It’s REALLY EASY to make apple cider vinegar from scraps. Waste not, want not and all those thrifty proverbs are perfect for this recipe. The result is a light and refreshing vinegar that is probiotic!
So get thrifty with this zero-waste recipe and turn your apple scraps into something useful!
Scrappy apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar from scraps is different from traditional ACV. It is a bright and fresh vinegar compared to the earthy, full flavour of traditional cider vinegar. Here’s what you can expect from scrappy apple vinegar:
- Perfect for adding tanginess to cooked recipes.
- Use it in salad dressing or as a health tonic.
- It is probiotic! So it can be used to culture other foods.
- Don’t use it for canning, unless you test the pH (affiliate link). Otherwise, you don’t know the exact acidity levels. You need a pH of 5 for more canned foods.
For a more traditional apple cider vinegar, make cider vinegar from juice.
Your Questions Answered
I’ve been making apple cider vinegar from scraps for years. It’s a really reliable ferment that is perfect for beginners. Here are some answers to common questions about homemade scrap apple vinegar.
- Scrap apple vinegar doesn’t need to start with a mother. However, it is the most reliable way to get a good ferment. It’s also really easy to find cultured cider vinegar. Usually real, cultured ACV is more expensive, however, once you have the culture you can make your own! See the notes in the recipe for a few different cultured vinegar brands.
- This recipe can be made in a fido jar or with an airlock. You just have to be sure that your starter vinegar has a good healthy culture. I generally make my ACV as described in the recipe, with a piece of cloth held in place with a metal jar ring.
- I’ve never had a failure with my ACV. However, I have had a kombucha SCOBY-like mother grow on the top. That’s more likely to happen if you have a SCOBY culture in your home. Whether it’s milk kefir or jun, it may culture the ACV too. And it’s perfectly fine.
- Kahm yeast also really likes scrap apple vinegar. Don’t worry, it will die off when the sugar is gone and the vinegar becomes acidic. Just make sure you don’t have mold.
Scrap Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar made from scraps is delicious and full of probiotics. It’s a great way to use up apple cores and peels. Perfect when making apple sauce or apple pie!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 quart jar 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Fermented
- Diet: Vegan
- Apple scraps (peels and cores; bruises are OK but no rotten bits)
- 1 cup water (chlorine free)
- 1 tbsp sugar per cup of water
- 1 tbsp of apple cider mother per cup of water (optional, see notes)
- This recipe is designed so you pack jars with apple scraps, then add as much water and sugar as you need to cover them. Adjust the measurements to suit the amount of apple scraps you have.
- Wash your apples before peeling them, then fill a glass jar 3/4 full of apple scraps. Just make sure the scraps are free of mold and bad spots.
- Mix the sugar, water and culture 1 cup at a time, then pour it over the apple scraps. Keep adding more cups of water, sugar and mother until you have just covered the apple scraps.
- The apple scraps will float, and that’s just fine. Cover the jar with a piece of cloth or a coffee filter and keep in place with an elastic band or jar ring.
- Place the jar somewhere dark to ferment at room temperature. A closet is perfect.
- Check it every 2 to 3 days to stir.
- After 2 weeks strain out the scraps and bottle the vinegar. Allow the vinegar to rest for at least another 2 weeks before using it. It will continue to ferment until all the sugar is consumed, so use a bottle that can handle the build-up of carbonation (see notes). I usually let my vinegar age for at least 6 months. It will continue to age and darken and the flavour will improve.
- A mother isn’t required for this recipe, however, it will kickstart your vinegar. Either use a bit of a previous batch of homemade vinegar or a store-bought vinegar with mother. There are a number of brands of cider vinegar with mother available on the market, including Viva Naturals, Braggs and Dynamic Health (affiliate links).
- The vinegar may grow a thick rubbery mother, and/or there might be dark floating bits. Both of these things are fine. Mold is not OK… If you get mold then throw it out and start again. See the section above for more details.
- The vinegar will continue to ferment until all of the sugar is gone. So age in plastic pop bottles, swing-top beer bottles or fido jars.
Keywords: vegan, gluten free, ACV, probiotic, free, affordable, keto, paleo, summer, fall, zero-waste, frugal,