ACV is usually made from unpasteurized pressed or juiced apples, but you can make it from the peelings and cores. I like to start a batch of apple cider vinegar whenever I am making dried apple rings or applesauce to make use of all peels and cores. It takes about 4-6 months for cider vinegar to properly ferment, so expect to make it and forget about it for a while.
Organic apple peels and cores
Filtered water (unchlorinated)
1 C. raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar plus the sediment from the bottom
½- or 1-gallon glass jar
glass cup that fits inside the ½-1 gallon jar or a boiled stone
dish towel and rubber band
- Clean apples well and use a clean work surface. As you remove the peels and cores set them onto a baking sheet or tray. Let them sit out for 10-30 minutes to oxidize and turn brown.
- Meanwhile, clean your glass jar(s) in hot, soapy water or sterilize in a sink filled with 1 gallon of water and 1Tb. bleach. Rinse and dry.
- Fill the jar(s) ½-¾ full with the oxidized apple scraps. Add the apple cider vinegar with the sediment from the bottom. Add water, but leave at least 3” headspace from the top of the jar. Leave more space if you plan on adding more scraps later.
- The apple scraps will float to the top and need to be weighted down beneath the water. Find a glass cup or other clean object (not wood or aluminum) that fits inside the jar and serves to weigh down the apple scraps.
- Cover the top with a clean dishcloth. Secure it with a rubber band. Set it in a warm place for 4-6 months. During the first month, you can optionally feed it by adding more peels or cores. It will probably bubble up a little in response to this, so do not make the water level too high. A grey scum that develops on the surface is a normal occurrence. You do not need to remove it. If apple pieces float to the surface and get slimy, remove them.
- It is done when it tastes like vinegar. Strain well and bottle.
- If fruit flies get into the fermenting vinegar, it is ok. They will not ruin it, and in fact can sometime help the process! However, you do not want to see fuzzy mold forming during this process. If you see this, you should scrap it and start over.
- You can start taste testing the vinegar at 2 months and every month after to see the progression of fermentation flavor.
Oxidizing apple scrap for making vinegar.