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How To Make Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

I was so excited when I learned I could make my own homemade apple cider vinegar from bits of apple waste we produce every day in the kitchen.  While my apple cores and peels never get thrown away (the chickens eat them out of the compost bin), this gives me one more use for them.  I love multi-purpose stuff!

Homemade apple cider vinegar is super easy and takes about two seconds to start. You can produce yet another food at home in your kitchen AND use something that is otherwise considered waste.

I have to admit I was a little hesitant because keeping things in the cupboards instead of the fridge was new at the time I started making vinegar.  However, after living without a fridge for over 6 months I know what to look for when food spoils.

The smaller you chop your apple leavings the quicker your vinegar will be done and the stronger it will be but I’m usually doing about a million things at once and chopping apple cores just isn’t on my list of important things to do so I just chuck them in the jars as I make snacks for the kids.

How to Make Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Put bits of apple peel, core, or flesh in a glass jar.  (These don’t have to be perfect, I’ve found that soft and bruised apples make better vinegar)
  • Add a bit of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a starter.  Or add a piece of the “mother” the white gloppy thing that you see in raw vinegar. (I’ll show a picture later).  I like to put in a few tablespoons of ACV per cup of water.   The more you put in the faster it will ferment.
  • Cover the apples with water and either cover with a cloth, or make sure you open the lid every few days or so to let any gasses escape.
  • Let sit for at least 6 weeks. (Longer won’t hurt).
  • Strain out apple pieces for the compost or chickens.
  • Use it!

There you go!  Super easy, takes about two seconds to begin and you can produce yet another food at home in your kitchen AND use something that is otherwise considered waste.

What’s a “Mother”?

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

And as promised, the above picture includes a picture of the mother.  The mother is on the bottom left. You can leave the mother in the jar or pull it out to jump start your next batch.  Just in case you’re worried about knowing if your vinegar is spoiled I’ve included the picture on the bottom right. Believe me, you’ll know!

I started my first batch of fruit vinegar by purchasing a bottle of Bragg’s raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar from a local grocery store.  If you don’t have a friend with an extra “mother” or vinegar to share and buying isn’t an option you can start your vinegar with a sugar water solution instead.  Use one tablespoon of sugar per four cups of water.  Once you get it going definitely add the mother into your batches!

Want some ideas on how to use your ACV or want to see how to do it in video?  Check out Blake Kirby’s videos Apple Cider Vinegar Made In Your Own Kitchen and Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Made From Scratch.

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Pattie Grenda

Thursday 24th of September 2020

Not sure if this is still open... I have a 100 year old apple tree on my property that has NOT been cared for in many years. Apples drop, are deformed, hard, definitely not pretty, but the deer love them anyway. Can these be used to make ACV? Thank you!


Thursday 24th of September 2020

Yes! Those sound like perfect apples for vinegar.

Michele taylor

Monday 28th of October 2019

It's been about 2 weeks with the Apple cores in the water/sugar solution and it's bubbling and smelling strong, not like apples anymore. Should I be straining the Apple pieces out now, or should I be waiting for week 3?


Monday 28th of October 2019

You can, but it will be very weak. You can leave it for up to six weeks as long as all of the apple pieces are completely submerged.


Wednesday 17th of October 2018

Excellent idea. Right now I have apple cider vinegar and 37 apples, the cores of which I've been throwing away recently. I am going to do this, and it'll save me trouble disposing of the cores (even though the compost pile is like a 45-second walk, I hate the cold that much).


Thursday 18th of October 2018

I hate the cold too!


Saturday 28th of April 2018

I was happy to find you on utube. I did make my first batch of ACV. I had forgotten to add sugar but did a little later. I have strained the apple out after about a month. It does smell of strong like vinegar but I did not get a mother like I saw in the video. After straining it is a much darker color than yours, I am leaving it covered on my counter top thinking maybe the mother will develop. I did use ACV to start it with. I guess I am trying to say sense I did not see the mother like yours should I worry. Barbara


Tuesday 1st of May 2018

Sounds like to worked just fine even though it didn't develop a mother. Add some of the vinegar you made to your next batch instead of the sugar to help jump start it!


Tuesday 24th of April 2018

Hi everyone, sorry to be a bit dense !! ....but, I have made one batch of ACVwhich seems good, and there is a lovely mother.. I have strained and bottled it, keeping the mother in the original jar - do I now add more water, apples and sugar? Or would more vinegar develop with just the mother? Many thanks, 🍏🍎


Tuesday 24th of April 2018

Add the mother and water to more apples. You won't need the sugar, as the mother will use the sugar in the apples.

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