I am making apple cider vinegar for the first time. I sterilised everything before using, weighed down the apple skins and cores so they were under water and have kept it in the dark. I did this on Monday 6/8. Today I have found some mould growing on the top of the water where little bits of apples had floated to the surface. I have removed the mould and mouldly pieces of apple and made sure everything is back under the water. The solution still smells sweet. Do I have to throw it all out and start again or wait a few more days to see what happens? I don’t want to poison myself by using the finished ACV if the mould has contaminated the solution. Thank in advance.
normally you would ferment the mashed apples with a wine or beer yeast, then when it has finished working, let the air in and it will turn to vinegar.Before you can make your raw apple cider vinegar, you must first make alcoholic apple cider. The alcohol in the cider is what transforms via fermentation into acetic acid, which is the beneficial organic compound that gives apple cider vinegar its sour taste.
No. Tomorrow, or now if they are still open, go to the local homebrew supply store and ask them for a yeast for ACV, and another bug for the vinegar part when the cider has been brewed. The problem with natural yeasts is that there are lots of them floating around, and if one gets into your brew it might be a good one or a not so good one or even a bad one. If you buy the yeast that you want and use it, you take this variable out of your concoction.
When you make a wine or highish alcohol cider, the alcohol acts as a preservative. So to make a somewhat better vinegar you then need to get a correct bug into the brew to convert the alcohol to acetic acid. This does not just happen ....
as it's the acetic acid that is the goodie in ACV, you need about 5% or more to be of any use. I doubt you will get this with shop apples and water? If you are using shop apples, then think of the sprays used on them, this may negate the goodies in the ACV.
Best plan is to freeze apples in season from unsprayed fruit. The freezing will help them mash down so you don't need to add water. I use a garden shredder to mash my apples and squeeze the juice out with a small press. I ferment the mix out with any wine yeast and keep in a warm place. Once it has stopped bubbling, add your ACV culture or just let the air get to it and you will have made vinegar. Plenty of amateur winemakers accidentally make vinegar by letting air get into their wine. ( I do it too often!)
I save the last inch in the bottle shop bought cider vinegar and introduce it to the apple juice after it has finished fermenting. That way you are introducing the right culture. You can tell if your vinegar has "mother" in it because it hangs in the vinegar in strands or clumps.