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How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar from Scraps

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar from Scraps

Plant Based Recipes

Last Updated on September 11, 2020

Remember that apple sauce recipe from Monday? Well I hope you saved your peels and cores because now it’s time to make some vinegar!

Yes, you can actually make vinegar. I know it sounds wild, but it’s honestly a piece of (apple) cake!

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar from Scraps from #zerowaste #ecofriendly #gogreen #sustainable #homemadevinegar #applecidervinegar #DIY

Homemade apple cider vinegar

I’ve been making my own apple cider vinegar for almost three years now, and it’s SO easy. There are a few different ways that you can do it. You can use a whole apple that’s been chopped and chunked or you can use the peels and cores!

If you have a lot of apples making apple cider vinegar is a great way to use up all of those peels and cores that would other wise be heading to the compost.

When a ‘waste’ product becomes something delicious and yummy – that’s MY kind of recipe!

If you’re looking for more recipes that utilize scraps, check out this blog post on full of ideas for cooking with food scraps.

the tools:

  • You need to make sure that you’re using a very clean quart sized jar!
  • rubber band
  • swatch of cloth
How to make apple cider vinegar

the ingredients:

  • 2 cups of apple peels and cores
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey or 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 cups of filtered water

how to make apple cider vinegar:

  1. place the apple pieces in the glass jar
  2. fill the jar with filtered water
  3. add in the raw honey or sugar and shake until it dissolves
  4. cover the jar with the swatch of cloth and a rubber band
  5. let the jar sit in a dark place for about 3-4 weeks
  6. stir it occasionally and make sure that the apple pieces are fully are submerged
  7. after 3-4 weeks, strain out the apple pieces and compost
  8. leave the liquid in the jar for another 3-4 weeks
  9. then it’s ready to use!
How to make apple cider vinegar from apple scraps

*To speed up the process use sugar instead of honey. To REALLY speed up the process add 1/4 cup of existing apple cider vinegar with the mother. I keep using batches that I’ve made over the years over and over again as a starter.

I love using ACV to make a delicious vinaigrette which is perfect for topping this spinach, apple, walnut salad.

important notes:

The apple pieces should be fully submerged throughout the process, if they come to the surface, there’s a possibility that mold will form.

If mold forms, the batch is no good.

Your vinegar should be bright and well…. vinegary. If it’s overly sour or moldy, it’s not good.

This same process can also be used to turn old red wine into red wine vinegar and you can get my tips for that in my post How to Use Up Your Leftovers from Thanksgiving.

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  1. Thank you for this post. I’ve made ACV this year as well but my vinegar was very weak. I’ve heard that it’s easier to make it with a mother. Do you know how to get the mother?

    1. Hi Rika, I might be a bit late on this, but the mother comes naturally. If you make your own ACV like above, you will have some of the mother. A lot of the store-bought ACV comes with the mother removed, however, and this is probably because it grosses people out to see solids floating around. The mother will look like soft brown particles swirling in the bottom.

  2. This is a great way to use the whole apple. Great guide, thanks a lot.

    First time I have been on your website, but it looks very promising. I have tried to live almost close to “zero waste” myself, but find it very difficult as I live in China at the moment. You literally cannot order something here without producing some sort of trash, which annoys me a lot. I will read through your website and see if I can pick up a thing or two about how to improve myself on this matter.

  3. Interesting! We’ve always given our apple cores to either the worm bin or as a treat for our puppy but this is a great idea. Do you find that the taste is similar to the shop bought kind (if you can remember that far back!)?


    1. I have compared mine to store-bought ACV that my roommate had, and it’s very similar in taste. Basically, the main thing is the acidity level, which you can control based on how long you wait to seal the jar. I generally put the cloth and rubber band back over the ACV after removing the chopped apples and let it sit until it gets pretty acidic before putting an actual lid on.

  4. I saw this and tried kombucha instead of water and honey as a base for mine. I always have extra kombucha and the apple pieces give the vinegar a great flavor.

    1. Amazing recipe !!!But the apples don’t get fully submerged…they keep popping up on the surface n a scum is formed…. How to avoid this…

      1. I have the same problem but I kept submerging them with a wooden spoon for the first week (twice a day) to make sure no mold was there. after that they did become submerged, don’t know what made the difference. I’m getting ready to strain the mix and let it age some more.

  5. Hi there! First time on your blog which seems great!
    It’s easier to dissolve the honey in a drinking glass with a small amount of boiling (or hot) water – I reckon 1/2 – 1/4 of an inch of water. Then just add cold water so it’s not hot enough to kill off yeast spores on the apples.
    And as hygiene is of extreme importance, just scold the drinking glass in boiling water and empty out said water and leave 1/2 – 1/4 of an inch of boiling water.
    And as you said, Kathryn, it’s important to scold or otherwise sterilize everything that comes is contact with the brew 😀

    1. The apples don’t rot as long as they are submerged, but I will admit the smell isn’t the most pleasent lol. I like to leave my jars either outside, in a closet, or in a cabinet. It doesn’t really bother me anymore, so I just do that out of respect for my roommates.

    1. Sometime I leave a couple bigger pieces that don’t fit past the mouth of the jar and have the water level just over the mouth (this will not work with wide-mouth jars, I typically use old spaghetti sauce jars)

  6. Hey! Actually got some value out of it but I’ve some questions?
    Is it important that I put in sugar! If i’m on a sugar detox and wouldn’t have sugar no matter what

    1. Yes, you need sugar for the yeast to feed on. But this also means the sugar is no longer there in the final product, as it is consumed in the reaction to make the vinegar.

  7. I found this extremely helpful.
    Please dear ma’am,
    Can I use any kind of apples?

    Can I use plastic jar or glass jar, I mean, which one is preferable to use?

    Can I use whole apple with peels?

    1. You’ll need to use glass jars! It probably isn’t safe to ferment in plastic ones. I like to use old spaghetti sauce jars when I make mine. You can use whole apples, but be sure to chop them up first. The more surface area, the better.

  8. My vinegar has been sitting two months and still smells like apples plus it’s much thicker than the stuff you buy in the store. What did I do wrong or should I just keep waiting

  9. Hello. Please can you tell me if I could use a silicon cover below the neck of the jar to keep the apples submerged? Or does it need more air? Thanks in advance.

  10. Great advice, I recently replaced white vinegar with ACV to wash both fruits and veggies at home and I must admit that the results are fantastic! I also used to use white vinegar as natural window cleaner but it’s obviously not that natural with the corn in it being GMO. Replaced here with apple cider as well and found out that it cleans just as good, plus the smell is way more pleasant than before.