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!
Scrap 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 flavor of traditional cider vinegar.
Here’s what you can expect from scrap 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. 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, here’s how to 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.
- Don’t make this vinegar in a closed jar. It needs oxygen to properly ferment. I generally make my ACV as described in the recipe, with a piece of cloth held in place with a jar ring.
- I’ve never had a failure with my ACV. However, I have had a vinegar pellicle grow on top. It’s a SCOBY that forms sometimes and won’t harm the vinegar at all. It can even be used as a starter for future batches of vinegar!
- 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.
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 vinegar with a mother per cup of water
- 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. Do not use a sealed jar as it needs oxygen to properly ferment.
- 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 leave it to continue fermenting in jar covered with a piece of cloth for another month before bottling it. I usually let my vinegar age for at least 6 months. It will continue to age and darken and the flavor will improve.
- The vinegar may grow a thick rubbery pellicle, 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 if it doesn’t taste sour after a month of fermenting, feel free to leave it for another 2 or 3 months.
Keywords: vegan, gluten free, ACV, probiotic, free, affordable, keto, paleo, summer, fall, zero-waste, frugal,