[NAFEX] homemade apple cider vinegar

Donna &/or Kieran holycow at cookeville.com
Wed Dec 5 21:12:10 EST 2007

    Set the jug out on the counter or somewhere reasonably warm.  It's probably better if you can pour some of it out, reduce the level by a quarter or so, just to have more air in the jug.  If you can put it into a gallon glass bottle, that would be ideal.  Rubber band a cloth over the top to keep dust out and let it go.  The warmer the better.  You can drink it or cook with it anytime while it's making, whether it's still going alcoholic or whether the vinegar bacteria have moved in and are converting the alcohol to acetic acid, none of it will hurt you.  I've tasted plenty of wine while it was still fermenting, and batches of attempted cider that decided to go on to vinegar.  Typically yeast will leave some residue drifting about in small bits, but the vinegar will usually show a thin jelly like covering floating on top, the "vinegar mother".  When disturbed, the jelly layer may sink and another one form on top.  When commercial vinegar which has not fully fermented decides to ferment again, there usually isn't enough sugar left to get a good layer going, but you will get some dark stuff drifting around in the bottom of the bottle.  All of this is perfectly safe.  Now, molds are another problem, but typically you don't get molds in these conditions, and if you did, you'd see and smell it.  Donna 
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