About Apple Cider Vinegar
As well as real cider the alcoholic beverage, apple cider vinegar is a product that originates from cider apples but ends up often in the salad bowl rather than the cider mug. For the cider maker, a tiny little bit of ascetic acid (vinegar) can give a bit of bite to a low acid blend, but if it’s discernable by smell then that amount would normally be considered a fault. Once a cider starts to turn to vinegar the process can be a rapid one, so in places where large wooden barrels are still used as, such as in Asturias, then as soon as the level drops to a point where there is a considerable amount of air above the liquid, and acetification is just beginning to start, then this is a sign to start a big bottling run and get the sidra natural out into the bars and supermarkets quick.
Apple Cider Vinegar for taste and health
Apple cider vinegar has become very popular recently, for its culinary flavour as well as widely believed health benefits, so its well worth considering from both the cider makers point of view, and that of the health conscious consumer of food and drink.
How it is made
Vinegar by definition is the result of fermentation by bacteria of alcohol into acetic acid. The bacteria which do this job are called acetobacter and Vinegar brewers will tend to give them a helping hand by controlling the environment in which vinegar is being made. The best quality vinegar is made from cider which is made from 100% fresh apples because the nutrients from the pure juice will allow a faster fermentation resulting in fresher tasting and more aromatic cider vinegar.Once the cider has been fully fermented into vinegar, it is usually matured for a further few months, before being bottled. It may also be filtered if a clear and bright appearance is required.
External uses for cider vinegar
Diluted apple cider vinegar with plenty of water can be applied to the hair while shampooing as a natural remedy to prevent dandruff. ( You just have to not mind going out smelling like a fish and chip shop! )
Apple cider vinegar with Mother
Mother of vinegar, or ‘Mother’ is the term for a visible manifestation of the phenomenon by which acetobacters flourish and turn apple cider into vinegar. Acetobacters themselves are various species of bacteria which conduct the acetification process in cider or wine by turning alcohol into vinegar under anaerobic conditions.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw Apple Cider vinegar is different from catering vinegar and it’s one of Mother Nature’s most perfect foods. This murky brown vinegar should have some sediment visible in the bottom of the bottl. That’s the “mother of vinegar”. It is made from fresh, crushed apples which are then allowed to ferment naturally in wooden barrels. Natural Apple cider vinegar should be a rich, brownish colour and if held to the light you might see a tiny formation of “cobweb-like” substances that we call the “mother.” Usually some “mother” will show in the bottom of the vinegar bottle the more it ages. It never needs to be refrigerated. You can also save some “mother” and mix it in to work in other natural vinegars. There’s a pungent odour when you smell the cider vinegar and sometimes it’s so ripened it puckers your mouth and smarts your eyes. These are natural, good signs. The “mother” is made up of living nutrients, and bacteria. That’s what makes the sediment you see settled in the bottom of the bottle.
Drinking apple cider vinegar
Drinking three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar may be a god way to maintain the body’s PH balance, ward off colds and flu and perhaps even ease arthritis and other ailments. Some people also drink cider vinegar as part of a weight loss regime.
But vinegar is too sour to drink isnt it, I mean you only sprinkle a little bit on chips. How could anyone drink a quantity of it? Well the answer is that cider vinegar is a lot less harsh than malt vinegar for example. And you don’t try to drink it neat like this person:
Instead, add three or four parts of water first and then drink the dilute apple cider vinegar or mix a little apple cider vinegar with some honey like this one:
Another example of how not to drink apple cider vinegar below:
Apple cider vinegar uses and cooking
Apple cider vinegar, sometimes known simply as cider vinegar, is made from cider or apple must, and is often sold unfiltered, with a brownish-yellow colour, often containing the mother of vinegar. It is currently very popular, partly due to its alleged beneficial health and beauty properties. Some countries, like Canada, prohibit the selling of vinegar over a certain percentage acidity.
In terms of cooking, cider vinegar is not usually suitable for use in delicate sauces, but is excellent for use in chutneys and marinades. It is used to make vinegar pie and can also be used to pickle foods, but will darken light fruits and vegetables.
Unwanted Vinegar taste in Cider – causes
Apple cider vinegar is a fantastic product with many uses but one places you don’t want any vinegar at all is in the apple cider drink intended to be appreciated as cider, not as vinegar. But sometimes a delicious farm cider tasted on th epremises, once brought home can quickly exhibit symptoms of tasting more like cider vinegar than apple cider. A vinegar smell or taste usually has nothing to do with acetic acid which has little odour. It is almost certainly due to ethyl acetate, which is odour-active at a few tens of parts per million. This can be generated by ‘apiculate’ wild yeast, lactic acid bacteria or acetic acid bacteria. In this case the former two are the most likely cause. Acetobacter work
slowly and need a high temperature.
Many ‘farmhouse’ ciders made with cider apples and wild yeast fermentations and without sulphite have very noticeable levels of ethyl acetate. The causative organisms might have been kick started by the oxidation involved in transferring the apple cider from a barrel into a smaller container.
The odour threshold of ethyl acetate diminishes as the temperature rises so it will become more noticeable for example if drawn from a bulk container in a cool cellar and transferred to a small container which maybe rises ten degrees during a long journey to bring the cider home. Then it can give the impression of tasting more like apple cider vinegar.
Cider Vinegar for Hair
Apple cider vinegar has lots of benefits and one of the most popular is for application on hair. It’s an inexpensive treatment because as small bottle of Raw Organic Apple cider Vinegar will cost about £2.80 and you only need about a cap full or one tablespoonful to make your own rinse. Cider vinegar contains alpha-hydroxy acids, is an antiseptic and balances pH, it also closes the hair cuticle preventing product build-up. You should use a cap full or one tablespoon mixed into two cups of lukewarm water as an after shampoo clarifying rinse. Its also good as an in-between wash rinse to get rid of itchiness.
Apple Cider Vinegar helps get rid of dry scalp, but you need to increase the amount to half a cup to get to treat a dry, flaky scalp. Let the mixture sit on your scalp for about 20 to 30 minutes then do a final rinse with cool water. Do this weekly until your scalp is healed. Reduce to monthly treatments for flare-ups or to prevent the condition from reoccurring. You might also add a capful of ACV to your favourite shampoo or conditioner to enhance its properties. Vinegar rinses are also great for braided hairstyles.
When using in smaller quantities, the diluted single capful or tablespoonful, there’s no need to rinse. As it dries the vinegar smell goes away.