Whenever I make jam and jelly, I put the peels and apple cores in the freezer in quart-size bags. I can either use these to make juice for jelly-making in the winter when it's cooler, or I can use them to make vinegar. So far I've made apple, pear, and plum vinegar, but I think that any fruit will work. I've read of people making date vinegar and pineapple vinegar. You can, of course, make vinegar from fresh fruit, which is what I am going to do this year: plums again. I'll cut them in half and remove the pits.
Making vinegar is really quite simple, although it took several tries before I got it right. I'm using photos from my last batch of pear vinegar in this post.
To make last summer's batch, I took a bag of pear scraps out of the freezer and let it thaw, then put the peels and cores in a clean 1/2-gallon jar, filled it with filtered water and 1/2 cup of sugar, then stirred to dissolve the sugar. I added "mother of vinegar" and what was left of my last batch of vinegar, and covered the jar loosely.
After a few weeks it will begin to smell vinegary.
When the bubbling stops it's time to remove the fruit. I poured the jar's contents through a strainer into another clean jar, put a clean hankie over it, and let the flavor develop for another week or two. The mushy fruit that I'd strained out went onto the compost pile.
After a couple of weeks I poured the finished vinegar into a pretty bottle, straining it through a cloth to get a clear liquid.
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a
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