Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar

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Making your own apple cider vinegar saves money, and is easy to do! @learningandyearning

I was able to get a great buy on a bushel of Gala apples from a local orchard because the apples were a little small. One can only eat so many pies, so I decided to make some raw apple cider vinegar. Ok, that’s completely false. There is no such thing as too much pie. But, I use a lot of raw apple cider vinegar, so I wanted to give it a try. There are lots of different ways of going about it, and I read a lot of articles, and then just did my own thing with great results. Here’s how I made mine:

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 6 sweet apples (preferably organic; ours were low-spray)
  • 2 T. raw apple cider vinegar with the mother
  • 2 T. raw honey
  • chlorine-free water to cover apples
  • 2 qt. wide mouth glass jar
  • cheesecloth, or coffee filter

Make Your Own ACVCut 6 apples into about 12 pieces each, and place them in a 2 quart wide mouth glass jar. Add the raw honey, and the raw apple cider vinegar. Be sure to use a brand like this, which contains the mother. Cover the apples with chlorine-free water, and cover the jar with cheesecloth, or a coffee filter. A rubber band will help to hold the cover in place.

Now place this in a warm place for 2 weeks. The top of the refrigerator is generally a good place since the frig throws heat. After 2 weeks, strain the liquid from the container into a glass canning jar. There should be almost a quart of liquid. Compost the apple solids, or feed to your chickens. Cover the jar again with the cheesecloth or coffee filter, and return to a warm spot. Check the liquid about once a week by tasting a small amount. You’ll know when it’s vinegar. A SCOBY may form on the top, which is great. You may use the SCOBY to make a new batch of vinegar. Stop the fermentation by covering your jar with a lid and placing it in the refrigerator.

The white film is a SCOBY - symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Use it to make more ACV.

The white film is a SCOBY – symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Use it to make more ACV.

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Shared at: Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, HomeAcre Hop, Thank Your Body, Fight Back Friday, From the Farm, Clever Chicks, Homestead Barnhop, Rural Wisdom and Know How, Mountain Woman Rendezvous


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Comments

  1. says

    Wonderful! We shared with our FB readers at homesteadlady.com.

    By the way, how do you like Black Chicken Host? I’m thinking of signing up…

    • Susan says

      Thanks, Tessa. I LOVE Black Chicken Host!!!! Amazing customer service. I’d sure appreciate it if you signed up under me, if you do decide to go with them. (Just click through my ad, and that will do it).

  2. Tasha says

    If you are not making more AC right away, what can you do with the scooby? Can you preserve it in any way until you need it again? Is it the same type of scooby used to make kombucha? (sorry for all the questions, I’m pretty new to trying to really improve out eating habits.)

    • Susan says

      Hi Tasha. Yes, the SCOBY is similar to the kind used to make kombucha. You may refrigerate it with some of the ACV until ready to use.

  3. carol mattaliano says

    I have just started to make my own acv from scraps that otherwise would’ve went out with trash. I am on my second batch and as we ate apples and used them for other things, I kept a container in my freezer to collect cores and skins until I had enough to fill my one gallon glass jar to make a batch of cider.

  4. says

    I just ran out of Bragg’s, so this would be a great time for me to make my own apple cider vinegar. Thanks for the recipe. I’m hoping the top of our refrigerator is warm enough. We keep the house around 62 which isn’t exactly warm.

  5. says

    I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making vinegar, I’ve pinned your post to give it a try. Thanks so much for sharing on the HomeAcre Hop, hope to see you Thursday for our Thanksgiving HomeAcre Hop! I’m going to feature your post Thursday, be sure to stop by and pick up your “I was featured button”! – Nancy The Thanksgiving Home Acre Hop

  6. says

    Thank you so much! I have tried to make acv in the past, but did not have any luck. I will try your method. So happy to have found you and look forward to reading more posts. :)

  7. Oli Paul says

    What Scoby? I use Bragg’s but I don’t have a scoby. Do I purchase it separately, or is it the stuff at the bottom of the jar?

    • Susan says

      Just use 2 T. of the Bragg’s as indicated in the recipe – you don’t need a scoby, although one may form in your homemade vinegar.

  8. Melissa Jones says

    I started a batch of ACV a month ago using a tutorial from another website. The tutorial’s directions only gave two ingredients: apple cores and distilled water. It also, did not instruct me to remove the cores, but instead to leave them in until the ACV reached my desired strength. I now I have a weak vinegar with a thin SCOBY. How can I increase the strength of my ACV at this point? Do I simply need to continue to leave it alone for another month or so, or can I add Bragg’s at this point and try to increase the strength? I am used to using Bragg’s and would like my batch to be as strong when it’s finished.

    • Susan says

      I’m not really sure, Melissa. I’m rather new to this myself. My ACV came out just as strong as Bragg’s. I don’t see any harm in adding some Bragg’s and then letting it sit for a few more weeks. Let me know how it turns out.

  9. says

    I love this post. I’ve been meaning to try making ACV for a while, but now that our house is rather cold it might not be the best time. I’ll give it a try anyway since we have a ton of apples from our yard and I will only waste a little honey and vinegar if it doesn’t work. This would be a significant savings over buying Braggs. Plus the top of my refrigerator needs a good dusting!

  10. says

    Will this grow a “mother”? One of my 3 jars has what appears to be a scoby or something similar. The other 2 have the same thing on the sides of the glass above the vinegar, but haven’t formed a covering.

    • Susan says

      Hi Myles, yes, this recipe will grow a mother. The SCOBY, or mother, won’t necessarily grow on the top, although that’s the most common place.

  11. says

    I’m reporting back about my vinegar-in-the-making. I wondered if it would ferment in a cooler environment. We keep our house temperature at 65° during the day and 59° at night. I’m happy to report that it is turning to vinegar, but I think it might take longer than if our house was warmer. I started the apples 3 1/2 weeks ago and it tastes like a very mild vinegar now. A mother is forming on the top. The top of our refrigerator doesn’t get very warm, so at night when we turn the temperature down I place the vinegar jar near the crockpot which is cooking bone broth all night. My vinegar is lighter in color than yours but I think that is because I used yellow apples.

  12. says

    Okay, I admit I’m just a fitness chick, but I had higher hopes for this than mold! LOL! I must’ve done something wrong? I guess I didn’t use chunks but rather some chunks and some bits from my juicer… maybe it was too thick which allowed the mold to form? And I put it above my fridge in cupboard, so maybe the darkness? Anyway… I strained out the solids after scraping off the mold – there was a bit of a scoby – and I’ve decided to let the juice keep fermenting. your thoughts? I’m only 1 week into it and that mold has me flummoxed!

    • Susan says

      Hi Beth, what a bummer! I don’t think the darkness would have caused the mold, but perhaps the mashed juicing leftovers were too small.

      If the liquid left has a vinegary taste w/no trace of a moldy taste, I think it will be ok. I don’t think I would use that scoby to start a new batch, though, just to be safe.

    • Carol says

      It might just be that your home circulates mold spores. (mine was built in 1945, no insulation and lost of “outside” comes in! Summer is fine, with no air from my oil furnace, but winter, that is when the mold formed, on my second batch…) This happened with my kombucha. Cultures for Health said to throw it out, and I don’t think that consuming some kinds of molds is good. I’d throw it out to be on the safe side…

    • Jeannie says

      I’ve done a lot of fermenting. If something molds you need to cut your losses and try again. The scoby should be tossed along with the vinegar to the compost pile. Sometimes it just happens. Happy Fermenting!

  13. Mandy says

    Thank you for this recipe. So my ACV is done and I have a good healthy Scoby on top. Now how do I use it to make another batch? I also make Kombucha at home. Is it anything that? Can you just put the scoby in some apple juice or water and let it do it thing?

    • Susan says

      Hi Mandy, to make a new batch of ACV, just use your SCOBY, rather than some Braggs. Yes, you may use juice, but it must be raw juice.

  14. Jeremiah says

    Anyone ever had theirs turn syruppy thick?
    I may have to turn ‘thick’ (brave) to try it lol. Making it in too cold conditions from left over holiday cider and the bottom of an old bottle of braggs… It’s been several weeks now in the cupboard and is definitely doing something, no film yet although I may have stirred it in. It’s definitely goopy though. Cannot wait to have a gallon.

  15. belinda says

    Hi Susan, what does the 2T means in “2 T. raw apple cider vinegar with the mother and
    2 T. raw honey”? Is it 2 tablespoon?

  16. Nancy says

    I’ve started brewing lately-kombucha, water kefir. Had some brags that formed a mini scoby. I got some unfiltered organic apple juice ’cause there’s no cider this time of year. Put baby scoby and a little braggs into a mason jar and covered with cheese cloth. It’s working slowly-cooler temps take longer but the flavor develops. That was may. It’s the end of June now and I just removed a scoby to start another jar. Tasted and it’s wonderful. Stil a little sweet, might need a few more weeks. I’m going to try with different juices now that I’m growing scobys. Cant wait until cider time.

  17. michelle says

    U say to cover the apples in the water, do they have tp be completely covered. If so, how because they float. Thanks!

    • Susan Vinskofski says

      Hi Michelle, if the apples won’t stay under water, you may weigh them down with something like a small dish or a plastic bag filled with water.

      • michelle says

        So, is this pretty much full proof? The reason I ask is because that bag of water that I had in it lost all its water and I’m guessing it went into the “vinegar” (where else would it have gone lol) I actually got a little more than half a gallon of liquid. Is this an exact science where if the amounts aren’t exact it could make you sick or something? Can you tell I’m a total newbie at this stuff??

        • Susan Vinskofski says

          Oh dear. I hope you used chlorine-free water in the bad. Chlorine would kill the cultures. No, it’s not an exact science. You’ll know it bad if it molds or tastes off. This should taste like vinegar.

  18. Daryl says

    Hi Do you need to use the honey in it? Could I just leave it out or use another liquid sweetener? I am vegan but really want to make it.
    Thanks

    • Susan Vinskofski says

      Hi Daryl, I’ve only made the vinegar with honey, so I can’t speak from experience. I have seen recipes that use no sweeter at all, but they take longer to ferment. I’d love to hear how it turns out for you if you give it a try.

  19. says

    Hannah I’m new to KT brewing, and my finred is SCOBY-sitting until my supplies roll in. Anyway, I’ve was told that a ceramic (and therefore, dark), lead-free crock is the way to go but then I see your SCOBY hotel in a clear glass jar. What’s up? If I cover the sides of my 3 gallon clear glass jar with a towel, will that be dark enough to brew? Thanks love your site and your energy. KT-generated, no doubt?

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