1 cup apple cores and peels (peels are OPTIONAL)
2 tablespoons sugar
Find a glass or ceramic container and a glass or ceramic plate or other container that fits just inside the first one. Run the containers through the dishwasher or dip them into boiling water to get them very clean.
Put cores and peels (if using), and sugar in the larger container. Add water so apple parts are covered by about an inch. Stir. Put second container on top to keep the apple parts from poking up into the air. Cover with a clean tea towel and let ferment in a dark place at room temperature (60° to 85°F) for at least a week.
Use a jar or plate to hold the apple pieces under water.
Every few days, stir the mixture and spoon off any mold (mold is a normal part of the process so relax). Bubbles will begin to form which shows you that the apple pieces are fermenting.
Pour mixture through a clean strainer into very clean jar. Cover with clean cloth, such as cheese cloth, a bit of cotton, or a scrap of old pantyhose. Secure fabric with a rubber band or the ring from a canning jar (the fabric allows the fermenting apple-cider vinegar to breath). I use cheesecloth for the fabric but you can use just about anything. An old fabric scrap such as a sheet will do. Store in a cool, dark place for about six weeks.
Replace the fabric with a solid lid and store vinegar in a dark place. It keeps indefinitely and makes for a fantastic gift! See, easier than you thought! Enjoy!
NOTES: There may be “things” floating around in the vinegar. It is a harmless by product and if it makes you feel better, strain the vinegar through some cheesecloth to remove the fermenting “debris”.
I would not use this vinegar as a preservative of other foods. I don’t know if the strength of it is as strong as needed to ward of the bacteria in other foods. But as I said, it is marvelous for flavoring and to give as gifts.’ Tis the season you know!