegar, fermentation progress
Crab apple cider vinegar: straining day

One of the issues I had was, what to store the vinegar in? The last time I made it, I could just use a quart jar. What did I have that was big enough, easy to pour from, and that I could close? I discovered that one of our 1 gallon (4L) glass jug that we have for making mead has a top that fits the same caps from the 3L jugs currently holding hard apple cider vinegar (which is also ready for bottling), so I was able to use that.

Once I had the bread dough rising, I brought the ACV in out of the cold!

Both of them had visible mothers, floating on top. There was very little visual difference between the airlock and the cheesecloth jars. The airlock one had some condensation near the top of the jar, and that was about it.

I drew some out of each jar, using a turkey baster, to taste test.

Both of them had a mild, vinegar smell to them. Both of them were also had a VERY strong vinegar taste!

The girls taste tested them, too, and we all agreed that there was a slight difference in taste between them. The cheesecloth one (the girls did not know which glass was from which jar when they tasted them) has a slightly milder, more pleasant taste.

Meanwhile, I did a bit of research on what to do with the mother. We won’t be making this again until next fall. Can the mothers be kept for that long?

It turns out they can.

I was able to remove the mother from the cheesecloth jar before pouring, but didn’t have as much lock with the airlock jar. 😀 So I put a small strainer over my funnel when I poured the vinegar into the cleaned and scalded jug. There wasn’t enough room for both jars in the jug, though. Yes, I mixed them together. I’d have kept them separate, if I’d had another small jug, but I did not.

Which was okay. I read that the mother has to be immersed in vinegar, and kept air tight, for storage. So the remaining vinegar was left in the jar, along with both mothers.

The gallon jug of ACV will go into the fridge for later use.

The jar with the mothers was sealed, and is now back in the old kitchen for storage.

I am quite happy with how this turned out. Having left it for so long, it’s a lot stronger than if we’d bottled it back in October, like we originally intended, but that’s okay. Using our own crab apples, from the one tree with the best, sweetest apples, not only resulted in a gorgeous colour, but it’s own unique flavour.

We will definitely be doing this again! Next time, though, we will just use cheesecloth and skip the airlock.

Now we just have to do a hydrometer test on the hard apple cider and see how it is. It would be awesome to have some of our own hard crab apple cider to enjoy with Christmas dinner! 🙂 Hopefully, I can get that done in the next day or two.

The Re-Farmer

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