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How to make Apple cider Vinegar &All you need to know about it.

Apple cider vinegar
Apple vinegar, Apple cider vinegar & Mother

In the world of natural remedies and culinary delights, few ingredients have captured the imagination like apple cider vinegar (ACV). This unassuming liquid, a product of fermented apple juice, has been a cherished companion in our kitchens and medicine cabinets for centuries. Let's look at it in a bit more of a detail and see why it is such an important staple of any pantry and why as a prepper i choose to make my own.

Apple cider vinegar's traces its roots back to ancient civilisations, where vinegar was employed for everything from pickling to wound disinfection. But it's apple cider vinegar, with its sweet-tart flavor and potential health benefits, that has earned its special place in history. There are 2 types of vinegar Apple cider Vinegar and Apple vinegar, so lets have a look at the differences

Apple Cider Vinegar vs Apple vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) and apple vinegar are often used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences between the two:

1. Raw Material

- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): ACV is made from fermented apple cider, which is the juice of crushed apples. It retains the apple flavour and often contains the "mother," a collection of beneficial bacteria and enzymes (more on in later on)

- Apple Vinegar: Apple vinegar can refer to a more general term for vinegar made from apples. It may be made from apple pieces, apple cores and other apple derivatives. This term is less specific and can encompass various apple-based vinegar products.

2. Production Process:

- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): The production of ACV involves a two-step fermentation process. First, the crushed apples are fermented with yeast to turn the sugars into alcohol By thus creating a cider drink. Then, acetic acid bacteria transform the alcohol into acetic acid, which gives vinegar its sour taste.

- Apple Vinegar: This term can be used for vinegar made from apple juice or apple pieces with or without adding sugar. The process, in fact, pretty much the same though “apple water” will not become apple cider but still undergo a fermentation process. That’s why they call it Apple Vinegar rather than cider as in the initial process it never becomes a cider, hope that makes sense. As for the production time, unfortunately is not as quick as we would like and it can take anything from 3/6 month to mature. Though the original fermentation may finish within 4/6 weeks, the second bacteria takes its time to consume alcohol and there after, ACV does get better with age, not much but it does.

3. Acetic Acid Content:

- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): ACV typically has a higher acetic acid content, which is often between 4% and 8%. This higher acidity is due to the specific fermentation process and amounts of sugar in apples. It is important to point out that the higher the sugar content, the higher ABV of the apple cider, in tern will mean a higher acid content in your vinegar.

- Apple Vinegar: The acetic acid content in apple vinegar may vary, and it will always be milder or less acidic compared to ACV.

4. "Mother" Presence

- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): Many high-quality ACV products, or indeed, home made ACV retain the "mother." The "mother" is a cloudy, unfiltered mass of proteins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria that contribute to the vinegar's health benefits and flavor. It will start to appear on the top of your vinegar as it matures and will look like a transparent type jelly.

- Apple Vinegar: Not all apple vinegar products will produce the "mother," and its presence will depend on the processing and filtration methods used during production.

After making my own ACV and apple vinegar i have never managed to get Mother on just apple vinegar yet, very successful in getting it in ACV. After you have successfully made ACV which has a mother, you can remove the mother and store it in a separate container in vinegar. You can then easily kickstart any of your vinegar production by adding a piece of “ Mother”

5. Flavour and Aroma:

- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): ACV often retains a distinct apple flavor and aroma, making it a desirable ingredient in recipes and salad dressings.

- Apple Vinegar: The flavor and aroma of apple vinegar can vary, and it may not always have a pronounced apple taste. It can be used in various culinary applications, but the flavor may be less apple-centric.

In summary, while apple cider vinegar is a specific type of vinegar made from fermented apple cider, apple vinegar is a broader term that encompasses various vinegars made from apples. The key differences lie in the production process, acetic acid content, presence of the "mother," and flavour characteristics, with ACV often being more distinct in its apple flavour and aroma.

Health benefits

Apple cider vinegar is known for its array of potential health benefits. Here are a few of the most well-recognized:

1. **Weight Management:** ACV has been suggested to aid in weight loss by promoting a sense of fullness, reducing calorie intake, and potentially boosting metabolism.

2. **Blood Sugar Control:** Research indicates it might help improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels.

3. **Gut Health:** ACV can enhance digestion by increasing stomach acid production, potentially soothing digestive discomfort.

4. **Heart Health:** It may help lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease.

5. **Antioxidant Boost:** Loaded with antioxidants, ACV can help combat harmful free radicals and potentially reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

6. **Skin and Hair Care:** Used topically, it's a natural toner for your skin, a hair conditioner, and even a remedy for dandruff.

It is handy to know, that ACV is also good for many animals for the same reasons. I make my vinegar, both Apple cider and apple vinegar with that thought in mind. My apple vinegar is used as additive to my chickens water to keep them healthy, where as my ACV used for my pickles and salad dressings.

Beyond its health potential, as mentioned above ACV is a darling of the culinary world. It adds depth to salad dressings, tang to marinades, and pizzazz to countless recipes. It's also the secret behind the delightful tanginess of pickles, thanks to its natural preservative properties.

When it comes to consuming ACV for its potential health benefits, moderation is the name of the game. Start with a small amount (1-2 tablespoons per day), diluted in water or mixed into your meals. Undiluted, it can be a bit harsh on your teeth throat and stomach, well it is acid after all. And ALWAYS consult a healthcare professional before making significant dietary changes, especially if you have underlying health concerns or taking medications.

Why is it important to me as a prepper

In the world of prepping and survivalism, self-reliance is the name of the game. While many of us focus on stockpiling food, water, and shelter, a lesser-known yet highly valuable asset in a prepper's arsenal is apple cider vinegar (ACV). This versatile liquid offers numerous advantages to the preparedness-minded individual. Let's explore why ACV is a prepper's secret weapon In a bit more of a detail.

1. Food Preservation:

One of the primary concerns for preppers is food preservation. ACV, with its high acidity and antimicrobial properties, can be used to pickle and preserve vegetables and fruits. The natural preservative qualities of ACV extend the shelf life of perishable items, ensuring a more extended and more sustainable food supply. I have done some videos on my YouTube channel using ACV as a preservative to my lovely pickles and they are absolutely Yummy!

2. Natural Cleaning Agent:

In a SHTF scenario, traditional cleaning supplies may become scarce. ACV, with its acetic acid content, serves as an effective and natural disinfectant and cleaner. It can be used to sanitize surfaces, clean utensils, and even deodorize spaces when other cleaning agents are unavailable.

3. Medicinal :

ACV has a long history of being used for its potential health mentioned above. In a survival situation, it can be employed as a natural remedy. It may aid in digestion, alleviate heartburn, and even serve as an antiseptic for minor wounds. Additionally, ACV is rich in nutrients, which can help address nutrient deficiencies when food options are limited.

4. Water Purification:

Access to clean water is a paramount concern for preppers. While ACV doesn't replace proper water purification methods( and i strongly advise on having multiple options), its acidity can help neutralise some contaminants. It can serve as an additional layer of protection when boiling or filtration is not an option.

5. Insect Repellent:

When modern insect repellents are scarce, ACV can step in. A diluted mixture of ACV and water can be applied to the skin to deter insects like mosquitoes. Its use as an insect repellent can help reduce the risk of bug-borne diseases, at the time where it can be the matter of great importance.

6. Fire Starter:

In an emergency, fire can mean the difference between surviving or not. ACV is flammable, and a small amount can be used to help start a fire when other fire-starting materials are in short supply. Yet again, as a prepper, consider covering many options for fire starting but just bare this piece of info, just incase.

7. Nutrient Preservation:

When fresh produce is not readily available, pickled vegetables with ACV would preserve essential nutrients. It ensures a supply of vitamin-rich foods, even during long-term emergencies.

8. Flavor Enhancement:

In a survival situation, food variety can become limited and mundane. ACV can be used to add flavor to otherwise bland or repetitive meals, making them more enjoyable and providing a psychological boost. You wont believe , how such a small flavour profile can uplift the spirit and morale .

It's important to store ACV in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and temperature extremes to maintain its quality. Preppers should stock or produce both the raw, unfiltered version with the "mother" and the more refined, clear version to ensure versatility. The ACV will last indefinitely with proper storage , so don't worry about putting it to the back of your pile.

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