How to Make Apple Vinegar – so very easy

How to Make Apple Vinegar - a quick and easy tutorial you can do with leftover apple peelsIMG_0435
I have a new project for you to try this weekend, making apple vinegar. This is the second fruit vinegar I’ve made and its really tasty and so very easy to make. First thing is that you’ll have to make an apple pie or apple tart or apple sauce this weekend. Make anything where you need to core and peel the apples. Save those cores and peels and put them into a bowl. The number of peels or apples isn’t really important, just add enough water to cover the apple scraps by an inch or two. Add a 1/4 c. of sugar to the mix, cover with a small plate and weight it down. In my case I did this with a ramekin filled with water.
Let it sit out, covered with a tea towel (to keep flies from getting in) for a week, until the liquid darkens. Yes, a little mold will form on top, that’s okay. Really.
Just spoon it off. After a week, strain out the apples and pour the soon-to-be-vinegar into a canning jar, fit with a square of cheesecloth and canning lid. This allows the vinegar to breath as well as keeps it from touching the metal, otherwise the metal will corrode. Leave it alone in your pantry for 6 weeks and then you’ll have vinegar. So easy, isn’t it?
I learned this method in the book Wild Fermentation, which is a great book to own and refer to. Happy vinegar making!


  1. says

    Thank you so much! I have a lot of apples (that aren’t real edible) growing in my backyard. Now I know what to do with them.
    Is this similar to the kind with mother in it from the health food store?

    • says

      buy the mother vinegar and use the mother to ferment your own apple or grape juice for guaranteed good vinegar. like making sourdough you are relying on the right kind of yeasts to get the upper hand – it can go wrong. mother of vinegar can be kept going forever, you just plop it into your next batch each time. after a few months, if you test the acidity of your vinegar and its over 5 or 6 % you can use it safely for pickling!

  2. KimH says

    Very cool.. I’ll have to try it one of these days! I have the niftiest apple peeler/corer and it makes cleaning apples fun..

  3. says

    We are totally on the same page! First, we press juice on the same weekend and now we are both doing vinegar! I didn’t start any yet, but planning on canning apple sliced tomorrow and using the peelings and cores for the vinegar. I also looked in Katz’s books for instructions! Great minds must think alike! Your in Sonoma, right? Anyone up there have ripe tomatoes yet? I’ve only gotten a few cherries down in Petaluma.

    • asonomagarden says

      Melissa, yes we’re just over the hill and we had our first BLT’s last night. We’ve had a handful of cherries too, but yes, they’re super late this year!

      • says

        theyre late in london england too… everyones complaining, because its been so wet all summer, just as the ripening gets into gear, the blight appears! ive been rescuing tomatoes all weekend, and ive had umpteen requests for things to do with green tomatoes! any ideas? i tried fried and chutney and then lost the will to live. even the tortoise doesnt want them.

    • asonomagarden says

      Gwen, yes I’m sure you could use the leftovers from pressing. Boy, you could have a lot of vinegar from that! No, this isn’t the same as apple cider vinegar. I’d like to try that at some point, but for that you need to use the actual cider to start from. For now the cider seems to precious to turn into vinegar!

  4. says

    I never would have thought to make this homemade. Great in many dressings and dishes. Apple cider vinegar has so many healing properties. It will also remove plantar warts if anyone is plagued with them. Thanks for sharing this process! Great blog too!

  5. Jennifer says

    How long do you keep it? Do you filter it after the 6 weeks to get the “mother” out and stop fermentation? I had to look up other recipes after reading this, and now I have questions :)

    • asonomagarden says

      Hi Jennifer, I’m still learning myself, but I think it keeps indefinitely and you don’t have to filter the mother out. But if you learn different, let me know!

    • says

      leave the mother in, and reserve for your next batch. it keeps forever just like a sourdough starter, if you treat it right. in the past, mothers of vinegar would have been passed down the generations of a household.

  6. Cloé says

    Hi, thanks for sharing it! I live in Hungary and we have plenty of apples this fall, don’t really manage to use all of it.
    Your recipe looks quite different from the others I found in the net. In the other recipes it’s said we have to press juice from the good parts of the apples (what a waste!). I like the idea of using the peels, but it has to be free of worms and brown parts, right? We have so many worms!

    • asonomagarden says

      Cloe, So good to hear from someone from Hungary. Please know that this isn’t apple CIDER vinegar. for that you do need the juice. This is just apple vinegar. It however is very tasty, I think :)

  7. Annie says

    I have some making but i have a layer or mold on top of the apples. The recipe that I followed did not say to push the apples down. I really hate to throw it out but another site said any mold get rid of it. Can I just scrape the mold off and add Braggs apple cider vingar with mother in it. I mean the acid levels of the vinegar should kill off the mold. Plus I also have a peach vinegar going. It had formed a layer on it but it constantly droppes these crumb like substance into the jar. is this ok? I did add braggs later on. Are the two vinegar mothers competing with each other? Thank you.

    • asonomagarden says

      Annie, you need to keep the apples submerged underneath the water by using a plate on top of them weighted down. The mold is natural, just scrap it off the top with a spoon. You could add Mrs. Braggs to it, it won’t hurt, but I don’t think it will necessarily help it either. Good luck!

  8. wendi says

    This might sound funny since I thought the whole time this was Apple CIDER vinegar. I googled it and nothing came up so I am asking here. What to do with apple vinegar versus ACV??

    Thanks! :)

  9. says

    I made this, and I don’t know if I would eat it…kinda smells weird. I do love it on my hair and have been using as a hair rinse. Have you eaten yours??

  10. Johanna says

    I, to, use it as a hair rinse, for a falky scalp. It also adds a shine to dark hair in you put a sprig of sage in it for 14 days, before you use it.
    Another use, is to use it neat, on any nails that have a fungal infection. clears it up a treat

  11. says

    Hi there! I have a question — when you say to put cheesecloth on with the lid, do you mean just the canning ring? Or do you actually mean the whole lid (including the ring and the flat lid part)? My husband and I are having a disagreement about this here, so we need to hear direct from the source! Thank you so much! ~Angela~

    • asonomagarden says

      I put the cheesecloth over the whole top and secured it down with only the ring. That way it can breath through the cheesecloth. Does that make sense?

      • Amanda says

        I was wondering the same thing! I kept trying to tell from the pictures which it was. Glad I read though the comments- I was about to do it with the flat seal piece and the ring!!!

      • Amanda says

        Also… After the six weeks with it being in a jar with the cheese cloth I am guessing I should transfer to a jar with a proper sealing lid correct? And then does it need to be refrigerated or just left out?

  12. Elisa says

    Hi, I found this recipe a while ago and am now on my second batch of apple vinegar. The first one was only a small one and it is almost ready, smells delicious! The second one which is much larger smells a bit moldy, I just strained out the apple peels yesterday and realized I forgot to add sugar! Do you think I should add some now?

    Anyway thanks for sharing, I love your blog and am avidly following it all the way from Norway!

  13. sarah says

    i have had my vinegar fermenting for approximately 6 weeks in various size containers. the smaller container (roughly a pint) tastes more like a finished vinegar and the color is much darker. however it is cloudy, and the other two (half gallon and gallon size) are clear above the mother- which i assume is on the bottom. the larger sizes don’t taste as tangy as i would expect vinegar to taste, but have a more alcoholic taste. i have read that the color will darken when the vinegar is mature, but i haven’t seen anything about cloudiness. do you think the smaller container is the mature vinegar or has it gone bad? thanks!

  14. Margaret says

    Thank you, Thank you! I looked on the internet trying to find an old fashioned method of making vinegar that was easy and didn’t require removig the mother and then pasturizing.

  15. PlateauGardener says

    We are getting ready for our yearly apple cider pressing, and will have gallons of apple peels/cores. I would like to make vinegar in 5-gallon buckets. How much sugar would you add? Thanks!

  16. Noel says

    Hi from Australia! Our apple season is just starting and when I get home from work I’m expecting an apple pie and lots of scraps to get started with your recipe. Let you know how it goes.

  17. Jenny says

    I can’t wait to try this. I can’t believe how easy this sounds to do- and it’s so expensive to buy!!! I was wondering, though, what method do you use to test its acidity level?

  18. Melinda says

    I’ve made apple vinegar twice using this method. Thanks for posting it. Today, I’m starting a batch of pear vinegar. I’ll let you know. Have you thought of doing peach vinegar? The possibilities are interesting to me.

  19. yasmin says

    Please i have 2 question and hope that u will help me with that:
    1) when covering the apple cores and peels with sugar and water for one week do I keep them in a dark place or a lit place ?

    2) when putting the obtained solution the jar : do i close it firmly or just cover it ?
    And also do i keep it for 6weeks in dark place or lit place ??
    Thank you in advance


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