How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

Learn how to make apple cider vinegar, why it’s beneficial, and how to use it in everything from recipes to home cleaning products!

Learn how to make apple cider vinegar, and find ways to put it to good use! It’s an easy, frugal recipe that can help prevent food waste while improving your health through recipes and cleaning products.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar? 

Apple cider vinegar, also known as ACV, is a type of vinegar made with crushed fermented apples, yeast, and sugar. The juice is drained and used for a variety of purposes from recipes to cleaning agents.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar 

Store-bought apple cider vinegar works great and is easy to find. However, it’s fairly simple and cost-effective to make at home. In addition, homemade ACV helps reduce food waste and offers several health benefits

Keep reading to learn more about the nutrition and health benefits of apple cider vinegar. However, to briefly summarize, ACV: 

  • Is high in acetic acid. 
  • May help lower blood sugar levels.  
  • Can help manage diabetes. 
  • May improve heart health. 
  • Can assist with weight loss. 

In this article, we’ll dive into how apple cider vinegar can play a role in these health benefits!

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother

Below is an overview of the ingredients and instructions to make apple cider vinegar at home. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card below for the complete details! 

Ingredients 

  • Apples – Use diced apple chunks, leftover apple scraps or cores, or leftover apple skins. Feel free to gather apple scraps slowly, and store them in a sealable bag in the freezer. Just be sure to let them thaw out before using them. Cold apples will not ferment well!
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar is crucial to the fermentation process, transforming the liquid into vinegar.  You will need one Tbsp per cup of water that you use.
  • Water – Use filtered water for the base of the vinegar. Lukewarm water is best to allow the sugar to dissolve quickly and evenly.

Instructions 

  1. Wash the fruit with water, not soap before you begin! Then, chop the apples into small, uniform pieces.
  2. Fill a large glass jar about ¾ of the way full with the apple scraps. 
  3. Add water until 4″ from the top, measuring your water as you go so you can calculate the amount of sugar that you will need — 1 Tbsp per cup of water.
  4. Pour in sugar and stir well so the sugar dissolves.
  5. Cover the jar loosely with a coffee filter or a piece of fabric, and secure it with a rubber band. 
  6. Let the mixture sit in a warm, dark place at for two weeks. A temperature between 70 and 75 degrees is best. Push the apples on top under the liquid every day, so mold does not form.
  7. When the two weeks is up, use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain the apple scraps from the liquid. If you have chickens, you can feed the scraps to them, or add them to a compost pile to further reduce waste.
  8. Cover the jar again, and set it aside for another four weeks. Or you can pour it into an old ACV bottle (I like to use the large kombucha bottles from the store). You know your ACV is ready to use when it has a sharp, vinegar-like smell and taste! A SCOBY often forms on the top of the liquid and this is completely normal and a very good thing, a sign of a healthy strong vinegar.

Watch my how-to video below…

Sugar-to-Water Ratio

Using the proper sugar-to-water ratio is crucial for successful fermentation of the apples. For the best results, use 1 tablespoon of sugar for every 1 cup of water.

The addition of sugar provides food for the good bacteria (such as lactobacillus and acetobacter) present on the apples. As a result, it helps the bacteria thrive and grow.

During the fermentation process, the sugar turns to alcohol. Then, the alcohol transforms to acetic acid as the mixture sits. As a result, finished ACV is incredibly low in sugar and is virtually alcohol-free.

How to Store

When your ACV is done fermenting, you can simply put a lid on the jar, and store it at room temperature. It will stay fresh for up to five years! 

You can leave the mother/SCOBY (the gelatinous-looking mixture) in the liquid. Or, remove it, and use it to kickstart another batch.

Ways to Use Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV is one of the most versatile ingredients out there. Use it to make recipes, cleaning products, and even at-home beauty treatments. 

Some of my favorite ways to use it include: 

Find 10 more uses for apple cider vinegar!

Common Questions When Learning How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

What are the best apples to make apple cider vinegar? 

You can use any apples to make apple cider vinegar. However, for the best balance of sweet and tart flavors, opt for a combination of sweet and tart apples. 

Fill your jar ⅔ of the way with sweet apples like Gala or Fuji. Then, fill the last  ⅓ with tart apples like Granny Smith. 

Does apple cider vinegar help diabetes and blood sugar? 

Many believe that consuming a shot of ACV before a meal can help lower blood sugar levels. However, there is little scientific evidence to back this claim. 

Why is vinegar with the mother better?

The ‘mother’ or gelatinous blob in apple cider vinegar contains most of the good bacteria in the vinegar. It can be used to assist with digestion and helps kickstart and speed up the fermentation process.

Apple cider vinegar without the mother is still beneficial. However, it is not quite as potent as varieties with the mother.

More DIY Recipes to Try 

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

It's easy to make your own homemade apple cider vinegar. All you need is three simple ingredients and a couple of weeks.

Materials

  • Apple peels, cores, or chunks
  • Granulated sugar (1 tablespoon per every 1 cup of water)
  • Filtered water

Tools

Instructions

    1. Wash the apples with water, and chop them into uniform pieces.
    2. Add the apples to a sterilized jar, filling it ¾ of the way full.
    3. Pour the water mixture over the apples, leaving a few inches at the top of the jar. Make sure to measure the cups to calculate the sugar amount -- 1 Tbsp per cup of water.
    4. Cover the jar with a coffee filter or cheesecloth, and loosely secure it with a rubber band.
    5. Set the jar in a warm, dark place for 2 weeks.
    6. Every day push the top apples into the liquid so mold does not form.
    7. After two weeks has passed, strain the apples from the liquid.
    8. Cover the jar again, and let it rest for another 4 weeks or until it has a pungent, vinegar-like odor and taste.
    9. Place a lid on the jar, and store the apple cider vinegar at room temperature. Store in the mason jar you made it in or use old AVC bottles. Whatever you want just to that it has a tight fitting lid. I like to re-use old large kombucha bottles.

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