Homemade apple cider vinegar is really easy to make. It’s just apple juice that’s fermented through the hard cider stage into vinegar. All you need is: apple juice, an apple cider vinegar mother, and time.
What is a apple cider vinegar mother?
An apple cider vinegar mother is a combination of bacteria and yeasts that convert the sugars in apple juice into acetic acid (vinegar).
There are several ways of getting a mother to make homemade apple cider vinegar:
- If you are using raw, unfiltered apple juice, then you could let it spontaneously ferment from the free range bacteria and yeasts in your home. However, this is isn’t the most reliable way of making ACV, so it doesn’t always work.
- A traditional way to make vinegar is to ferment juice with champagne yeast through the hard cider stage. Then allow the free range bacteria to culture the juice as it converts from hard cider into vinegar.
- The EASIEST way of getting a mother is to buy raw cider vinegar and inoculate your juice with a bit of the finished vinegar. However, not all cider vinegar is cultured. Cultured apple cider vinegar is dark coloured and will have dark floating bits that settle on the bottom of the bottle. There are several brands of cider vinegar with mother available on the market, including: Viva Naturals, Bragg and Dynamic Health (affiliate links.)
Regardless, of the method you use, eventually the apple juice will be colonized by the natural flora in your home for your own cider vinegar culture. I always end up with a scoby-like thing on the top of my vinegar… even though I don’t brew kombucha at home.
The picture below shows fresh juice with the mother at the bottom (on the left). The jar on the right is finished vinegar. I like to cycle through my cider vinegar by continuously culturing one jar at a time. Though in the fall, I always make a few batches of scrap apple vinegar.
How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar
Learn how to turn apple juice into delicious and probiotic apple cider vinegar. It’s really easy to make apple cider vinegar with a mother for an affordable and healthy alternative to store-bought ACV.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 3 1/4 cups 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Probiotic
- 3 cups apple juice (pressed, not from concentrate)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (with mother) or 1 piece of mother
- Combine the apple juice and mother in a glass jar.
- Cover with a breathable cotton cloth, firmly attached with a rubber band or a mason jar ring to keep the fruit flies out.
- Leave it to culture in a dark cool location for at least 2 months or until ready for use. No need to stir or check on the vinegar.
- Unless you test for pH, you won’t know the actual acidity of your vinegar. So don’t use homemade vinegar for pickling or other recipes where acidity levels are important. Otherwise, it’s perfect for salad dressing and sauces, etc.
- If you want to filter out the floating bits just pour the vinegar through a coffee filter.
- If mold grows on top of your juice then you have to throw it away and start again. To avoid this, don’t use heavily processed apple juice (e.g. most brands that ship across the country) and culture in a cool (18C / 64F) and dark location.
Keywords: probiotic, healthy, anti-candida, paleo, keto, vegan, whole 30, ACV, how to make, homemade, raw