Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix sweet apples, tart apples and even crab apples (peelings, core, and all) -- this gives apple cider vinegar a full bodied flavor. Use more sweet apples than the other two for a stronger vinegar.

Cut up enough apples to fill your stone crock nearly full. When they turn golden brown crush them in a cider press. Put the cider in a crock jug.

Cap off the cider jug with a balloon. As the sugar changes to alcohol a gas is released that fills the balloon and eventually the mixture turns to hard cider. This process varies from 2 to 6 weeks depending on how many sweet apples you use.

Pour in enough warm water to cover all the apple pieces. Vinegar is best if you can keep the temperature at 80 degrees. If the temperature get much higher the bacteria needed for fermenting dies and if the temperature gets much cooler than 80 degrees, the spores go dormant.

The best apple cider has at least a ten percent sugar content. You don't add sugar. The sugar is in the apples.

After your hard cider is ready, pour it into a wide mouth crock and put the cheesecloth over the top to keep stuff out and let air in. Tie cheesecloth over the top and set in a warm place for six months. Strain off the vinegar. Speed up this process by a few months by placing a clump of raw bread dough in the crock when you start.