August 7th marks the first day I started the Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar project. I put peelings and cores from the apples I had already used into jars. Covered the cores/peels with fresh water and then covered each jar with cheese cloth secured by rubber bands. The project looked beautiful and I was so excited!
|The 4 jars where it is dark on the cheese cloth is because the water spilled on it when I was taking it downstairs for storage.|
Throughout the next few days I added a few more jars of apple peels and cores to the collection. In the end it totaled 12 jars. I was still hopeful of this project turning out well.
About two weeks into the project I noticed a terrible problem. There was a huge swarm of gnats surrounding my vinegar!! :( Ugh. They are so gross. Why were they created?? The vinegar still smelled/looked fine at this point so I left it alone. Mom bought gnat traps a week later and we started catching a ton of the gnats on them.
Well today was "the revealing" of the vinegar. I carried all the jars outside and got everything ready for opening them and storing what I thought would be the vinegar into a gallon jug. I was feeling excited until I opened the first jar (aka removed the cheese cloth and rubber band) and discovered that the apple cores which were above the water looked funky. Almost like there were little baby larva living on/in it.
|Yuck, yuck, yuck.|
I quickly uncovered the remaining jars to find all the jars with just cores (I did some just cores and some just peels to experiment) covered in these disgusting things. I was sickened just looking at them. (The vinegar with just peels smelled rancid so I threw it out too...I was to grossed out by the whole project to even consider keeping ANY of it.)
After draining each jar into a large bowl, I threw all the cores, cheesecloth, and rubber bands into a triple sacked WalMart bag. That went directly to the dumpster after everything was drained. The would-be vinegar was dumped very far away from the house: behind the shed. The jars were washed outside in very hot soapy water and then brought in to run through the dishwasher.
I am very disappointed in how terrible this project went. It was disgusting in the end and it is one thing I never plan to try and attempt in the future. I am grateful to all the poor people in this house who had to put up with the gnats and smell of vinegar and then the rotten vinegar. They were very cooperative even though it was terribly unpleasant. I am making a cake tonight in one attempt to say I'm sorry....this was a truly large fail and I don't plan to repeat it.