Vinegars, hard apple cidar, and sunflower wine…

In the Kitchen

I have decided to try my hand at making some vinegar.  It began because I had a LOT of white wine leftover that a friend had given me a few months ago.  It was sitting in the fridge.  I like wine but I don’t drink everyday so it had been just sitting there taking up space.  So, I bought a white wine vinegar mother and decided to try and make vinegar.  
I had enough leftover wine to make 2 quarts but the mother that I bought was really only intended for 1 quart.  I decided to divide it anyway and cross my fingers.  Well, it seems to have worked because my quarts are each starting to make their own SCOBY.  
See that white film on the top of the wine…that is the SCOBY.  If you do not know what a SCOBY is, I got this definition from Wikipedia: A SCOBY (for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) is a mix of cultures of bacteria and yeast present during production of kombucha and water kefir among others. The term “colony” in the name is scientifically a misnomer, because it implies a group of genetically identical or nearly identical organisms living together. For this reason, the acronym is essentially absent in the biomedical literature and the proper name pellicle is used. The species comprising the mixed cultures vary from preparation to preparation, but generally include Acetobacter bacterial species, as well as various Saccharomyces and other yeast types. SCOBY cultures used in beverage production can produce a structure referred to as a “mushroom,” which is also biologically misleading, because mushrooms are a completely unrelated group of fungi. It often forms in vinegar in jars of pickled foods.

To continue on the vinegar theme, I decided to try and make my own apple cider vinegar.  
Here is a video that has information on how to start your own apple cider vinegar.  I went and had found some apples (apple trees grow everywhere around here) and started making applesauce (I also started some sauerkraut this past week with cabbage from my garden!)
Sauerkraut fermenting and applesauce

So, I used the scrap peels and cores from the apples to start some apple cider vinegar.

You can see that it is also starting to form a SCOBY at the top.  I think I put too much in the jar and I may pour a little off.  
Our family also went to press apple cider at Bishop’s Orchard in Garfield, WA.  Mark had a good time throwing the apples into the water for washing…
Then, we put them into the grinder and the cider comes out the bottom.
We bottled it up…

..and took home 2 gallons of cider.  We drank one and I added some yeast to the other gallon to make hard cider.  It is still actively fermenting.

I racked both my sunflower wine and my hard apple cider today…

Siphoning wine out of this container into a new one…

The cider will only need another week.  Really excited to give it a try!