The Apple Cider Vinegar Experiment {Part 1 – The Set Up}

There have been a lot of questions (in relation to this post on apple cider vinegar & making a mother) about whether store brought apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be used as a medium for the mother of vinegar. To answer this question I have introduced the mother to a jar of store brought ACV to see if 1. a mother will form and, if so, 2. if the mother will continue to grow on only store brought ACV. To compare growth and timelines I have also started a jar with the same amount of mother to apple juice, as well as a jar of only store brought ACV to see if a mother will spontaneously develop.

For the mother I am using Bragg’s ACV with the mother. Each jar (except for the pint of straight ACV) contains either 3 cups of store brought ACV or 3 cups of apple juice plus a generous 1/4 cup of Bragg’s ACV with the mother. My jar of Bragg’s was rather old so the vinegar had more visible mother sediment than a new jar does.

The jars, labeled and color coded. Red is ACV plus the mother, blue is apple juice plus the mother and green is straight ACV. These were all started on March 1st. My house is rather cool so things may take a while.

DSCN5726

The only development so far is a slight cloudiness from the jar of Braggs.

DSCN5732Updates to come as they develop.

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Fermenting

Now that we’re getting settled I figured it was time to get the ferments going again. I had brought a few things along that were “in progress” such as apple cider vinegar, preserved lemons, preserved limes (which are all rather low maintenance), and some much neglected dairy kefir. But it was time to attend to them and venture once more into fermenting veggies.

I had tried making fermented carrots before from Nourishing Traditions but they where so salty I couldn’t eat them. I even made another batch halving the salt but they were still too salty and more of a chore than a joy to get through. So I was feeling a little leery about wasting the time and effort and veggies. Then I read (parts of) The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. I also have his book Wild Fermentation but I much prefer The Art of Fermentation; it really made me want to get in the kitchen and get a jar going. And the next thing I knew there I was with a jar full of chopped veggies. And the best part is that even though I wasn’t able to have a garden this year every single vegetable was given to me by a friend who grew it in their garden. How sweet is that?!

Here’s what went in: carrots, radishes,yellow summer squash,garlic (some fresh picked, some   that was starting to sprout), chard stems, a small green tomato, basil. How heavenly it smells, how delicious it tastes!

I immediately started another jar this time zucchini spears with garlic.

Again, success! As my oldest Noah said “they’re just so good. I want to eat them all up.(followed by a lip-smacking slurp I can’t replicate)”. So I did it. I started a batched of shredded carrots.

And for a little compare and contrast I started a jar or pickled beets with onion in raw apple cider vinegar.

We haven’t tested these last two yet but the beets look lovely and the carrots, with a little help of the brine from the first batch of mixed veggies, are smelling wonderful. Next up? A jar full of basil! Seriously, it tastes like licorice once it’s fermented. Divine!

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