Homemade apple cider vinegar is really easy and affordable. It’s the perfect ferment, even if you’ve never fermented anything before. All you need is apple juice, raw apple cider vinegar and time.
There are several ways of making 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. Unfortunately, it isn’t the most reliable way of making ACV.
- The traditional way to make vinegar is to ferment juice with champagne yeast into hard apple cider. Then allow the free-range bacteria (or ACV mother) to convert the hard cider into vinegar. However, this is quite an involved process.
- Scrap apple vinegar is made using the cores and peels of apple juice, mixed with raw sugar to feed the ferment. It’s not exactly the same as cultured apple cider vinegar, but it’s a pretty good way to use up apple scraps!
- The EASIEST way to make homemade apple cider vinegar is to inoculate juice with apple cider vinegar mother. Keeping the ferment open to the air allows wild yeasts to help convert the sugars to alcohol, while the ACV mother converts both sugars and alcohol into vingar.
What is an apple cider vinegar mother?
An apple cider vinegar mother is a combination of acetic acid bacteria and yeasts that convert the sugars in apple juice into acetic acid (vinegar).
There are plenty of brands of ACV that contain a mother. However, not all store-bought cider vinegar is cultured. Less expensive brands are just coloured and flavoured like ACV, but they’re not actually cultured apple cider vinegar.
How do you know which brands of ACV are cultured?
- Cultured apple cider vinegar will have dark floating bits that settle on the bottom of the bottle.
- Look for brands that are labelled raw, unpasteurized or with mother.
- Here are a few brands that I have used as a mother for homemade apple cider vinegar: Viva Naturals, Bragg and Dynamic Health (affiliate links).
What if you get a SCOBY?
Regardless, of which brand of ACV you use, eventually, the apple juice will be colonized by the natural flora in your home. Depending on what else you are fermenting, you could end up with a rubbery SCOBY-like thing on the top of your vinegar. This is even more likely if you already brew kombucha, jun, water kefir or milk kefir.
Discovering SCOBY floating on top of your vinegar is totally fine. It works just as well as a mother to culture more batches of ACV.Print
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
- Diet: Vegan
- 3 cups apple juice (pressed, not from concentrate)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (with mother)
- Shake the bottle of vinegar to mix the mother into the vinegar before measuring it out. Mix the apple juice with the mother in a glass jar.
- Cover the jar with a breathable cotton cloth, firmly attached with a rubber band or a mason jar ring to keep the fruit flies out. It’s important to let the vinegar have access to oxygen in order to properly ferment, so don’t cap it with an airlock or pickle pipe.
- Leave the vinegar to culture in a dark location for at least 2 months. There’s no need to stir or check on the vinegar.
- Pour the finished vinegar into a bottle or a clean jar for long-term storage and use. Store at room temperature and use within a year.
- Unless you test for pH(affiliate link), 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 when botting.
- Simple apple cider vinegar is prone to kahm yeast. Don’t worry too much about it, it will die off as the vinegar acidifies. However, if mould grows on top of your juice then you have to throw it away and start again. To avoid this, don’t use raw, unpasteurized apple juice.
Keywords: probiotic, healthy, anti-candida, paleo, keto, gluten-free, low-fat, whole 30, ACV, how to make, homemade, raw