Making apple cider vinegar at home is one of the easiest things to make and even if you’ve had trouble, I’ve got troubleshooting tips so your homemade apple cider vinegar turns out, because it’s one of those things that every homestead (and home) should have on hand.
You know that saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away, well I think apple cider vinegar should go into that saying too.
If you prefer to listen to this podcast then just click play below, or you can also watch the video (the podcast also has our verse of the week and faith encouragement as well) or (because we all like our choices) you can simply read the instructions below.
As a frugal loving Mamma, I love that I can take something I’d normally throw away, and turn it into a useful and actually good for me item. To make apple cider vinegar, which this method is technically apple scrap vinegar, you only need 2 ingredients and a Mason jar.
Because we’re using apples and they fall on the heavy pesticide list, I only use organic apples or ones we’ve grown (or neighbors) where I know they’ve not been sprayed. Totally up to you, but the quality of the ingredients we put in determines the quality of the end product.
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Apple peels, cores, and scrap pieces of apple
Mason jar and band
Coffee filter/cheese cloth/towel
Note: If you’re on city water or water that has chlorine in it, either boil the water for 20 minutes and let it cool or let it sit uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours to remove most of the chlorine.
If you develop mold on your apple cider vinegar it’s because the apple scraps were not kept beneath the surface of the water. Use a fermenting weight to hold the scraps beneath the water or a smaller jar with water inside to act as a weight. Remove any pieces with mold and allow it to ferment for another week. If mold grows back, toss it out and start over, making sure to use a weight from the beginning.
There’s a film on top, what now? Try skimming off the layer of film and letting it ferment for another week, making sure everything is submerged beneath the water.
Do I need to add sugar or honey to my apple cider vinegar? Many people will use a small amount of sugar or honey to help jump start the vinegar (this provides the bacteria more to feed on), but I’ve never found the need to do this as apples have a good amount of sugar in them already. You can also use a few teaspoons of raw apple cider vinegar with the mother in it as well, but again, I’ve never had to do this.
The apple cider vinegar has cloudy stuff in it? Congratulations, you’ve got a strain of good bacteria and yeast growing called the mother!
Note: Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar can be used in place of store bought in everything except canning. For canning safety, vinegar must be 5% acidity and we don’t have a true reliable way to test the level of our homemade apple cider vinegar to make sure it’s safe for using in canning (the little ph strips are not reliable enough for this).
It should turn from a pale yellow to a darker golden color. It should smell like vinegar, with a strong odor (not a bad rotten smell) but that tang of vinegar. You should see some cloudy sediment when you shake the jar, almost cob-webby in appearance.
Did you know that apple cider vinegar (the real stuff with the mother in it like we just made at home) is one of the most versatile items you have in your home? Seriously, from helping with your health (we got studies to back this one up) to skin care, to cleaning, to cooking and baking (one of my favorite ways to use it) and to help rid the kitchen of fruit flies?
Sometimes it’s super helpful to have a video when learning something new, so we’re filming some of our podcast episodes to make sure I’m helping you as much as possible from from scratch cooking, to preserving your food at home, old-fashioned recipes and ferments (like today) to the heirloom garden and barnyard… perhaps the natural remedies and herbal medicine cabinet, too.
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No worries, I”ll create a blog post and podcast episode just like this one, so you can listen or read (or watch the recorded video).
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.