How To Easily Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar

What’s a house without apple cider vinegar (ACV)? This wonderful cure-for-all has been used for centuries to cure our daily ailments. From soothing our stomach and improving nutrient absorption to aiding weight loss and treating diabetes, ACV does it all.

Just as with many products out there, organic unfiltered, and unpasteurized (raw) ACV is best as it still contains the “mother” with all the good stuff. Depending on where you live, raw ACV may be hard to come by. Luckily ACV is super easy and cheap to make at home. The only downside, it takes some time to naturally ferment the apples.

There are 2 methods for you to choose from. One uses scraps like the cores and peels, and the other method uses whole apples. I prefer the scrap method as I get to eat the apples too or use them to make applesauce or apple pie!

ACV from whole apples

What you need

  • 6 sweet apples (organic are the best)
  • Starter culture: 2 tablespoons raw ACV with “mother” or scoby (if you use your own mother, add 1/3 cup. Homemade ACV tends to be less concentrated)
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey or sugar
  • Water (non-chlorinated, as chlorine may halt the fermentation process)
  • 2 quart wide mouth glass jar
  • Cheesecloth (or dish towel, coffee filter, paper towel, or an old clean panty)
  • Rubber band

How to Make ACV

1. Wash your apples thoroughly, even when organic, to remove dirt and pesticides. Cut the apples into 8 to 12 pieces each. Place them into the jar or on the counter. Let them air until they turn brown.

2. Add honey and raw ACV (with mother or scoby). The mother or scoby will add the useful, friendly bacteria to speed up the fermentation process. When making your second batch, you can use your own mother or scoby instead of store-bought raw ACV.

3. Cover the apples with water.

4. Cover the jar with a cheesecloth and rubber band to hold the cover in place. Air needs to come in contact with the liquid for the fermentation process. The air helps to ferment the apples, sugar, and water into a mild alcohol or cider. The harmless bacteria then turn the cider into vinegar in the presence of oxygen.

5. Place the mixture in a warm and dark place for 2 weeks. The top of your fridge is a good example of a warm and dark place. Room temperature also works, but will take longer. Bubbles and scum may form on top of the water as the bacteria are turning sugars and alcohols into vinegar. Every day, stir the mixture. Mold can form on top, but that’s okay. Nothing to worry about. Just spoon it off.

6. After 2 weeks (when the liquid has darkened) strain the liquid in a clean glass jar and discard the apples.

7. Cover again with cheesecloth and place back at the same warm dark spot. Stir every few days for 2 weeks to 1 month.

8. Check the liquid regularly by tasting it. You’ll definitely know when it’s ready.

– A scoby (white film) may form on top of it. You can make a new batch of vinegar with it.

– When the vinegar is ready, stop the fermentation process by covering the jar and placing it in the fridge.

Note: do not use metal containers to store your ACV. The acids corrode metal, so it is best to use glass containers.

ACV From cores and peels

Love this method as you can do other stuff with the apples and use the scraps for vinegar instead of throwing them away.

What you need

  • Apple cores and peels of 8 to 10 apples  (organic are the best)
  • Starter culture: 2 tablespoons raw ACV with mother or scoby (if you use your own mother, add 1/3 cup. Homemade ACV tends to be less concentrated)
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey or sugar
  • Water (non-chlorinated, as chlorine may halt the fermentation process)
  • 2 quart wide mouth glass jar
  • Cheesecloth (or dishtowel, coffee filter, paper towel, or an old clean panty)
  • Rubber band

How to Make ACV

You can use the same method as described above. Let peels and cores air until brown and top up with water, honey, and mother or scoby. You can continue to add scraps for a few more days. Stop when the mixtures starts to thicken and a scum is formed on top of it. Ferment for 2 weeks, strain and leave for another 2 weeks to a month. Stir and taste every few days. Stop the fermentation process by cutting the air off the jar and place in the fridge.

FYI: Do NOT use for preserving other food

Homemade ACV should not be used to preserve food. Its pH is unreliable and homemade ACV tends to be less strong or concentrated than the ones you buy.

You see, it’s super easy and cheap to make your own apple cider vinegar. The only thing you’ll need is time! Enjoy!

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