1. Pop your apple peels and cores into a large clean, sterilised jar.
2. Mix the sugar with the water till the sugar has dissolved. Pour over the apple cores till the apples are completley submerged, leaving at least a 2cm gap at the top of the jar. If you need to add more water to cover the apple peels, add an additonal 1 tsp sugar per 85ml water. You can stir in 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar at this stage if you like, to speed the process along.
3. Make sure the peels are completely submerged. You can pop a small bowl or piece of muslin on top of the peels and cores to ensure this. Cover the top with a square of muslin or clean tea towel and secure with an elastic band. Store in a not-too-cold, dark place.
4. Give the mixture a stir a couple of times a day. You will need to do this for about 4 weeks. After this time the mixture will have fermented and smell slightly vinegary. This may have occurred 2-3 weeks if you have added raw apple cider vinegar.
5. After about 4 weeks, strain the mix into a clean sterlised jar and put back in a cool, dark place for a further 2 weeks. You do not need to stir, but you may need to open the lid a couple of times a week to ‘burp’ it (release any gases that may cause it to explode).
6. A jelly-like scoby, or mother, may form on the top of your vinegar. This is great and can be used to kick start another batch of vinegar or to make kombucha. You can keep the scoby in your vinegar till you’re ready to make your next batch. After a total of 4-6 weeks, your vinegar should be ready to use. You'll know it's ready when it smells and tastes vineagry rather than sweet and cidery.
7. Pick The Right Peels
Bruised or brown peels are fine to use, but don't use rotten or mouldy ones. To build up enough peels, you can store them in the freezer till you have enough to make your own vinegar.
8. Fresh From The Tap
If you don’t have a water filter, pour tap water into a large bowl or jug. Leave overnight and any chlorine in it will naturally disperse.
9. Store It
Your homemade vinegar will store in a cool dark place for up to 3 months.