Monday, October 1, 2012

Making Easy Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

 It's that time of year again!  While the apple crops were ruined by the frost this year in Michigan, you can still find local apples but they are at a premium.  I purchased some Honey Crisps and Granny Smith Apples from a local orchard that shipped some apples in from the west side of the state.  I wanted to make sure they were not waxed apples.

This is the time of year to make apple butter, apple pies, apple crisp and stock up on homemade apple cider vinegar. I thought you'd like to see how to make the apple cider vinegar. You can use whatever amount of apple scraps to make the vinegar. The most important ingredients for successful results are patients, clean apples, sterilized utensils and jars.  

1.  Wash the apples very well. Note: If you purchase apples at the store, many times they have a wax coating.  You will need to remove the wax coating from the apples - If at all possible, buy organic, non-waxed apples.  You can also use crab apples.  Experiment with different varieties and find what suits your tastes best. 

2. Peel and core the apples saving the skins and cores.  (Use the apple slices for a pie, apple butter, apple cake or apple crisp.)   I use between 8 - 12 medium sized apples.

3.  After you peel and core the apples, you need to get a large bowl, crock or jar.  (Check to make sure the glaze does not contain lead glazes.)  Put the peels and cores into the vessel.  I use a large glass jar I use for fermenting veggies.  MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS STERILIZED. 

4. Cover peels and cores with water (measure by quarts) and cover them by an inch or so of water.  For every quart of water used to cover the apple scraps, you'll need 1/4 cup of sugar.

 5.  After measuring the sugar, mix it into the apple scraps and water until dissolved.
 6. Place a plate or bowl over the apple scraps to keep submerged under the water.

I use a small white glass plate that fits perfectly inside my 5 gallon fermenting jar to keep the scraps submerged.

(I have found it is easier for me to use the 5 gallon glass jar - it is easier to sterilize and I can peek at the progress!)
 7.  After submerging the apple scraps below the water surface, you need to put the mixture in a dark, cool space (65 - 75 degrees) to be left undisturbed while it ferments.  If you use a glass jar, be sure to keep it wrapped with a towel so that light doesn't prohibit the fermentation process.  (UV light will destroy the process!)  Don't cover the top, it has to breathe.

8.  Cover the top of the vessel with a piece of cheese cloth so it can breathe and gas. It will also keep bugs from getting into your mixture. Secure on the vessel with a rubber band.
9.  Now you wait a week!  The mixture will start to bubble as it begins to ferment as it forms yeast.  This usually begins within 3 -4 days.  At 7 days, check your mixture.  If there is any black mold that has grown, remove it with a plastic spoon (do not use metal).  If you have mold forming, the mixture was not kept cool enough.

10.  Strain the scraps in a colander lined with cheese cloth. Sterilize some Mason Jars (canning jars).  After straining the scraps, pour the strained liquid into the sterilized canning jars leaving 1" head space and cover the top with a piece of cheese cloth and secure with either the rubber band or the screw band. ( I prefer using the rubber band because the screw bands sometime rust.)

11.  Store the jars in your pantry or anywhere where it is still dark and cool for another 6 weeks.  A film will start forming on the top of the liquid - This is the "Mother".  There will be sediment on the bottom of the jar. You can stir it up and more "Mother" will form on the top.  Saving some of the "Mother" will speed up the process the next time you make vinegar.

12.  At 6 weeks, the yeast should have eaten all of the sugar which leaves you with shelf-stable vinegar! Remove the cheesecloth and replace with a sterilized lid and screw cover.  Apple Cider Vinegar lasts indefinitely if kept stored in a cool dark place.

Apple Cider Vinegar that contains the "Mother" has numerous health benefits.  While most apple cider vinegar in grocery stores do not contain the "Mother" - It is pasteurized and filtered which removes the health benefits.  (You can find unpasteurized vinegar with "Mother"  at health food stores for about $6.00 a quart or more.)  Read about the amazing health benefits by clicking here.

 CLICK HERE     - My Youtube Video on Making Vinegar


  1. This is exciting! I am trying your method. The only changes I've made is I am doing it in a Fido jar so I don't have to put anything on the apple pieces to hold them down. It is a 3/4 liter jar. It took about 1 3/4 cup of filtered water. I had mixed up a pint with 1/8 cup sugar. I also added just 1 Tablespoon of Bragg's apple cider vinegar in hopes it might help the fermentation. I just used about 4 apples that were not very nice looking anymore that had been hiding in the fridge. I hope it works! This would save a lot of money! Thank you!

  2. Adding the Braggs is a good idea; I will be posting another vinegar making video shortly (wine vinegar). We go through a lot of ACV; I put it in my Kombucha, my chickens water, my dogs water bowl, plus in food prep/recipes. Make sure you put cheese cloth over the top or those darn fruit flies will invade your ACV! It should work fine as this is how ACV has been made for years! :-)
    Best Wishes!

  3. Ok, so watching your u tube video it sounded like the apple, water, sugar mixture fermented in the glass pickle jar. Reading this though it looks like you ferment for a week in the jar and then transfer to individual jars after the apples are strained. Just want to clarify. Thanks! This is my 1st time making ACV :)

  4. Just got back from picking nearly a bushel of Macs, Honeycrisps, Courtlands and Galas and we can only eat so much pie. I am so glad I stumbled across your video and this site. I will be trying this myself and may post it to my own blog so look for the ping back! Thanks again.