Quatre Saisons - natural sustainable farming
Quatre Saisons

My Basket

Yass River Road
P: 0411 093 035
F: 02 6123 6111
E: Quatre Saisions
Facebook | Blog

Apple Cider Vinegar

The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, used apple cider vinegar around 400 B.C. for its health giving qualities. It is said that he had only two remedies: honey and apple cider vinegar.

Using natural products to maintain an animals optimum nutrition and prevent disease makes sense. Organic apple cider vinegar is one of those natural products.

Unpasteurised, naturally fermented and unfiltered apple cider vinegar retains over 90 essential minerals, vitamins, trace elements and amino acids. Cold pressed organic vinegar contains a host of vitamins, beta-carotene, pectin and vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, sulphur, iron and fluorine.

Apple cider vinegar also contains malic acid which is very helpful in fighting fungal and bacterial infections.

The apple cider vinegar that contains all of the health benefits is not a clear vinegar, but just the opposite. It is an organic and unfiltered vinegar with a brownish tinge to it. If you try looking through it, you will notice a tiny cobweb-like substance floating in it. This is known as "mother", and means just one thing. This apple cider vinegar is of good quality with all the nutrients and health giving properties intact.

Just think. Would you buy a vinegar from the supermarket that is not clear, has got a brown tinge to it, and most of all you find something floating in it?

Manufacturers steam treat pure vinegar to get the sparking clear vinegar that is available at the supermarket. This steaming process destroys almost all of the health giving nutrients for the sake of consumer eye appeal.

This Autumn we will plant out our apple and pear orchard, but until this project bears fruit we have to buy apples to crush. It is time consuming but worthwhile for us to buy organic apples locally grown at Pialligo, and distil apple cider for the consumption of our pigs, chooks, cattle and sheep.

Currently, we use Fuji apples as they have a high sugar content, make good juice and are readily available. You can buy apples in bulk at a local orchard or harvest from your own trees. Roughly 300 kgs of tree ripend apples will give 260 litres of apple juice which, when strained, will give about 200 litres of apple cider vinegar, depending on the season.  The pigs devour the apple pulp.

Apples, pears, nuts, medlars and stone fruit are fantastic to eat fresh. But cider is an art! The Quatrè Saisons orchard will have a large number of heritage apple varieties including French cider varietal and a number of English cider apple varieties to span the traditional four categories of sweet, bittersweet, sharp and bittersharp.

Making Apple Cider Vinegar

It is really satisfying to make your own quality apple cider vinegar and offers a real financial saving.

We use about 250 litres of apple cider vinegar each year. When feeding out hay adding 1 litre of apple cider vinegar in a 15 litre bucket mixed with 8 litres of hot water and 1 kilo of raw molasses provides benefit to our herds. This practice reduces the need to drench and acts as a good way to keep off biting flies, improve nutrition, and increase the animal's energy. There is noticible improvement in the calving and lambing rates since we started to follow this formula, as suggested by Pat Coleby.

We use a traditional timber press to squeeze the juice from the fruit and the whole process from apples to apple cider vinegar takes about a month. It takes 3 weeks for the apple juice to stop fermenting and start changing into something that smells like tangy cider. After straining it takes another week for the real cider to mature, the longer you leave the mix before using the better it seems to get. Ensure you seal the brew in a screw top barrel so the air is excluded and the potency of the final cider is retained.

A 20 litre container of 4% diluted apple cider vinegar from the produce store costs $100 per container-making your own ends up at 60c per litre compared with $5 per litre of commercial vinegar.