How To Make Apple Cider Vinegar

Making Apple Cider Vinegar From Scraps

Making Apple Cider Vinegar From Scraps

Like apple juice, the best apple cider vinegars are organic, unfiltered and raw (unpasteurized). Depending on where you live it may be hard to find really good apple cider vinegar.

Fortunately, it's easy and very inexpensive to make. It just takes some time, naturally, to ferment. This varies depending on which of the two methods below that you choose to use.

This article will show you how to make apple cider vinegar using two different methods. The first method uses the scraps – cores and apple peels. The second method uses whole apples. 

Method One – Make Apple Cider Vinegar From Scraps

This method uses scraps, like the peels and cores. I like this method because I get to eat my apples and make vinegar too. It's also faster, taking around two months to complete the process.

You'll need:
a large bowl or wide-mouth jar
apple scraps, the cores and peels from organic apples
a piece of cheesecloth for covering the jar to keep out flies and debris

Leave the scraps to air. They'll turn brown, which is exactly what you want. Add the apple scraps to the jar and top it up with water.

You can continue to add scraps for a few more days if you want. If you're going to do this though, be sure don't top the jar right up, leave some room for the new scraps.

Cover with the cheesecloth and put it in a warm, dark place. A water cylinder cupboard is perfect.

You'll notice the contents of the jar starts to thicken after a few days and a grayish scum forms on top. When this happens, stop adding scraps and leave the jar for a month or so to ferment.

After about a month you can start taste-testing it. When it's just strong enough for you, strain out the apple scraps and bottle the vinegar.

It's ok if your vinegar is cloudy, there will be some sediment from the apples and what's known as “the mother”. It's all good. If you don't like the cloudiness though, straining it through a paper coffee filter will remove most of the sediment.

Method Two – Make Apple Cider Vinegar From Whole Apples

This method uses whole, organic apples and takes about 7 months to ferment into vinegar.

You'll need:
10 Whole organically-grown apples
a glass bowl, and later a larger glass bowl
a piece of cheesecloth to cover the bowls

Wash the apples and cut into quarters. You can optionally core and peel them. If you do the scraps can be used to make apple cider vinegar by method one, above.

Let the apples air and turn brown. Then put them into the smaller bowl and cover with water.

Cover the bowl with the cheesecloth and leave in a warm, dark place for 6 months. Again, a hot water cupboard is ideal.

After the 6 months is up, you'll notice a grayish scum on the surface of the liquid. This is normal. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter into the larger bowl, and leave it for another 4-6 weeks, covered with the cheesecloth.

And there you have it, your own homemade apple cider vinegar

How to use Apple Cider Vinegar

There are lots of ways to use apple cider vinegar. It can be used diluted with water as a hair rinse (don't worry – the smell disappears quickly), you can also mix with water or fruit juice and drink it.

Recipes for Apple Cider Vinegar Tonics

Here are some recipes for apple cider vinegar tonics, and other apple cider vinegar articles that you might want to check out:


DISCLAIMER: The statements enclosed herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products and information mentioned on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information and statements found here are for education purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your medical professional.

326 Responses to “How To Make Apple Cider Vinegar”

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  1. Organic Natural Devon Apple Cider Vinegar says:

    You only want Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother in.

  2. Annette says:

    That is too cool – I have a apple cider vinegar I just started and I guess I cheated! I juiced the apples then added champagne vinegar to it. That is so smart to use just the scraps though – I am going to try that next time. It seems much more traditional (and frugal lol).

    Great site Donna!

  3. Jenn says:

    Why is there such a difference in time for fermentation? It seems like it should be about the same since you are using the same ingredients…

    • Eat Healthy says:

      I’ve wondered the same thing myself Jenn. The only reason I can think of, now that I have more experience with fermentation processes, is that using the whole apples you get more sugar, so the micro-organisms have more work to do and will take longer to metabolize that amount of sugar. With just the peels and cores, a much higher proportion of the brew is water, so the overall sugar content is going to be much lower. I’ve only actually made and tasted the peels and core version of this cider vinegar recipe, but I imagine the whole apple version has a stronger flavor.

  4. joie says:

    is it okay to not use cider vinegar??

    • Eat Healthy says:

      Hi joie. I’m not sure what you’re asking exactly… not use cider vinegar for the tonic? Use a different type vinegar, maybe? I’d say, no. Although other vinegars have other uses, the apple cider vinegar is the most beneficial and I wouldn’t recommend using, say white vinegar, for anything where you take it internally. I use it for cleaning purposes, great for that. Although white vinegar may not harm you, I really don’t know about the long term effects, but it’s not going to be beneficial in the ways apple cider vinegar is. I don’t use much apple cider vinegar now, because I make and drink a lot of kombucha which has really similar benefits, but I find it much tastier. I use kombucha in recipes too, salad dressings and the like, very much like I would use cider vinegar.

      Are you having trouble find good quality apple cider vinegar? I may be able to help with some links to where you can buy it online, just let me know.

      • Dave says:

        I followed the instructions, with the core/peel version, and it hasn’t done anything in nearly a month, and tastes like water with a hint of apple, but its a cold winter so do you think the cold weather will delay the action?

        Also if you’re drinking lots of kombucha just keep an eye on your dental health, my friend and his family did that for years, longer that I was on it, and in the end his dentist demanded he stopped, his kids teeth were completely corroded by the acid.

  5. fatima says:

    its very good for weight loss

    • Eat Healthy says:

      @fatima: thanks for commenting! I have read that ACV is good for weight loss, a lot of people actually rave about it.

  6. Megan says:

    ACV is the bomb! I discovered it last month when my BF was sick. I gave him 2T ACV and 6oz OJ. Right away it reduced fever aches and caughing. Since then I have been taking daily for my own health and detox. I have experienced many benefits to include sinuses clearing, body pain relieved, no heart burn in the last month, regular digestive system just to name a few. I started using the regular store brand ACV but they say to use the stuff with “the mother in it” which is the organic stuff. I have experienced great results off the store brand but will one day try the organic stuff. I have even lost a few pounds but at 120 already I need to watch it.

    • Eat Healthy says:

      @Megan wow, thanks for taking the time to comment and report on those awesome results! And all from store bought ACV too, that’s great news because I’d never used the regular store bought kind I wasn’t sure how beneficial it really was. I’m sure you’ll notice even more benefits when you get raw (unpasteurized), organic, unfiltered (with the mother still in) ACV. Do try making some of your own too, if you can get hold of organic apples especially, but even if not it should still be better than the store bought kind. It’s really easy to do. I’ve just made my first batch of sauerkraut, which I love and it’s so good for you (I’ll be writing an article about it soon) and it was so easy. I had always had this idea that it was really hard to do. I thought you needed to have a special container and you needed juniper berries, and had to do it just right or it would go off. What I found is that it couldn’t be easier! Really it was just so simple I wish I’d started sooner! And all modesty aside, I must say it’s the best sauerkraut I’ve ever had! The ACV is just as simple.

  7. ronna says:

    is a brownish-gray scum at the top okay? It almost looks like mold! I’ve had mine sitting in a cabinet (dark) covered with a cloth secured with a rubberband and actually forgot about it the last few weeks – it had this grayish-brownish scum on top so I stirred it all up with a spoon, recovered it and put it back. Smells vinegary – yeasty –


    • Hi Ronna, thanks for you question. It’s hard to tell for sure without seeing it, but it sounds like the natural scum that forms sometimes. I think it’s either the pectin and fiber in the apples and/or the mother of vinegar. Usually molds will be quite dry looking and furry, like the kind you find on bread or rice. After inspecting visually, I usually go with the sniff test to make the final decision if something is okay or not. If the vinegar had already developed, usually it has such a strong pH and that harmful molds and bacteria cannot live in that environment. The same thing applies to Kombucha, which is basically on it’s way to becoming a vinegar, and will do if you let it brew too long (it’s a really nice vinegar though). That’s also why vinegar is such a power cleaner and antiseptic (usually the white vinegar is used for cleaning and disinfectant purposes, because it’s cheap and not so beneficial to consume).

  8. Ann and Julian says:

    My son and I are trying to make ACV a la the Little House on the Prairie cookbook. I found your method since I was a bit unsure of some of the steps they recommended. Do you use purified water, distilled water, tap water? Also how long do you let the scraps brown before adding water? Thank you…we’re looking forward to seeing what develops!

    • Hi Ann & Julian. It’s great you’re making your own ACV! To answer your questions, we are on tank water, rain water so that’s what I use. It’s what comes out of our taps, but it’s not tap water. I would avoid tap water, it has chemicals designed to kill micro-organisms, and it will kill the good fermentations micro-organisms too. Purified water that has the chlorine, fluorine and other nasty chemicals removed would be my first choice of the ones you mention. I think distilled water would work as well. I’ve not tried it and I know there is a long-standing debate as to whether it’s really good for you (because it’s so purely H20) or not good for you (because it’s so devoid of any trace minerals, or life-force). But I have heard that if you ‘liven up’ distilled water by putting lemon or lime or orange slices in it, or wheat grass (or any clean grass), or strawberries that it becomes good for you. So I imagine the apples would work on the same principle.

      As for how long we let the scraps brown for… you want to spread them out so they dry out a bit, and they will brown in that process. They just brown to an extent and then stop. You want to make sure they dry, rather than turn a wet brown, if you know what I mean. It’s a bit hard to explain, but if you could see it you’d ‘get it’ immediately. So you let them dry so the surface doesn’t appear or feel wet anymore. What that does I think is make sure they don’t turn ‘wet brown’ and start turning the fermentation alcoholic. I think different varieties of apples are going to turn a different shade of brown, and depending on how quickly they dry it’s going to affect the shade as well. So the color is not so important as the fact that they have dried on the surface. They don’t have to be crispy dry, just not wet like a fresh apple peel.

      I hope that helps. Have fun! What a great thing to do with your son!

  9. Sophia says:

    Plain vinegar from the store is just as safe to ingest as “apple cider” vinegar to use. In fact, if you read the label on your store purchased ACV, it will most likely state: “Apple cider FLAVORED distilled vinegar” Furthermore, if you read the ingredients: Distilled vinegar (diluted with water to 5% acidity), natural flavor, caramel coloring. It is made with plain vinegar and has apple cider flavor added. So, if you can make ACV yourself, IMHO, it would be much better, as in “the real thing baby”. Plus, you can make it a little stronger acidicly which is necessary for some pickling items.

    • It’s a good distinction you make Sophia, between real apple cider vinegar and the cheap commercial substitute that is just flavored white vinegar. But I still don’t think that white vinegar is that good to ingest (and neither is the cheap commercial “flavored” apple cider vinegar. I only recommend a high quality, raw, organic, unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, if you’re going to buy it, otherwise homemade is the way to go.

  10. Sophia says:

    p.s. – a note about vinegars: do not store even temporarily in any type of metal. The acid leaches out metal particles and can be fatal or damaging if ingested. I.e. for chicken watering cans, you cannot add vinegar to the metal cans as it can kill your animals. They even found back in the 80’s that crystal decanters with wine stored in, had leached some of the lead into it the wine. Although vinegar is some great stuff, be careful how you store it. It is used a lot with livestock because it helps keep them free from worms and the like. I use it to water my rabbits as well, just a tsp. in a gallon of water does it!

    • Really good advice Sophia, and a good point you bring up. Plastic containers used for storage will also leach toxic chemicals into the vinegar. As we know many plastic containers will leach toxic chemicals into something as non-acidic as water. What you say about the lead crystal decanters can also apply to certain types of ceramics, depending on the glazes used.

  11. Michael says:

    I use apple cider vinegar daily in the mornings for my acid reflux, it helps tremendously! I would use it three times a day if I could! I’m curious as to the concentration others have it at. I use 1tsp organic ACV (with mother) or 1Tsp store bought ACV with a glass of water.
    I want to try my hand at making some homemade ACV to cut down costs, seeing as my medical aid won’t cover it, even though I replace all my medication with it! Was also wondering- will this homemade ACV be as good as the organic I get from the health shop and will using non-organic apples make a difference?

  12. Heather says:

    Thanks Donna! I love your site and find myself referring back to it often. This weekend I spent at my friend’s house who happen to have some abandoned apple trees on their property. I asked them what they do with them and they replied, “Oh, nothing, they don’t look good and we are afraid they have worms.” I think people are so far removed from their roots, that they don’t want to touch anything that isn’t perfect and shiny from the grocers. So I am blessed with two bags of awesome tasting organic apples that me, the deer and a few insects are going to enjoy. I am going to make an apple pie and apple butter with the “meat” of the apples and go ahead and try my hand at the ACV for the first time albeit, my mother thinks I am going to kill myself in the process. The next time I visit my friend’s house, I am going to pick up some more for the full recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    • Donna says:

      Wow, awesome score Heather! I totally agree with you that many people are so removed that from nature and the source of our food that they pay for poisoned, low-nutritive food in the supermarket when they often have trees growing in their yard and producing beautiful, chemical-free, nutritious food which falls on the ground and rots (or worse, gets chucked in the rubbish bin and goes to a landfill!). Great for you that you asked and took some apples home! I used to make my own apple butter all the time, I love it. I use tons of cinnamon in it, and it’s so delicious. I have a wheat allergy I have to manage, and wheat’s not so healthy for most people anyway, but I used to make my own wholemeal bread and put my homemade apple butter on it… divine!

      Ironic your mom thinks you are going to kill yourself with homemade ACV when most people are doing just that by eating processed and packaged foods that they don’t even know what ingredients are actually in them. Crazy! Do post back and let us know how it goes, with everything. The thing with the vinegar is that if it does go bad… it’s really obvious (in my experience anyway). It smells really bad, it looks really bad, mold may be growing on it.

      It’s really easy to make a beautiful, raw applesauce too. I basically made that as a base and then created a chia pudding with it. But I’ll have to post the applesauce recipe here, because you might want to try that too. Sometimes I do that with the recipes I think are ‘too’ simple. That’s me being silly though!

      Do you have a worm farm? That’s a good way to use the scraps that you can’t use otherwise. Feed the worms! Let me know if you are interested in knowing more, I have an article I can send you too.

      Enjoy! I bet your house is going to smell so mouth-wateringly beautiful over the next few days!

  13. Rena says:

    When you say top off with water do you mean just cover the scraps or fill the container. Sometimes I am one of those people that needs exact measurements. I am working on winging it but when I make something for the first time I don’t want to mess it up. My cousin recently got married and she wanted to make candy and caramel apples as favors so we got a bushel of apples. we made the favors for her wedding and still had a ton left over so I made apple sauce and apple butter. I used some of the scraps to make the juice for jelly, and I am using the rest to try my hand at ACV. I am really excited about it i love to use things that I would normally discard. thank you for you help.

    • Rena says:

      oh… also I read some other recipes… none used the scraps like yours but they said to stir the mixture daily to aerate. Is that needed in this recipe? and the “scum that forms on the top, in the end do you skim that off or stir it right in?

  14. Donna says:

    Thank you Dave! Glad you’re enjoying it. I normally dislike vinegars, but apple cider vinegar is an exception. Much nicer taste and smell in addition to all those benefits. I’ve been using Kombucha vinegar in much the same way, and I suspect it has many, many health benefits too considering kombucha tea has so many. It’s easy to make as well, a bit quicker though. If you’re already making kombucha you just let it ferment for 21 days (or more) and it comes out really tart! Nice.

  15. bool says:

    While others use yeast to ferment the cider, I have noticed you never mentioned about it. What’s the difference?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Bool, thanks for the question. Some people use brewing yeast as a starter. But it’s not really necessary. If you don’t use it the yeasts that get in and do the job are known as ‘wild yeasts’, which are just pretty much everywhere as part of our environment.

      I’m not sure if you can use baking yeast, because I’m sure I’ve seen recipes online that refer to it, but sometimes people post things that they haven’t actually tried, and there could be some misinformation out there. I talked to a guy in a brewing shop who had been brewing beer and wine and who knows what else for decades, he’d read a lot on the subject and was quite knowledgeable. He said the brewing yeast was grown in a very controlled environment, so that it was predictable. I was actually talking to him because we’d made some ginger beer and some of the bottles had started exploding so if you opened one you’d get this pretty awesome geyser of ginger beer shooting out of it. In some cases the bottles actually exploded though, so I really wanted to get that under control. He said that’s partly why, in beer making, they used this special yeast. Because they could control it better. He said that with wild yeasts, they were unpredictable. (It turns out the explosive ginger beer was due to being bottled while there was still too much sugar in the brew, there is a special meter you can get that tells you when you have a low enough sugar level to bottle it.)

      My thinking on the whole commercial brewing yeast or wild yeast is this… for centuries vinegar has been brewed without commercial brewing yeast. In fact it was one of the first fermented foods humans ever developed they reckon. It was widely used for preserving and disinfecting things. So naturally fermented apple cider vinegar (or any other fermented food) that has wild yeasts in it is more likely to be the beneficial, probiotic yeast our bodies need. I don’t know much about the commercial brewing yeast but, even though it may ferment the beverage, but doesn’t necessarily have any beneficial probiotics in it. It’s possible that it is a type of yeast that will take over and prevent other (wild) yeasts from establishing themselves as well (this would make its behavior more predictable). Even if it does have some probiotic benefits, I think it’s only one strain of yeast. A wild fermentation may have many different types of yeast, all of which have different benefits.

      So I’m not an expert on this (yet), but fermentation and probiotics fascinate me. They are extremely important to our health. My personal philosophy is to try to eat as naturally as possible, and as far as probiotics go to get the widest range of beneficial bacteria and yeast in me as I can. That’s why, even though I’m really into wild fermentation, I also highly recommend the Body Ecology products. They are developed to have a specific group of yeast and bacteria that are beneficial, and they are guaranteed to be active. So you know exactly what you are getting, and what your ferments will contain. Lots of good info on the site as to what the various strains of yeast and bacteria do as well. I haven’t been able to get them where I live yet, but if I could, I would use both the Body Ecology starters and wild fermentation to create my own probiotic foods.

      • bool says:

        Thanks for your very informative reply. I like your amazing site.

        Yeah your right. The best way to live a healthy life is to go natural.

        Someone told me that baking yeast should not be used for fermentation. I don’t know for what reason that it should not be used. I believe your method using natural or wild yeast is the best one and the healthiest way to produce apple cider vinegar.

        I’m looking forward to making my own apple cider vinegar using your recipe. I’ll let you know if it turns out good. 🙂

        • Donna says:

          Thank you Bool! Do post back and let us know how your apple cider vinegar brewing goes. I’d like to try to find some cheap organic apples and make some more. You can sometimes get ‘juicing’ apples for good prices. They are not good-looking enough to be sold for eating, but are great for juicing, often great for drying as well, and are fine for making cider vinegar.

          I’ve only ever made the peels and cores version of this. I’d like to try the other version too, just to compare. Let me know which one you try.

      • Jan says:

        My husband and I use to make wine and we used a special yeast, not the kind you buy in the grocery store. The meter you’re talking about is to measure the specific gravity. That lets you decide how sweet or dry you want the wine to be. A specific gravity of 1.000 is very dry. I use to like mine sweeter — about 1.012.

  16. Donna says:

    Thank you Mike. I’ve seen small barrels for brewing somewhere online, with a tap on them. Not sure what they were made of. They were the sort of size you could keep in your kitchen and have your fermented vinegars on tap as well. I went on a tour of a winery and got to go into the wine cellar (which was a cave) and see all the barrels. They said they were quite expensive to buy and they could only use them once (or maybe twice, my memory is a bit hazy – I was doing some tasting as well). So I’m sure you could find ex-winery barrels. They are pretty trendy here, so they are rare, and I think still pretty expensive when you do find them. Good luck on your search though.

  17. Vickie says:

    I am doing this. It has been a month. I dont have any scum on top, but there is sediment. I made 2. 1 has an odor, and the taste is getting there. The other…same, but not alot of odor or taste.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Vickie. I’m assuming you made them at about the same time, and they are sitting next to each other. Where they
      both made from organic apples? I’m not sure why they are different as far as their fermentation process goes. If you can put the one that doesn’t yet have an odor and taste into a wider jar, something where it has more surface area exposed to the air it might help.

      Some things that can interfere with fermentation are pesticides, tap water, anti-bacterial soap residue, basically anything designed to kill bacteria (or in the case of pesticides to kill any living thing). So if this batch was exposed to anything like that, which maybe the other batch was not it might be inhibiting the growth of the bacteria. Also excessive heat (that’s basically what pasteurization, another process to kill off micro-organisms, is). At least it’s not smelling bad, so it’s not gone off.

      With these ‘wild fermentations’ some of the fermenting bacteria and yeasts will come from the atmosphere (they are all around us all the time), so the other jar may just have received more exposure to these helpful micro-organisms, for some reason. To help the ‘slower’ jar along, you could try putting a bit of ‘starter’ from the jar that’s definitely fermenting into the one that’s not. It may be fermenting but just a bit more slowly, but if you add some from the other jar you’ll introduce the micro-organisms so you know they are there for sure and that should help. It may just take longer for this slower jar to get there, but don’t give up on it (unless it goes bad of course).

      I hope some of this helps. Let me know how it goes, how they are doing in a couple more weeks. If you get the slower batch to successfully ferment let us know what you did. I’m sure it will be helpful to other people too. Thanks!

      • Vickie says:

        I didnt have organic apples. Just store bought. I was making an apple dessert in the crock pot, not yours at the time, sorry :-(, so just used what I had on hand. Used the peels and cores and used wide mouth jars. I had them both in a cabinet behind other things with a elastic plastic stretchy lid that I slit holes in. I am new to alot of this. I have used store bought ACV before and came upon your site saying I could make it myself. 🙂
        I will keep checking it though. Not like I lost alot if it doesnt turn out!

  18. James says:

    I’m having trouble with the search function on here. I’m looking for a post from a few weeks ago, but I’m not finding what I’m looking for. Is it accurate? The entry was really something I’d enjoy reading again.

    • Donna says:

      Hi James, the search function should be fairly accurate. Tell me what you were looking for and I’ll see if I can help. What was the article you were looking for about?

  19. I have a thick layer of furry mold on top of mine and my liquid is half gone, (maybe I kept it too warm?). I wouldn’t dare taste this stuff looking like that, did I botch the job? Thanks and God bless!

    • Donna says:

      Hi Megan
      Yes, definitely a bad batch. So best to just throw it out and start over. It happened to me once too. I thought at the time that I had let it go too long, but I think there could be several possible causes of mold. If the liquid turns to vinegar quick enough mold won’t have a chance to grow. It can’t grow in the acidic pH of the vinegar. Even if mold spores do land on the liquid, they will die. It could also be caused by a bit of the apple, like a bit of core, sticking up out of the water. It’s hard to say for sure. If it consistently becomes a problem for you, you could try adding a bit of ‘starter’ vinegar to it. I know with Kombucha that’s what you do, and it prevents mold growing on the surface of the sweet tea, which otherwise is a very favorable medium. I’m really not sure how much you would add though.

  20. I really like the idea of creating vinegar from apple scraps. We consume a lot of vinegar with olive oil as salad dressing and it would be great to turn all my apple scraps into vinegar. I could still compost the solids.

    I’m still a little concerned about consuming anything that is “spoiled.” Is it possible to get sick from this?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Bill.

      If it’s done properly, and with organic apples (which it looks like you’re already growing – kudos to you!) it’s not really possible to get sick from it. If it’s not done properly it may get mold growing on it or spoil rather than ferment and then you definitely want to throw it out and not use it. Everyday people (rather than food scientists in white lab coats) have been fermenting foods for thousands of years in order to preserve them and extend their shelf-life. The yeast and bacteria produced by these healthy fermentations are essential to our own health. They ARE our immune systems.

      We’ve destroyed our immune systems in our attempt to kill all bacteria in our environment. From anti-bacteria hand soaps and cleaning agents, to anti-biotics that we take internally, to heat treating foods at high temperatures (pasteurization) to kill all life forms (friendly bacteria and essential enzymes included). If we have a healthy inner ecosystem of these beneficial yeast and bacteria, they will attack and destroy any pathogenic bacteria we consume. I highly recommend the Body Ecology website for lots more information on this. Sign up for the newsletter (it’s easy to unsubscribe if you don’t want it) and get the free audio series, it’s amazing!

  21. Thanks for the info. I think I might just try it.

    • Donna says:

      It’s worth experimenting with at least. Especially if you have your own trees and plenty of apples. That’s the beauty of the scrap method. If it smells bad (off) or has mold growing on it throw it out and start over. Sometimes it just happens. I had that happen on one batch. But it really was pretty obvious it had gone bad, and I think it was actually because I had left it for too long… so my fault 🙂 Let me know how it goes Bill, and what you think of the taste. If you have a couple of trees you could probably make enough to be totally self-sufficient with your vinegar.

      • Lisa B. says:

        I had that happen with the second half of a batch of sauerkraut that I never got around to bottling…thinking it would just get stronger. Nope – it spoiled. Ick! So, more time isn’t always better. 🙂

  22. Angie says:

    I’m really amazed how easy it is to make apple cider vinegar! I love ‘honey-gar’ and have recently joined my local bee keeping club which equals great access to high quality honey, I see lots of warming honeygar in my future this winter 🙂

  23. Angie says:

    Thanks very much for the beekeeping link, i’ve never heard of Top bar before, I must look into it. I like the idea of beekeeping which puts the needs of the bees first. 🙂

  24. kathryn says:

    Question- when bottling the vinegar does the lid need to be sealed?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Kathryn, thanks for your question. The lid should be sealed when it’s finished fermenting and you are bottling it for storage. But you don’t have to seal it super airtight (i.e. vacuum sealed) like you do with canning. Because of the pH of the vinegar, it will be naturally antiseptic and the ‘bad bugs’ won’t be able to live in it. So you can just put it in the bottle with a screw cap.

  25. Lisa B. says:

    Hi, Donna! I know that the recipe calls for skins and cores that you leave out to brown. Have you ever tried using pulp from juicing? I don’t know how you would “brown” this (perhaps spread it out in a thin layer on a baking pan?), but it seems like a great way to use the pulp.

  26. Shellee says:

    Can we use crab apples? My sister thinks she’ll have an abundance this year and would like to try her hand at homemade vinegar.

    • Donna says:

      That’s a great question Shellee. I’ve never heard of anyone using crab apples, but I don’t see why not. I would definitely try it. If you make some please post back and let me know how it goes, I’d be really keen to know. Thanks for asking.

      • John says:

        Hi Donna

        Great article, just what I was looking for. Now is the time of the year when we are getting the June fall, in particular we have a lot of small acid-green Bramleys which are by their nature rather sour. Would these be suitable for chopping up and making by the scrapings method. Have to say it is good to hear someone promoting the age-old tried and trusted methods. Nowadays people throw out potatoes after their BB date – madness!

        • Donna says:

          Hi John, thanks for your question! I think the Bramleys would be fine. I only like tart and juicy/firm apples, so that’s what I always use. That is madness about people throwing out their potatoes. I didn’t even realize they had a best before date. Don’t throw them out, PLANT them! Let me know how your apple cider vinegar turns out.

  27. Ben says:

    Hi Donna! Nice tips for making the ACV. Just wondering whether dry apple bits would be fine with this approach.


    • Donna says:

      Hi Ben, that’s in interesting question. I guess if the apple has been dried to retain all it’s natural enzymes (below 110 degrees F) and does not contain sulfur dioxide or any other preservatives or anything like that it should work. I’ve never tried it, but I’m pretty sure it would. If you try it I’d love if you could post back here and let us know the results. Cheers, Donna

  28. Ben says:

    Thanks Donna. I will dry out some without a preservative and see how it turns out. Just abit concerned about drying without any sort of preservative aid though for fear of attracting all sorts of nasties under 30 Celsius. And thanks for pointing out the preservatives; the pieces i was planning to start with were dried with aid of a natural flavours (preservative) solution at room temperature. Bless u!

  29. jennie says:

    So happy to find this site. I just bought the Braggs Cider Vinegar booklet yesterday at the natural foods store. I’ve tried the daily vinegar thing before but did not know that it had to be natural cider with the ‘mother’ in it. I want to be able to make my own. The scrap method sounds great….will have to try this very soon.

  30. chokey says:

    HI Donna,
    I live in Asia and we have monsoon here, lots of rain. I have lots of organic apple trees and want to learn to make my own apple cider vinegar. But I am wondering if because of the dampness of the season, do you think the apple scraps will go moldy before they ferment ? Our apples get ripe end of Aug into Sept. but some are a bit ripe now. Should they be really ripe or can you use nearly ripe ones ?
    thank you for any suggestions.

  31. Chokey says:

    HI , I live in Asia where we got heavy monsoon – rain. I have alot of organic apple trees and would love to try to make apple cider vinegar from your recipe. But I am wondering if in such a rainy place it would go moldy before it went fermented ? I like the idea of the scrap recipe as also it takes a much shorter time to ferment. What do you think ? Will it work ? I guess i can just try and see. Any suggestions would be great.


    • Donna says:

      Hi Chokey, I’d recommend adding some raw apple cider vinegar to your brew when you start it. It’s not necessary to get the fermentation happening, but it will change the acidity level and help to prevent mold from developing. If you follow the recipe and try add a teaspoon of ACV per litre of liquid to see how that goes. The apples don’t have to be super ripe. I’ve made it with quite tart apples, I prefer tart apples to the really sweet ones, so that’s almost always what I make mine with. Good luck and let me know how it turns out.

  32. Chokey says:

    HI Donna,

    thank you for your reply. Now I have a few other questions. One- As I can not get a big glass bowl , can one use plastic for the apples ? I have a huge oil container that is 15 liters and have lots of apples that have fallen off the trees this year. I thought to try to make the vinegar using the whole apples that have fallen off the trees. And question no. 2 is , I live in the Himalaya Mountains and it gets really cold here, starting in Nov. and by Jan. it is freezing to where the water pipes freeze. Will it still work if I start now, and in 6 months that is Jan. Feb , so can’t really have a warm place for it to ferment. I guess I could wrap something around the container to keep it warm. And is it ok to make a big batch ? Like around 50 – 100 apples at a time ? And do you just cover them enough with the water ? And do you add more water if it starts to lessen ? Sorry I guess I have more than 2 questions !!!! I make jam, do canning, freeze etc. but have never made vinegar, so have lots of questions .And can one make peach and pear vinegar ? would it be the same method ?

    thank you for any ideas

  33. julie says:

    I loved your ‘scrap’ recipe for ACVinegar. Is it OK to just throw in peel and cores or do I have to check for bugs. What about bruised apples – can they be used?

    I’m definitely going to have a go.


  34. kath says:

    you don’t mention adding sugar where all other recipes seem to and I don’t have anywhere like an airing cupboard so will wrapping the jar up in a thermal blanket work? Will it ferment at cooler temperatures but take longer like bread?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Kath, thanks for your question. I’ve not used a thermal blanket, but I think it would work. As the bacteria that do the fermentation start to work they will generate some heat and the thermal blanket will help to keep that heat in. So I think it will work. I’m not sure about the fermentation at cooler temperatures working but taking longer. I know that’s what happens with kefir and kombucha, so I would assume that it would be the same with the ACV. I’d suggest in both cases if you can add a teaspoon of good quality raw, unfiltered, organic ACV per litre/quart of water that would be best just in case. It will change the pH of the water enough to prevent harmful bacteria getting in there in the extra time it may take for the good ones to establish themselves. It won’t hurt, and there should be live bacteria in the ACV if it’s raw which will give them a head start as well.

  35. Hans Dieckmann says:

    Hi Donna. Like Lisa B., I also have a question about using the pulp from making apple juice to make vinegar. I could not find an answer to Lisa B. Have you tried it? What about using Apple Juice? Hans

    • Donna says:

      Hi Hans, I’ve only used the core and peel method. But using apple pulp and apple juice should work too. Basically all the bacteria and yeast that do the fermentation feed off the sugar. So both the pulp and juice will have that sugar as well. You want to make sure the apple juice has no preservatives, since it’s designed to kill microorganisms. And be sure that you use a wide mouth container, and it’s exposed to the air. You need to expose it directly to the air at first so it can pick up all the naturally occurring yeasts, then you can cover with cheesecloth, or some people use a coffee filter. I hope that helps. Let me know how your cider vinegar experiments go.

  36. JT says:

    This is the first time I tried anything like this. I’m using the scraps from Honey Crisp apples. I have been eating one each day and adding the scraps to a bowl open to the air. They are starting to turn very lightly brown now after the third day. How do I know when to stop and cover them with water? Do you stuff the jar as full as you can? Is it the desire to get as much apple in jar as you can? … How brown is brown, I don’t want to wait to long and be in trouble of spoilage? When I do cover them with water and cheese cloth do I have monitor water level, add water? What is the gray scum on top you keep talking about, is that the Mother developing? Is there a way to tell when the vinegar is completed and what the acid content is?

  37. Richard says:

    Hi Donna, thank you for these recipes. I have a load of spare apples from our tree this year, so I would like to use the whole apple method, but I am rather put off by the waiting time. Do you know why the whole apple method is so much slower than the scraps method? Do you have any ideas about how one might speed it up? – adding some starter ACV or even a little sugar?



    • Donna says:

      Hi Richard, I have wondered the same thing. And I don’t know why the fermentation time is longer with the whole apple method. I would think it would be shorter if anything. I’ve only made it using the scrap method. But I do think you can speed that up by adding starter ACV. The sugar level should be fine just from the apples themselves. So try adding some Raw, Unpasteurized, Unfiltered ACV like Bragg’s. If you can get the kind with the mother in it, and if you can get some of that mother out to add into your new batch, along with a bit of the vinegar that should really kick start it. Then just keep checking and smelling and tasting it to decide when it’s finished. And post back the results if you get a chance. I’d love to know how you go with it.

      • Sandi says:

        I would love to make apple cider vinegar by the gallons. What type of jar would you reccomend ? I have some plastic pails for making wine, would those work?

        • Donna says:

          Hi Sandi. I would only recommend glass jars, or if you can find them ceramic crocks that are designed for making fermented foods. See if you can get half gallon, wide-mouth jars. You might even be able to get big gallon jars that are used for pickle making. Plastic is problematic because even if it’s food grade plastic there are things that will leech out of it into your cider vinegar that are not healthy.

  38. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for this method. I have just made my first ever batch of apple vinegar and am now about to bottle it.

  39. Erin says:


    I tried the scrap method, and left the jar for about a month and a half. When I went to check it out, it was covered with white and green mold. Did I leave it for too long? There must be a very fine line between fermenting and going bad. I read on another website about stirring the apple solution every day, would that help to keep it from molding? Or maybe I could try adding apple cider vinegar to it just to get it started. Also, could I still use the vinegar under the layer of mold for my hair? (I wash my hair with a baking soda/ACV combo) Is it ok to use, as long as it’s not taken internally?


    • Meg says:

      My BF was working on a batch as well and it was covered in mold. He just scraped it off, but I’m curious if it’s ok to continue with that batch?? Seems like you’d have to throw it?? Also, the fruit flies have gotten bad around the ACV. I feel like it’s because they can get into the cheese cloth…maybe better to do a coffee filter?

  40. Helen MacAndrew says:

    I am in the process of trying the scraps method. I found the link on a Facebook page, and have been asking around there to make sure I am doing everything right. So far all sounds good. But…I am concerned about telling the difference between ‘the mother’ and mold growing on top. It’s not quite at a month yet (a few more days) I can smell apple, smells really good, but it’s just so awful looking…the stuff sitting on top of the floating apples!! I have been told that’s the mother, but I thought the mother was the cloudiness underneath!! I have not pushed anything down into the jar, leaving all alone since I put the scraps in, covered with cheesecloth. Well, except for the one jar that I knocked by mistake today; that stuff got a little dunked back into the water, and spilled a little (super clean cupboard now).
    So, my biggest worry…how do you know that ick on top is normal and not mold?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Hi Helen, you’re right the mother is usually the cloudiness underneath. Often there will be a grayish foam on top, it sounds like that might be what you are seeing, but it’s hard to know for sure without seeing it. If it’s just the gray foam, you can scoop it off before you pour off the apple cider vinegar and bottle it. At least it smells right, so that’s a good sign.

      Generally you can tell the difference between mold and the foam because the foam will break up easily if you move a spoon or something through it. The mold will tend to cluster together. It forms a skin almost, so if you try to lift part of it with a spoon or something, the whole thing will come away in one piece. There can be exceptions of course, but that’s a general rule.

      • Helen MacAndrew says:

        Thanks very much!! I did think it was a good sign that the smell was good. I will try scooping/moving it and see what happens 😉

        • Hilma says:

          Mine actually has some green stuff formed on the apples on top… I am assuming that is mold so I have no clue what I have done wrong… it has only been like a week and I think it is ruined :0(

    • Lori says:

      What facebook page are you talking about? I would love to chat with others who have done this. I don’t know if mine has turned out right or not…

  41. Helen MacAndrew says:

    I copied/pasted my message below earlier (just in case) good thing because I don’t see it!! I think the comment from Erin on October 25th sounds like mine…but is it mold? Also I checked your pic after I wrote, and when I did mine it was way more water with scraps floating above it…I no idea how much of each to use!!

    I am in the process of trying the scraps method. I found the link on a Facebook page, and have been asking around there to make sure I am doing everything right. So far all sounds good. But…I am concerned about telling the difference between ‘the mother’ and mold growing on top. It’s not quite at a month yet (a few more days) I can smell apple, smells really good, but it’s just so awful looking…the stuff sitting on top of the floating apples!! I have been told that’s the mother, but I thought the mother was the cloudiness underneath!! I have not pushed anything down into the jar, leaving all alone since I put the scraps in, covered with cheesecloth. Well, except for the one jar that I knocked by mistake today; that stuff got a little dunked back into the water, and spilled a little (super clean cupboard now).
    So, my biggest worry…how do you know that ick on top is normal and not mold?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Hi Helen, don’t worry the comments all come through. Because they have to be moderated (that is approved by us) they don’t show up immediately.

  42. Kate says:

    I’ve been harvesting our apples and making sweet and hard cider for years, but this year decided to make some vinegar as well. I’ve read your procedures, but wondering if there’s any expertise on my results. 4 or 5 gallons of sweet cider started to puff up, so I took off the caps and let them go to vinegar – my first attempt.

    It’s been about 8 weeks and they smell a little vinegary, they taste tart but okay (like a light vinegar), and there is no “mother” or “slime” at all. I compared to taste to a bottle of commercial stuff I have and there is a MAJOR difference!! Extreme taste in the commercial one, just barely vinegar in mine.

    So my questions, why don’t I have a scum at the top? Is this strong enough to store without spoiling? Any other tips or suggestions? Many thanks!

    • Kate says:

      Update: I think the “mother” in this batch may be laying at the bottom – does that happen? The sediment layer is whitish and hard to cut, so I’m thinking it sank. When we make hard cider or drink the sweet cider, the bottom layer is simply sediment and it’s powdery and stirs easily; this is different. So it may be there after all. I saw that I was supposed to stir daily, so I tightened the caps and shook. The top of the liquid was completely clear and worthy of sipping before the shake, but afterwards the bottom sediment didn’t mix in as much as I expected, and then I realized it was a tough pancake instead of a powdery sediment layer.

      But I appreciate any thoughts on these results. Is it usual to have such a mild vinegar flavor after 8 weeks? We use a variety of apples, from red delicious, granny smith, empire, gala and courtland (we think). We had a LOT of apples this year and they were very sweet, so that may influence the extremely mild vinegar, too.

      I appreciate any insights for this first-time vinegar effort.

  43. Tali says:

    Hi I follow the recipe for apple cider vinegar from scraps and everything looks good, I keep it inside the oven at a constant 70 to 75 F due to pilot light, and its been about 1 1/2 month but mine does not smell like vinegar or taste strong like the one from the store. Do you think more time is needed? and if so about how much time.

  44. Kate says:

    I’m thinking mine were still in the hard cider stage when I wrote above. They were quite drinkable at the time. I’m guessing I wasn’t letting in enough air. I switched them to a wide-mouth jar and now it is smelling more vinegary. Only one had that gel pancake at the bottom, so I cut it into 4 and put a quarter in each container. I think I’ve got it going now, and a grey-ish layer is finally forming on top. (And the room smells like vinegar! Though it might be kind of chilly in there and inhibiting the growth.)

  45. Simon says:

    Hi There
    We use a lot of cider vinegar in drinks, dressings and cooking ect. I’m planing to make some cider vinager but my uncle is an alcoholic. Is it safe to to use cider vinager (made this way) in, a dressing on a salad that an alcoholic will eat, when it is not cook?

  46. Krysta says:

    Making my first batch using an old pickle jar… It’s huge!
    I don’t have any cheese cloth.. Should a bandana work?
    I read the comments after starting it.. (made my eyes cross trying to read them all :P)
    I used the two bags of apples I had on hand (scrap method) and really doubt they are organic… I also used tap water.. Are they going to work at all?
    When making pickles you weigh down the cucumbers so nothing is sticking above the liquid.. Do you need to do that with these?
    I really wish you would update the post with all the Q&A you have done in the comments.. It would be helpful :D.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Krysta. Yes a bandana should work fine. I’m not sure if it will work with non-organic apples and tap water. It depends on how bad the chemicals in both are, whether they kill the beneficial bacteria or not. You do want to make sure the apples/cores/peels are submerged at all times. That’s a good idea about updating the article with the Q&A. It will be time-consuming though, so I’ll just have to see if I get a chance to do it. But I think it’s a good suggestion, thank you.

  47. Lynn says:

    Hi Donna – Your methods of making ACV sound good & I’m going to try the scrap method using the castoffs from putting apples through the juicer. What do you think? Lynn 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Hi Lynn, I think that’s a great idea. I think it will work to use the pulp from juicing. Let us know how it turns out 🙂

  48. Liberty says:

    This sounds wonderful and easy compared to other websites. I was wondering, since I’m starting to get into fermentation (just ordered my airlock valves, grommets and valves to make my own airlock lids) would it work with using these airlock valves, which would skip the whole mold thing? You can use a weight to keep the apple pieces below the water, like most fermentation processes, and the airlock will let out the gasses.


    • Donna says:

      Hi Liberty, that’s a good question. I’ve never used airlocks myself, so I’ll have to do some research to answer your question.

  49. Sherrie says:

    Thanks for these instructions, I’m just starting to get the first drops from my Lodi tree and was hoping I could do something with the unblemished parts instead of just drying them. Based on other vinegars I’ve made, I think the whitish-gray on the top is the yeast, and the mother is the slime at the bottom. To the person who has the slow vinegar in cider bottles, the small openings may be impeding the process by limiting the air the bacteria and yeast need.

  50. Mellimaus says:

    I’ve been googling and can’t seem to get an answer… is it possible to turn cheap, pasteurized apple cider vinegar into vinegar with mother by taking some of the cheap stuff out and adding Bragg in it’s place, and letting it sit for a few weeks?
    I feed apple cider vinegar with mother to my horse, at about 1/2 a cup a day, so I go through it in bulk and it would be cheaper to do this. Thanks for your help.

  51. Liberty says:

    I can’t remember where I saw it but I thought that someone made apple cider vinegar from organic frozen concentrate apple, or oirganic juice and a bottle of Braggs ACV as a starter and let it sit for several weeks. Has anyone tried this? Wished I remembered where I saw it.

    • Liberty says:

      I have’t gotten an answer on my airlocks question or the apple juice with the ACV as a starter, so reposting to bring it to the forefront. Anyone know?


  52. John says:

    when you make the apple cider vinegar is there gas in it before bottling it ?
    I am told that gas in it shows that it is a ‘live’ bacteria drink, which is what you want

    What difference does aging make to it, eg. 3 years ?

    Thank you,

    • Donna says:

      Hi John. You do want a live bacteria drink, and the gas is a by-product of the live bacteria while they are fermenting it. How much gas is still being produced depends how much sugar is still in whatever you are fermenting. So if you bottle something while the sugar content is still high and the bacteria are still fermenting it they will be producing more gas. If you have bottled it tightly and there is no way for the gas to escape you run the risk of exploding the container. However a culture is still considered live even when the sugar content has been mostly used up by the bacteria. I’m not sure if they die or go into a dormant state or what. But these ferments are still healthy for many other reasons. Does that make sense?

      I’m not sure about aging the ACV, I’ve never aged them for that long.

      • John says:

        How would I test it to see if the bacteria is live or dead ?
        If they were dormant how then would I bring them to life ? (exposure to air at a certain temp. ?)

  53. Megan says:

    I have an apple tree that gets infested with worms before the apples are fully ripe, I was wondering if this recipe will work with apples that aren’t quite ripe yet and a little on the small side. I also wanted to know if it’s ok to use the ones with the worm holes?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Megan. I think your apples will work for cider vinegar. Cut out the worm holes and make the brown bits they create and make sure you don’t get any worms in there of course. The fermentation time may vary because they don’t have as much sugar. I like really tart green apples, so that’s what I use for my cider vinegar when I use the peel and core method.

  54. Deb says:

    Hi, I’m just starting a batch and regretting dumping out all my juice pulp from this morning, my peels and cores from last week’s apple pie, so I have apples but no scraps. Why does the whole apple recipe take so much longer? I’m an impatient type and so chopped my apples up smallish hoping size matters – does anyone know? And how did the juice pulp cider work out, anyone?

  55. Megan says:

    I started two batches of the recipe from the scraps. In the second batch, some of the apples rose above the water level and have turned brown. It still smells like vinegar, but it’s very strong. Can they be resubmerged? Or do I need to scoop them out? Or is the whole thing ruined? I don’t think any mold has formed.

  56. Megan says:

    I started two batches of the scrap method. In the second batch, some of the apples rose above the water level and turned brown. It still smells like vinegar but the smell is very strong. Can I resubmerge the apples? Or do I need to scoop them out? Or is it ruined and I have to scrap the whole thing? I don’t see any mold formations.

  57. Deb McCormick says:

    Boy did I get fruitflies! Have had to replace the cheesecloth with a denser fabric, but I think it’s just the airflow that is needed, right?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Deb, you might want to try using a paper coffee filter as a lid. They tend to fit really nicely, just turn them upside down and put over the mouth of the jar. Hold it on with a rubber band. The fruit flies will have a hard time getting through it, but it’s still breathable.

  58. Keri says:

    Hi, I’ve tried making this but the apple cores seems to have gone mouldy and there’s mould around the top of my jar. That’s bad huh?

  59. Barbara says:

    I am just in the process of making applesauce by steaming the apples and then putting them through a strainer. So I have a lot of peels and cores. Would this work for making vinegar when the scraps are cooked?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Barbara, I’m not sure if it will work with the cooked cores and peels, I’ve never tried it. Cooking destroys valuable enzymes which might be used in the fermentation process. I guess you could always try it and see what happens.

      • Dean Hutchins says:

        Can you use a brewer’s airlock with lid and either a quart or half gallon wide mouth jar to slowly ferment your cider vinegar?
        My understanding is that the scum layer essentially forms a seal to keep out oxygen yet allows other fermentation gases to escape.

        If it’s possible then you only have to make sure your airlocks never go low on water or dry out.
        Here’s a great site for supplying very affordable airlocks with rubber stoppers. Use either a white plastic reusable lid made by Ball or even Walmart has a Mainstays version. Drill a 5/8″ in the lid, insert the rubber stopper with a hole and then insert your water filled airlock.

        So would this process be considered a “lacto-fermentation”?

        I do veggies, pickles (kosher dill and bread & butter types), onions, garlic and carrots for fridge storage for well over 6 months. They have a distinct sour or vinegar flavor but no vinegar is added, it’s created from a brine and the natural sugars of the item being fermented. It brings out more nutritional values than merely eating them raw, they remain firm and crunchy but if you cook them you’ve also killed the valuable nutrients.

        I sweeten the bread & butter pickles with honey, maple syrup, sorghum and black strap molasses blended together. Equal parts of the first three and 1/4 part of the black strap. Blend at room temp and the end result is very much like a brown sugar syrup flavor without using store bought brown sugar. It’s great on pancakes & waffles too.

        • Donna says:

          Hi Dean! Your pickles sound delicious! To answer your question, I’m not sure about using a brewer’s airlock, but your reasoning makes sense to me. Airlocks would sure make it easier to avoid fruit flies. If you do an experiment brewing some ACV with an airlock please post back to let us know how it turned out. Thanks for sharing that link for a good place to get airlocks. I’d like to get some to use on some of my fermented products.

          • Dean Hutchins says:

            Hi Donna,

            Thanks for you feedback. The pickles turned out really good and they keep so well. Their flavor improves with time if you can keep them around long enough.
            I plan trying a small batch of ACV with the airlocks in some half gallon jars. I’ll definitely report back the results. ACV with a little honey in water tastes like apple juice if you can avoid smelling the vinegar. Vinegar smells confuse the taste buds. It’s good stuff!
            Some folks have access to the 1/2 gal. mason jars locally but not the case here in my area of Northern Arkansas. You can buy them through for $12.99/case, when you buy two cases at a time you get free shipping since the order is more than $25. I had some broken jars my first time but Amazon adjusted it so if you hear broken glass just refuse the order and they re-ship.
            They’ve upgraded their packaging for shipping the jars so I haven’t had an issue since then.
            Here’s a link for a really good price on One Gallon glass jars for fermenting that’s more affordable than crock ware:
            Crocks are really nice and the ones with water seals designed into them are even probably top of the line but not everyone, including me, can afford them. Small batches of sauerkraut is one of my upcoming experiments and one gallon jars might work very nicely. My 26 y/o son loves sauerkraut with caraway seeds or Kosher style and so do I; we’ll wipe out a small batch if it turns out good.
            I had planned to relocate this year so I didn’t put in a garden, but plans went awry and this year I will have more home grown organic veggie to work with and eat.
            My oldest daughter loves to garden and we share similar foods interests and she’s the one who got me into the fermented foods. I love cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, onions and garlic as a fermented veggie mix. They stay so crunchy and the flavor is great for eating straight out of the jar or you can throw it into a salad. I want to experiment using some wild plants to ferment.
            Purslane is a salad green that most gardeners consider to be a weed. Very tasty raw and loaded with nutrients. My container garden is overrun at times with them and by trimming them to eat you only encourage it to branch and grow. Stems and all are delicious. I’ll try it in a small batch alone to see how that goes and mix some in with other stuff in small batches. I learned from a close Mexican friend that the Mexicans cook Purslane like spinach and eat it. Purslane literally grows just about anywhere except the polar regions.
            Being only second generation Danish-American from mom’s side of the family I had so many old world traditions engrained in me by my grandma. She taught me to cook at an early age and was president of the garden club in my home city of Gary, Indiana. Third generation Irish & Dutch-American from dad’s side. So, thanks to the two grandmas gardening became an incurable addiction also. LOL

            • Donna says:

              Thank you for all the information Dean! You’re so blessed to have an organic garden there. I’m still working out how to grow things here in Mexico.

              Purslane is very popular at the markets here. I was pleased to see it being sold, because it is incredibly nutritious and a great plant-based source of the good omega fatty acids. I bought some cut stalks and put some in a jar of water, like you would with cut flowers to see if they would root. They did! So I planted them out. They were doing fine for a while but have taken a turn for the worse now. I saw some more fresh plantain at my organic veggie lady’s stand last week so I’ll buy more and start again. I didn’t know how the Mexicans prepared it, so thank you for that information. I’m going to try steaming or stir-frying some and eating it with coconut oil and limon juice. I’ve only put it raw into salads and green smoothies.

              • Liberty says:

                I just read that Mexico was a great place to retire. But I think about the corruption and cringe. I believe their immigration laws are much more strict than in the states. They don’t like illegals down there.

            • Liberty says:

              Have you ordered these jars before? Do they come with lids? Do the wide mouth mason jar lids fit them? Are you able to get an airtight seal? I just had another batch of apple chutney go flat because my homemade airlocks aren’t sealing. I’m using the rubber gasket for the glass lid mason jars with the plastic mason jar dry lids. I’m going to try to drill the holes in the metal lids then hopefully I can get an airtight seal.

              • Dean Hutchins says:

                You could try Tattler reusable canning lids. The airlocks seal just fine it’s usually the lid seals that are the weak link.
                I crank the white plastic reusable lids down pretty tight. The Tattler lids are three pieces, the metal ring, the plastic dome and a rubber seal. These lids cost a little more but may resolve the issue. I’ve had a few batches fail on me too, but everything I’ve read and the YouTubes I watched said this is bound to happen occasionally.
                If it’s happening each time then there’s a chance your temperatures in the place where you’re fermented aren’t warm enough. Sunlight plays an active role in affecting fermentation too.
                Not sure if these are issues for you but it’s a good idea to take a look at all the factors.
                I haven’t bought the gallon size jars and they have matching lids listed on the same page with the jars. Wide mouth mason lids don’t fit the gallon jars.
                Whenever using an airlock the lids need a seal and they must tight. 70 to 74 degrees is a good temp especially if it’s steady in that with little fluctuation.

              • Donna says:

                Hi Liberty, I’ve not used them yet so I don’t know the answers to your questions. As for Mexico, I don’t want to get too political on this site, that’s not what it’s about except when it comes to food and health. But Mexico is not more corrupt than the USA, where the degree of corruption is overwhelming but most of it is at the corporate and political levels – at the level where a few people can affect the lives of tens of thousands… millions. Down here from what I have heard it’s more like police stop you for a good reason and expect 65 pesos (about $5) for ‘refrescos’… it’s not even on the same scale. I’m sure there is corruption in government here too. But the end result is that I feel I have much more freedom here than I do in the US. What you see and hear in the US about Mexico is mostly propaganda, don’t mistake it for the truth just because you see it on the news. There are lots of North Americans coming down here to retire, and they love it. I personally have never experienced any corruption here.

              • Liberty says:

                Wow, thanks Donna! Actually, I totally believe you about propaganda as all our news fits into that category. I had never had anything to back that up for Mexico though. I’m really glad to hear that. I had always wanted to vacation there. I would also like to visit Belize and a few countries in Central and South America.

  60. katherine thomas says:

    i followed your directions for scrap vinegar. after about a week of being in the cupboard, i noticed what looks like thin white webby mold on the the pieces of scrap that floated to the top. it literally looks like thin cob webs. is this normal, or do i need to toss it out and start over?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Katherine, I’m not sure about a white webby mold. The mother that forms is a cloudy, webby thing, but it’s not usually floating on top. I’m not advising anyone else to do this, but if there’s not too much mold and the vinegar (or other fermenting product) still smells good I always just scoop the mold off, making sure I wipe off any around the inside of the jar, and keep fermenting until done. I hope that helps.

  61. Liberty says:


    Two questions…Are we supposed to put some kind of weight down on the apple pieces because all 3 of my jars have the apple parts floating up to the top?

    The oldest one has what looks like green mold on top. How do I know if it us a good mold or bad mold?


    • Donna says:

      Hi Liberty, if all your apples are floating up I would put a weight on it. You can use a plastic ziplock bag with some rocks or water in it for a weight that’s easy to adjust. I don’t know if the mold you have growing on them is good or bad, but with apple cider vinegar you don’t want any mold growing. I’m not advising anyone else do this, but personally if there wasn’t too much mold I would pull out the pieces with the mold, and any bits of mold floating in it, and make sure to wipe any mold from the sides of the jar and just continue to use and ferment it. I guess if someone is highly sensitive to mold they may not want to do this. But it’s what I’ve always done in the past. I also cut mold off cheese and continue to eat the cheese. If food smells bad or is slimy (when it’s not meant to be), then I throw it out for sure.

  62. Sherri says:

    I wanted to know. If I do get a couple fruit fly’s in my vinegar do I have to toss it or can I salvage my vinegar.

  63. Don says:

    I have five gal. apple cider can I make apple cider vinegar from them?

    • Donna says:

      I’m sorry Don, I don’t understand your question. Do you mean can you make apple cider vinegar in 5 gallon containers? As long as they are a non-reactive material, like glass or crockery that’s designed for fermenting you can use them.

    • Don says:

      sorry I have five gallons of apple cider that is turning hard. can I make vinegar with this cider?

      • Donna says:

        I’m not sure. I’ve never worked with the hard cider method before. I may have a resource that tells about how to do it, I’ll have to check and post back if I do.

  64. Michelle says:

    Can you use the mother from existing apple cider vinegar to “start” the new vinegar? So you can be sure to get the right bacteria in to ferment it?

  65. Iris says:

    Hi, I have made few jars of apple cider vinegar following your methods. Two jars formed a layer like a mushroom on top after 2 months, is that normal? So I scoop it out and taste, doesn’t taste like vinegar. So I left it in the jar for another month. Another thin layer of mushroom grew again, should I leave it for a longer time? I have another two jars with different kinds of apples for two months, still don’t see any mushroom on top, only see the apple got dark brown on top. How long should I wait? Thanks!

  66. Nicole says:

    I’m about 2weeks into my first try of AVC following your scrap recipe and so far it looks beautiful. I’m of Mexican descent and live in Southern California. I was raised knowing purslane as verdolagas. Or “weed and feed” as you kill 2 birds with one stone while harvesting them. They go quite well in chile verde.

    Thanks for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it in 2 more weeks!

  67. Irre Levent says:

    It says you can use the apple cider vinegar diluted in water as a hair rinse but you use it as a conditioner. For a rinse/shampoo, use baking soda and water (do this first of course. The ratios I like are about 1 tbsp/cup for baking soda, 2 tbsp/cup for vinegar. Depends on how you want your hair though.

  68. Donna says:

    Kata, that’s a great idea, using the ‘mother’ on your skin! Thanks for posting that. I have blended up a Kombucha ‘mother’ (SCOBY) and used it on my skin, but it would be so much easier to use the SCOBY whole, or cut a piece off and use that. Great tip, thanks again.

  69. Yer says:

    My apples are two weeks old and I’m seeing some white and black mold on the top. I think this is bad but can you tell me how I can avoid this? Thanks in advance.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Yer. It’s important to keep your apples underneath the liquid to prevent the mold. It would also help to add a tablespoon or two of organic, raw, apple cider vinegar. That will help to kickstart your own ACV and also change the pH which can deter the mold. Click here to see the brand I recommend

  70. Sophie says:

    Hello from Oz, I had my first attempt at making acv 2 weeks ago, I put them in a big glass jug pluged the top with a round lid of a plastic container and sealed with a chux kitchen cloth and rubber band, it’s doing great and smelling nice and strong. Today I made yummy apple sauce and made more acv but I put it all in small bucket, my question is can I leave it there to ferment or does it have to go into a glass bowl or jar ? Many thanks Sophie.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Sophie, that’s a good question. It’s better if you can use glass or a food-grade ceramic. For all fermented products it’s possible that toxins will leech out of the plastic into your food. So it’s just safer if you can use something neutral like glass or food-grade ceramic. If you have to use plastic, then try to find somethnig food-grade, and BPA-free.

  71. Amie LoGrasso says:

    This recipe is just apples and water. I saw another recipe that said to use sugar water. What’s the difference in the final product? Does using sugar or not using sugar make a difference?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Amie. Well, I’ve successfully made ACV with this recipe. The beneficial bacteria that ferment foods feed on sugar, but the apples contain sugar and that seems sufficient. I think adding sugar might speed up the process, but I’m not sure if there are any disadvantages to it.

  72. Jennifer Dalton says:

    I have been fermenting in a glass crock for about a week and a half and the smell is kind of funky. It smells kind of like cheese. Is there maybe something wrong? I followed all directions and sanitized everything before starting the process. Any help would be beneficial otherwise I may have to throw it out and start from scratch. Also, I have no mold in my batch at all.

  73. Carla says:

    I have used acv for pain for years.
    1 tsp acv
    1/2 lemon
    6 oz filtered water,
    Drink, don’t sip and bam, pain subsides.
    Too much acid in your body?
    This is great for so much more than just that. I don’t feel bloated all the time. 😉

    • Donna says:

      Thank you so much for posting that Carla! Lemon is very alkalinizing for the body too, so I think you’re right it’s probably neutralizing acidity in the body. I’ll have to try that, I’ve been wanting to come up with more recipes for ACV tonics.

      • Carla says:

        There is a book called ‘The Vinegar Book’ you’ll find it very informative. It’s a older book. If you cannot find it, I’ll share the contents here. Has remedies and recipes for everyday uses I haven’t even seen before. Lots of what grama used but many many more too…

        • Donna says:

          I found it! At Amazon it’s out of print, but there is a Kindle version, which is great. I’m going to buy it on your recommendation. Thank you Carla!

          Here’s a link to the Kindle version of the book (please note that the paperback version has an average 4 (out of 5) star review, the one reviewer on the kindle version gave only 3 stars because the info was not as easy to find. Kindle is just like that, but the search function is usually really good.):
          The Vinegar Book

      • Donna says:

        Thank you for adding that about ACV being a prebiotic, actually I didn’t realize that. So I’m happy that mentioned it! 🙂

  74. Amanda says:

    Hi, just asking if its ok to put the acv near a woodfire to do the fermenting or is that to hot for it ? mention is made of a hot water cupboard, I don’t have that but we always have a fire going at night, we have hundreds of orgnic apples and I really want to make some vinegar, also can you put other herbs/spices in with the acv to flavor it etc ?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Amanda, yes you can put it near the woodfire, you just want to keep it warm, don’t let it get too hot. So as long as you can control the temperature where it’s stored, so it doesn’t get too hot it should be fine. About adding herbs and spices… many have antibiotic properties that may interfere with the bacteria during the fermenting process. Once it’s finished fermenting and has become ACV I think then you can add herbs and spices so that you have flavored vinegars. The vinegar acts similar to an alcohol extract and draws out the flavor and preserves at the same time.

      • Amanda says:

        Thank you very much for that, , it makes sense to, i want to make the acv for my horses as well, its very good for them especially the mares in foal etc, i wanted to add some herbs and spices to it also for other medicinal benefits,, i will do that after it has fermented etc, i wanted to add cloves and wormwood etc to make it anti parasitic as well as i dont like chemical wormers

  75. Shaina says:

    I was just wondering what to use to weight down the apple scraps or if I even need to. I read one comment that said to keep the apples under the water, but mine keep floating to the top.

  76. Lisa Bridge says:

    Hi I just wondered if you can also use the early undeveloped apples that fall? I am in England. I want to get started with this now so I want to make it for a weed killer. The apples are about an inch in diameter. Would really appreciate an answer on this. thanks Lisa

  77. Taylor-Made Ranch says:

    I’ve tried to do this before, once successfully and once oh-so-NOT successfully. Your post has given me the courage to try again, I always have apples and I love the cores/skins method since as you said you can have your apple and eat it too! OK I’m going to try – cover me, I’m going in!

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

  78. Ashley Z says:

    I put 2 apple cores/ peels in mason jars with water and have had them for about two weeks. One has turned pink and the other a little darker than store bought ACV. They have yet to form a film on top but it smells great- I made my husband try it and he says it tastes right just not as strong as the store bought stuff. How do I know when the vinegar is done and that I made it correctly?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Ashley, I’d be a bit suspicious about the one that turned pink. Just check to make sure it’s not mold. I have lived in a couple of places now where a pink, slimy mold forms on things. Sometimes the ACV doesn’t get a film on top, so that’s okay. I guess it’s done when you think it smells and tastes like ACV. If you let it ferment further it will become more sour/tart. So just make it to your liking.

      • Ashley says:

        Thank you for answering back!

        I think it may have turned pink because I used red apples, it smells good and looks good, just pink. I’ll make my husband drink it;)

  79. Nora says:

    I have a batch of this brewing but I now have a horrible case of fruit flies in my house! Has this happened to anyone else and how do (did) you get rid of them?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Nora, fruit flies are often a problem. Just keep them out of the jar. A coffee filter or two held in place with a rubber band is a great, low-cost solution.

      • PeteSut says:

        Funny you should mention the fruit fly problem. The reason I’m searching for a ACV recipe is because for me it was a fruit fly solution. I was having problem with fruit flies around my fruit this summer and had a little bit of Bragg’s ACV left in a bottle, so left the bottle with the lid off near my counter top compost collector. Problem solved. All the fruit flies went into the narrow mouthed Bragg’s bottle and drowned happily in the vinegar.
        Donna this looks like a great recipe. I’ll be trying the scraps method and I’ll use a double layer of cheesecloth to discourage fruit flies from going for a swim.

        • Donna says:

          That’s funny Pete! Good solution to fruit flies. I wonder if it would work as a snail trap in my garden. There’s a traditional method using stale beer, but since I don’t drink beer if ACV works that would be wonderful, and probably have other benefits too.

    • LJ says:

      Buy a strong-smelling herb pot-plant and place it next to your jar of fermenting vinegar. The strong flavour of herbs is an evolutionary trait to prevent insects from eating them. This smell of natural herbal insecticides repels plant-eating insects such as some types of moths and fruit flies. Tansy is apparently very good for this.

      • Donna says:

        Thank you LJ, that makes sense to me. I’ll have to try that. I love having fresh herbs around anyway.

      • sara says:

        So are lavender and rosemary — which by the way are often purposely grown between rows of herbs in fields to keep pests away

    • Nancy says:

      I tried making apple cider vinegar…I still have it in a large glass bowl, lots of fruit flies, and grey scummy stuff. Doesn’t look like any apple cider vinegar I have seen, and from the looks of it, I don’t want to taste it. I had cheese cloth over and a glass plate to keep out the flies, but that was not very successful. It is about a month and a half, do I throw it out?? Thanks

      • Donna says:

        Hi Nancy, the grey scummy stuff is normal. You can scoop it off before pouring off the vinegar. If you don’t want to taste it I would say follow your instinct and throw it out. How does it smell, does it smell like vinegar or does it just smell rotten? Fruit flies are a tough one, I have found that coffee filters held on by a rubber band work better because your vinegar can still breathe but it keeps the fruit flies out more effectively.

  80. Frank P says:

    I heard about ACV 5 weeks ago.
    Bought the Braggs brand raw organic unfiltered with the “mother” .
    I tried it for my low back pain that tortured me for long long time as ACV has anti inflammatory qualities I read.
    After few days of using two tablespoon vinegar in a glass
    of water twice a day my pain is GONE completely.
    Last 4 weeks no pain and I am not doing anything differently with my back so it has to be the ACV.

    • Donna says:

      Wow, Frank that’s great!

    • Frank Gardner says:

      Hello there Frank P. Frank G writing 🙂

      One month inm, my first try at ACV looks about like it should. I have high hopes, but honestly am a little afraid to taste it!

      I have had back problems for years, never heard of ACV as an anti inflammatory – going to have to give it a try.

      • Donna says:

        Hi Frank, I always use my nose first. If something smells bad it doesn’t get any further. But if it looks okay and smells okay you might want to try a drop on your tongue and see how it tastes. I hope it helps your back. Post back on your results if you can.

  81. Javier says:

    Hi, can I leave bottled apple cider I bought from the supermarket in the open for them to ‘oxidise’ and somehow let them become apple cider vinegar? They say ‘ALC 4.5% VOL’ on it. I’m using the vinegar for my face.

  82. Dominique says:

    Two simple questions:

    How much apple scrap?
    How much water?

    Best Dominique

  83. mary page says:

    If I make some apple juice to turn into hard cider could I use the pulp of the juicing for vinegar? I wouldn’t fill the jar. I would probably fill the jar half way and then add the water. Would the fine grind of the pulp cause the ferment to be so fast it would move into rotten without having time to just get vinegary. What do you think?

    • Rachel says:

      I made apple cider (juice) for my littles and used the leftover pulp for my vinegar. It has been a few weeks and so far so good, not rotten.

  84. Nikki K says:

    Hello and thank you for this site!

    I am interested b/c I have TONS of apples from a few people’s trees locally, and a hand-me-down juicer 🙂 I have wanted to get creative, and have also just started reading about the health benefits of ACV. Quick questions before I start….1) would you say roughly 1:1 ratio for skins/core and water used? Or some other ratio? In reference to the “scum”…are we supposed to get rid of that as much as possible when we strain the scraps/core? 3) Once we feel it’s done, should it be put in fridge or pantry? Thanks again, I appreciate any feedback 🙂

  85. Amanda says:

    I totally forgot to “season” my peels first. I put them in a jar and then added water. Will it still turn out ok?

  86. Debbie says:

    If the vinegar get mold on top, are you to throw it out or skim it off?

  87. lisa roloff says:

    Ok, I made a batch using the peels and cores method and it came out I thought really well, but less than a week later it tasted really flat… sort of like the difference between nice fizzy pop and the next day when it just isn’t the same and has gone quite flat. Did I do something wrong or does it have a short finished shelf life??

  88. Kaka says:

    Apple cider vinegar really works for so many things. I have used it for eczema, itching, sunburns and stomach problems. Make sure you buy the organic one only.

  89. Kristie says:

    I made this about 10 days ago.
    I took a peek about a week in and noticed the apple scraps had floated to the top and were now not completely covered by water. Mold was started on the top and on the cheesecloth.
    I scraped the mold off, removed the pieces that were exposed and re-did the cheesecloth. Am I good to go or have all the batches been ruined because of a mold start?

  90. Kaka says:

    Bragg brand is considered to be the best of all. I have used it myself. It is raw, unprocessed, unfiltered and contains the mother in it.

  91. Rak says:

    Thanks for the great info. I made ACV from apple cores and scraps, and it looks and tastes great.

    I left the apples to go brown before adding the water and kept topping it up for about 6 days, until the jar was full. After 5 weeks, I cheked it and noticed the scum on top became very thick and forged a nice seal.

    Presumably the apple scraps can now be added to the compost pile, but what to do with the scum? It looks like a kombucha skin, so am wondering if this can be dried and/or used as a starter for a new batch. Are there any other uses for this scum?

    Also wondering if I leave some of the ACV in the jar with the “spent” apple peels/cores, and were to add more water, could I make a second batch of ACV?

  92. Naomi says:

    Hi, I read somewhere that you have to add sugar to your apples along with the water. Is that true? And I’m running out of vases to put my apple scraps, can I use plastic to hold everything?


    • Donna says:

      I add my scraps to the glass jar that I’m going to brew the ACV in. I’ve not added sugar to the apples and it’s come out fine.

  93. Naomi says:


    Can you use plastic containers to hold your apple scraps?

    thanks for your time.

  94. Jill says:

    I went ahead and made ACV using the first method, but I wanted to know how long it will last?

  95. sara says:

    I’m SO glad I came across this post since it’s clear that the process can be stopped when the “taste is right” – which is really important to me, especially since I know I shd be using ACV but I hate the taste of store bought ones. A couple of things: [1] You dont mention which apples to use – does it make any difference? eg: will using granny smiths make a tarter ACV than, say, using the exact same quanity of a sweet red-peel apple ? [2] Also, I’m not quite clear on the correlation of how much apple/scraps to how much water: it’d seem logical that too much water might either slow the process too much or turn the whole thing rotten since there’s not enough apple to ferment the entire quantity, so can you give some more-or-less measurements? [3] and lastly, when leaving this to ferment longer, apart from more time altering taste, does it alter potency as far as healthfulness, significantly? thanks SO much for feedback.

  96. Lizzy Bean says:

    I left my “brew” on the counter for 3 weeks. When I returned it had a thick 1/4″ “cover” on the top. It is too tough to pull apart…curious about what that IS!! Does the mother form into this “plug”?

    • Donna says:

      Wow, Lizzy it sounds like you have a healthy brew there! It sounds like a kombucha SCOBY from what you’ve described! I think it probably is the mother, although I’ve never seen one that strong. Does the vinegar smell and taste ok underneath? I’d check it because if it’s grown a mother that strong already it may well be finished brewing.

  97. JP says:

    I have gotten to the bottom of my bottle of Braggs apple cider vinegar. I have not been able to get to the specialty store to purchase more, but I have some run of the mill apple cider vinegar in my pantry. Can I add what I have to the mother left at the bottom of the Braggs and let it do its thing? Will it turn into good stuff?

  98. Christine says:

    FLIES! OMG, we got flies, in the kitchen and right in the vinegar, almost a month into the process! Needless to say, I’m dumping the vinegar. I really want this to work! How do I prevent them in the future?

    • Eileen says:

      I am making apple cider vinegar for the first time, and came upon your post. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience, but thank you for sharing so I can learn. Given that it is my first time, I think i will go with an alternate method from a university extension site, apparently links cannot be posted due to spam but I googled
      ohio state university extension “homemade apple cider vinegar”
      including the quotation marks. Depending on how this turns out I might try for the method listed here in the future.

      Good luck with your vinegar, please wish me luck on mine!


    • Amanda says:

      Cover the jar with cheesecloth and rubberband. It allows for breathing and keeps the flies out. Unfortunately, it does not keep them away entirely.

      • Christine says:

        Thanks for your comment, Amanda. Cheesecloth is what we were using. We were so grossed out that we dumped 4 quart jars. Since I hadn’t heard back (that I could find; these comments are out of order and finding them was not intuitive) we started two more quarts and used a cut up tea towel. It’s been about 5 days; so far so good. I also weighted down the scraps using glass marbles (like for cut flowers) so that they didn’t float above the water. We’ll see how it turns out…..

        • sara says:

          I’d like to make a suggestion, or two, based on our experiences with making wine in a barrel and other large quantities of pickles. Firstly, make sure the apple pieces are below water level and dont stick out. One way is to take another glass jar that fits inside the one with the apples, fill it with a bit of water to weight it, and that will hold them down. Another is to actually push a piece of cloth down into the water but hold the cloth from completey falling in by catching it with an elastic band around the top. The mouth of the jar still needs to be covered with a layer or double layer of cheesecloth or cloth diaper and held in place. On TOP of this layer, sprinkle fresh finely ground black pepper. Fruit fly will TRY to get to the jar but will keep a healthy distance. They dont like black pepper, nor do ants. Hope that works for you.

          • Donna says:

            Thank you for those suggestions Sara!

          • Christine says:

            Sara, Thank you so much for your advice! I’ve changed from cheesecloth to a cut-up old tea towel and, because of what you wrote, I’ve sprinkled the tops with black pepper. I’m excited about both developments and will write again if it’s not working. — Christine

    • Jill says:

      I too had bugs of all sorts. The cloth that I had to keep out the flies were covered with flies. I took a bowl, put in some of the fermenting vinegar, added a drop of soap and then filled with water until the soap bubbles spilled over. Keep adding water cause it is the bubbles that does the trick. It attracts the flies and they get trapped in the bubble and die.

    • Sam says:

      Hello, I am not going to try this cider recipe due to the time but did have problems with little flies this summer when letting fruit get over ripe on my kitchen counter and got a bad nat type fly infestation.. Found a trick to rid them for good. Just take couple of small coffee cans and put some store bought apple cider vinegar in them about two inches, replace the lid and the punch small holes all over the top, just big enough for the small flies to craw in to get at the vinegar but not big enough for them to find their way out. This will attract the flies and kill them on the spot. I also hung a rolled fly paper stretched out close to the coffee can to catch the flies honing in on the vinegar in the can, these two worked very well together killing thousands or until the infestation was eliminated, you will see them floating on the top of the vinegar. Took about two weeks. House has been clear ever since..just keep the vinegar freshened up that keeps them coming,the sticker will last until the job is done. Good luck with your project ..

  99. Michelle says:

    Ive been brewing some homemade cider vinegar. It’s been the 4-6 weeks and I opened all my jars to find fruit flies in all 8 of my jars. Does this mean I have to now waste all that vinegar as contaminated?? Or is there some way i can save it!! This will make me so sad.

    • Donna says:

      If it were me I’d just scoop them off and still use the ACV. Housefly, which carry so many diseases would be a different story. But fruit flies will sometimes get into my glass of kombucha that I’m drinking and I just scoop them out with a spoon and finish drinking it. Do what you think is best of course, but that’s what I would do.

      Try using a coffee filter. They work really well, air can still pass through but they are pretty impervious to fruit flies. Just turn it upside down over the mouth of the jar and use a rubber band to hold it on.

    • Christine says:

      Michelle, I empathize with your anguish. For my first batch I used cheesecloth as the barrier and had so many fruit flies (including larvae in the ACV)!!! We were so grossed out that we dumped 4 quart jars. Since then we started two more quarts and used a cut up tea towel. It’s been about 5 days; so far so good. I also weighted down the scraps using glass marbles (like for cut flowers) so that they didn’t float above the water. We’ll see how it turns out…..

  100. alexis says:

    I love apple cider

  101. Christine says:

    I don’t see my earlier comment here… from 2013… but I’m seriously curious about how to keep the fruit flies away. I don’t have any until the first time I attempted to make ACV (from scraps). Many are now gone but they’re not completely gone. How are you able to keep them away? Thanks.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Christine, sorry, I try to reply to comments as much as I can, but sometimes work and life get in the way and I don’t get to them as quickly as I’d like. I just looked and I think I saw the earlier comment you refer to. I’ve been having some trouble with the managing of comments, some look like they’ve been approved or my replies have gone through then I find that’s not the case. I’m working at the moment to resolve that issue. But elsewhere in the comments there are suggestions to use a coffee filter instead of cheese cloth. It’s much better at keeping out the fruit flies, while still allowing air to get in and out. This is probably my most popular post with the most comments. It could do with an updated post incorporating many of the suggestions and ideas that have been submitted in the comments. So that’s on my list! 🙂

    • Sam says:

      Hello Christine..simple trick I found to for those pesky critters, Just take a couple of one pound coffee cans and put about two inches of store bought apple cider vinegar and the cover. Then punch holes all over the top, just big enough for the flies to get in but hard for them to find their way out. This will attract the flies and rid them, will find many many floating on the vinegar in no time and for good.. If you can stand them I used a roll type fly paper hung close by the cans to catch many before the get to the can, both together worked very good.I had thousands due to an infestation when letting fruit get too ripe on my kitchen counter..they will be gone in about two weeks just keep the vinegar freshened up but the fly roll will work until the job is done..gone for good…try it worked for me. Good luck with the project..

      • Christine says:

        Thanks, Sam! I’ll keep that in mind. Since our first try at making ACV, I’ve switched to tea towels and put black pepper on the surface of the towel, and that’s done it. But for a while after that first time we had flies in the kitchen and you’ll never guess where some of them went: I diluted some Dr Bronner’s in water and made more than the squirt bottle could hold so some stayed in the measuring cup. Yup. They went into the diluted soap. But I like your idea of putting out some decoy ACV to trap them. Best regards!

  102. Amie says:

    how do i unsubscribe from this?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Amie. You go back to the post (by clicking a link in the email you recieve) and down below the comment box you can click the unsubscribe button and then the button to update/save. I’ll unsubscribe you right now though so you don’t have to do that 🙂

  103. Val says:

    I just opened my vinegar made from scraps. I think I ran my family out of the house because of the smell. I think it smells like vinegar, they say it smells like sour milk. Should I dump it and start over?

  104. Frank Gardner says:

    Hello, I have just a speck of mold on one of the apple cores that floated up.
    Is that normal? What is the longest this fermentation process can go to strengthen the vinegar?

  105. Leticia says:

    How long does the bottled vinegar keep? How should I keep it, in the refrigerator?

  106. Jessica says:

    To those wondering about some potential issues:

    Cheesecloth – old-fashioned cheesecloth is like today’s muslin (or an old thin tea towel). The cheesecloth one can buy today, you need to fold up a LOT to do any good because it is SO thin and full of holes – you need several layers of it to work for making cheese, so it is really frustrating they still call it cheesecloth – it’s more like “gauze”

    If you are finding larvae and fruit flies IN the mixture and you’ve had it properly covered with the proper cloth — the larvae were on the fruit to begin with. We get this a lot bringing home bananas, but we’ll also get them on other fruit. Thoroughly scrub all surfaces before putting in the jar. (yes, this means we tend to eat fruit fly larvae – consider it a value added feature 😉 ).

  107. Laura S says:

    Hey Friends! I started brewing some vinegar several weeks ago and I noticed a white powdery looking substance forming on the top. I’m not sure if this is mold or the mother! There are a few bubbles too and they are also covered in the white powdery stuff. It kind of looks like someone sprinkled powdered sugar over the top and it stayed dry.

    Anybody know what this is??


  108. sking says:

    How about using the “mother” from the Bragg’s to speed up the process or use unpasteurized apple cider with the mother?

  109. Kathy Duale says:

    Our vinegar is evaporating…its been about four months should we add water? And is that normal?

  110. Mathew says:

    For fly s: mint, basil penny royal,lavender, so keep your curing cider with your spices and you wont have any problems ….some dried basil once every 2weeks with alittle lavender oil and mint oil works very well!

  111. Sherry Jackson says:

    One month ago I put my apple scraps into a large pickle jar and covered it with folded over layers of cheese cloth. Put a rubber band around sides of cheesecloth to keep it secure on top. Placed it in the back bottom of my pantry and never looked again til the one month was up. This being done in January, no problem with any type of bugs. Scooped out all larger fragments of apple and then used a strainer to then pour into jars what was left making sure to use a filter that would still leave the mother in this. Just be sure that before you go to put this into clean jars to stir it up so that the mother will be in all of your jars. This will once again settle at the bottom once it has had time to sit. I am now stocked with plenty of Apple Cider Vinegar and even enough to share some. Took a teaspoon taste and it was mild and not overly strong like what you buy at the store. I could of let it sit longer if I wanted to, but, I like it this way and it is easier to take 1 or 2 tablespoons each day at this milder strength. I like mine and would make this again. Thank you for sharing how to make this.

  112. Ballin says:

    Hello Donna,
    Thanks for this aritcle.
    Can I use gauze or a cotton clothes to cover the jar instead? And at what temperature should the jar be stored. I want to try this, getting ACV is hard where I live.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Ballin, cotton would be better than gauze because fruit flies will find their way in through the gauze. You could use a tea towel/kitchen towel. Or if you can get them where you live coffee filters for coffee machines work really well. You just turn it upside down over the mouth of the jar and hold it on with a few rubber bands.

  113. Margret Robbins says:

    I put a coffee filter secured with a rubber band around the rim of the jar to store mine. No bugs for me

  114. bill gilyana says:

    what to do with apple pieces after getting the cider viniger?

  115. Naomi says:

    About 1 month into my fermentation my avc smelled awesome but 2 weeks later it now smells like apple juice…….
    Is it still acv or have I spoiled it somehow?

    • Donna says:

      Wow that’s odd Naomi. I have no idea what might have happened. Maybe taste it and see if it’s tart or not. Maybe someone else has had a similar experience.

  116. May says:

    Hello! please kindly answer my questions. I made ACV 2 months ago. I used a muslin to cover the glass bottle. Now the vinegar turns pink and the layer on top turns red. Is that normal? I’m afraid it would be poisonous if I consume it.

    • Donna says:

      That doesn’t sound good May. It sounds like a common mold or fungus, I’m not sure, which but I’ve seen that on things before. I’d throw it out and start over.

  117. Tamara says:

    Has anyone tried this with the leftover pulp after juicing apples?

    • Christine says:

      Hi Tamara,

      I’ve just tried it this past week and as yet have no insights about it. I’ve not yet had success at this but it may be simply lack of attention. If you try it with pulp, let us know how it goes!

  118. Bobbie says:

    I have some raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with plenty of sediments ( mother?) in it. Could I just add raw apple cider to this already-made vinegar, and end up with more vinegar, eventually?

    • Donna says:

      Hi Bobbie, I’m not sure what kind of already-made vinegar you’re referring to but adding apple cider vinegar to white vinegar won’t turn it into living apple cider vinegar.

      • Bobbie says:

        Hi, my original vinegar (already-made-vinegar) is raw, unfilitered apple cider vinegar. White vinegar is distilled – won’t work.

        • Eric says:

          you want to add “raw apple cider” to “raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with plenty of sediments” ????

    • Phil says:

      You can strain out the “chunky bits” and add them to a new batch to help accelerate it. You can also use whatever is floating on top, as long as you are careful about getting rid of any mold, which you should be doing as it ferments anyway.

    • Torile says:

      I used Bragg’s ACV last fall to inoculate about 4 gallons of fresh cider from organic apples. So, yes, Bobbie you are correct.
      The new mother that formed was amazing!
      I keep a couple of bottles going at any given time. One for ACV, another for white and red wine vinegars …… on the rare occasions that I have left over wine.

    • jan jones says:

      I think you have to add something for the new vinegar to feed on, which is why you have to add more apples. I believe the sugar from the apples feeds the vinegar. I have just recently started making kombucha, and I have to add 1 c of sugar to each new batch so it will feed it.

  119. wilner says:

    Hey Donna thanks for this recipe just made some and I can’t wait for the end result

  120. Krista J says:

    How do I use the mother that formed during the first batch to continue making future batches. I would assume you would have to mix some of the previous vinegar with the mother but then what else do you add and in what ratio? thanks!

  121. Patrick says:

    If you don’t have enough scraps to make the cider can you freeze scraps until you have enough? I didn’t know if the freezing would kill some important bacteria or something.

    • Torile says:

      I never freeze or can anything that I have fermented. The extreme temps will kill the good bacterium.

      • J says:

        Bacteria cannot be killed through freezing, they simply go dormant. Freezing may damage some other process in the apples (who knows, I certainly don’t), but it will not harm the bacteria. It possibly might actually reduce the time needed to ferment the vinegar due to the apple’s cell walls rupturing during freezing, but I have never tried it. Then again it all might even out because the bacterial colonies will need to re-establish themselves after unfreezing.

  122. osman ali says:

    Cover the bowl with the cheesecloth and leave in a warm, dark place for 6 months. Again, a hot water cupboard is ideal.

  123. says:

    anybody can give the translation in malayalam language

  124. Aden says:

    Does anyone know if the apple scraps at the end of the process will be okay to put into my worm farm? Sounds like probably not, as they don’t like anything acidic. Just wondered if anyone can give a definitive answer… Cheers.

  125. CodeMonkey says:

    Can you filter the water before you adding it to the apples or use distilled water? I am looking for options other than straight tap water due to the fluoride.

    • Donna says:

      Yes absolutely use filtered water or pure spring water. Whenever I say ‘water’ in a recipe I mean pure water (whether filtered or pure spring water). Municipal tap water is dangerous, and for the same reasons it’s not good for us it will also be bad for the beneficial bacteria that are the ‘fermenters’. I would use distilled water as a last resort, but it’s certainly better than tap water. Thanks for asking. I’m going to be doing some work on the site and going through each recipe again, I’ll change the entries to be more specific about ‘water’. 🙂

  126. Torile says:

    Distillation is the only process that will remove fluoride. It also removes all of the trace minerals too though. I ALWAYS use distilled water. The way I look at it is that I can add the minerals back into the water myself, which I do, but I cannot, however, remove the fluoride from other waters.

  127. Marianne says:

    Hello, I started my ACV April 1st. I covered it with cheesecloth but after a few weeks I found tiny fruit flies (or something similar) in the top of the jar. I removed them, then covered the jar with a coffee filter and rubber band. I just checked it and it had both live flies and dead ones in the liquid. I kept the jar in a closet in my laundry room, the warmest room in the house because we keep the a/c vent closed in there. So, is it ruined? Bugs in the vinegar can’t be a good thing. I live in FL by the way.

    • Donna says:

      I’m not sure Marianne. I don’t think eating fruit flies will harm you. We probably inadvertently eat many more insects like that than we think. If I have a fruit fly fall into something I’m drinking I usually just scoop it out and carry on drinking. But depending on how many that may not be feasible for you. If not maybe you could strain it to get them out?

  128. sara says:

    for those of you covering your jars well and nonetheless finding fruit fly: it’s probable that the fruit fly eggs were actually in the fruit already. just strain them out. re ingesting bugs – stomach acid is SO volatile that it goes through proteins like meat in a really short time. fruitfly = protein. eaten accidentally = fast certain death 🙂 so i wouldnt worry abt the odd anything we swallow. if we truly had to worry, we wouldnt eat any food at all, or we’d all be walking around with horrid deformities caused by ingesting bugs making colonies in our bodies. What a marvellous thing the stomach is… so, yeah, just keep straining it well before you jar it.

  129. Sabrina says:

    If I’m making the ACV from scraps, is it ok to keep the apple seeds in the cores, or should they be removed before fermenting. I know they contain trace amounts of cyanide, but not sure how fermentation affects the toxin.

    • Donna says:

      That’s a good question Sabrina. I didn’t remove all of mine, only the ones that fell or shook out easily. But that was most of them because of how I cut the apples. I quarter them and then cut the core out. But I don’t know if the cyanide would leech into the vinegar or not. The vinegar is something that draws out flavors, properties of plants and herbs etc. So it is probably best to remove the seeds. Thanks for your great question!

  130. Lc says:

    You should keep the apple seeds in the ferment. When we eat an apple, we should eat the seeds. Yes. the seeds contain Vitamin B-17. The cyanide and the other natural chemical targets abnormal cells and not healthy cells. Look it up.

  131. ashley says:

    I was just reading some of the post. I understand that some folk are having a problem with fruit flies. Just an fyi. They are attracted to acv but when then try to drink it. It kills them. By putting a little acv in a cup and leaving it out in your kitchen can actually help you get rid of fruit flies in your kitchen. I use this all the time during the summer when I get a swarm in my kitchen. And it works. But they don’t survive or lay eggs in it from what I understand.

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Ashley! That’s really good to know. I appreciate you taking the time to share that information. I wonder if it works with other kinds of flies too. A lot of people in my area are having trouble with little black flies. I’ll have to try it and see.

  132. Donna says:

    Do I need to use glass bowls when making cider vinegar with whole apples? Does it really matter or can it be for example, metal? Thanks

  133. haber says:

    dedvvvdd Do I need to use glass bowls when making cider vinegar with whole apples? Does it really matter or can it be for example, metal? Thanks..19332

  134. glenda says:

    like doing kombucha, using a coffee filter and two layers of cloth over that rubber banded on, won’t that work instead of loosely laid gauze? or cheesecloth.

  135. Diane Espinoza says:

    Has anyone had a huge amount of knats in their cider vingear . Why did this happen and what did I do wrong? Anyone??

  136. Mike says:

    Will different types of apples change the flavor of apple cider vinegar? Are there preferred apple types for making vinegar? I know when making hard apple cider it is important to use apples we typically do not eat such as bitter sweets and bitter sharps.

  137. Cath says:

    This is great and I’m on my first batch, however I had to throw out a coupled of jar as vinegar flies had got in. I had four jars on the go, three covered with old tights and one with cotton, fixed with an elastic band. Flies had got in to three of them, I don’t understand how. Anyway I’ve started again, this time with a double layer of tights. The flies are all over the jar and sitting on the layers of tights on the top.

    Have you got any advice? Is it ok to leave the jar out even with the flies all around?

    Many thanks

  138. Jill says:

    Does the container that the apple scraps are being stored in have to be glass? I have processed 50 lbs of apples for apple butter and I am going to use the scraps for vinegar but I don’t have a glass container big enough to hold all of them, so for today they are in a 5 gallon plastic bucket. Is it okay to let them ferment in this plastic bucket for the 2 months?

    • sara says:

      Probably not a great idea. Plastic emits chemicals, especially in a fermentation process. Go for the glass jars, cover really well, sprinkle fresh ground black pepper on and around the jar – one way to sprinkle it ‘around’ the jar is to spread a thin cloth or towel on the table, scatter black pepper on it, and rub the pepper in a bit so it ‘holds’, then wrap the towel around the jar and tie or clip it in place. The pepper will need to be refreshed every 3 weeks or so.

  139. Jill P says:

    So once it’s done, do we have to throw away the apple pieces or can they be reused? I have a bit of a scoby on top of mine. Can I use that to make more vinegar, and if so would I just add more water?

  140. Paula Kay Schmidt says:

    would it be okay if I used purified or mineral water to start (scrap method)?

  141. Wendy says:

    I am making apple cider vinegar and mine has lots of little worms around the top of the jar above the water level. Can I just clean them off, or do I need to toss the batch?

  142. Kellie says:

    Why does one take 6 months and the other only take a month?

  143. Adoy says:

    I started the ACV process using 7 whole apples. Mistake was instead of cutting just in quarter each, I cut into about 8 pieces per apple. Problem with that was that some of the apples on top were floating. I covered with a cheese cloth and used a rubber band to keep in place. It’s going to 2 weeks now, and when I checked it out some of the apples especially those floating have turned real brown. No moulds though and it sure smells okay and tastes slightly ferments. Seeing some turned brown, I thought it was probably because they were floating. So, I’ve transferred into a narrower glass jar and I made sure nothing is sticking out now. Do you think I’ll still have the real thing?

  144. Linda says:

    Do you leave the grayish scum on top when you notice it after a few days, or do you remove it?

  145. michael gest says:

    I have bottles of apple juice with Vit C can I add apple cider Vinegar in a glass jar and let ferment? do we need sugar?
    Can I add a kombucca scoby with sugar?

    • Donna says:

      Michael, bottled juice will be pasteurized which kills all living things, so you can’t use it for making vinegar. You need to use raw, living ingredients. The apple juice will have enough sugar to sustain the organisms and make the vinegar. I’m not sure what would happen if you add a Kombucha SCOBY and sugar, but I know that Kombucha needs tea in order to thrive. Please read my article on how to make kombucha for more information.

  146. David says:

    I’m trying the apple scraps version. My scraps keep floating to the top of the water so they’re not completely submerged. Mold is starting to grow. Can I scrape the mold off or is this batch ruined?

  147. Deborah says:

    What is the best way to store cider? Does it need to be refrigerated?

  148. cara says:

    So I’m one month into my acv! So is it normal to have a thick layer of what looks like mold forming on the top? Its not fuzzy but cloudy and gray kinda looking and when I mess with it, its like plastic texture but easily falls apart…this normal?

  149. AppleSt says:

    I made this and fruit flies got into them (I did like 15 jars) now the flies are all sitting on the top and reproducing like crazy…The liquid looks fine, but its the apples scraps that have tons of flies and even eggs….so should I just throw it away and try again? How do I avoid this next time? Or can I save it? (They have been sitting for 3 weeks )

  150. glenda says:

    some recipes say to pasteurize the acv once you have it fermented and remove the “mother”. I have removed the apples and fed to my chickens, and recanted the acv into 3 liter soda jug that I cleaned out. but I did not remove all the white “mother” from it, do I really need to pasteurize the ACV in this jug? I made two large jars of apple water covered with several layers of coffee filter and let sit for 2 months, then strained off the apples. then put in the 3 liter jug. is it going to continue to ferment and blow the lid off the jug if I don’t pasteurzie the ACV? please help me understand what is the proper thing to do. I want to use it for salad dressing and to take as medicine. please advise. thanks so much.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Glenda, definitely DO NOT pasteurize the ACV. It will kill off everything that you’re trying to get from the ACV in order to benefit from it. Pasteurizing is designed specifically to kill all living bacteria, and it’s those beneficial, probiotic bacteria that are providing the goodness in fermented foods. So pasteurizing them is defeating the purpose of making and eating fermented foods.

      In my experience once it’s gone through it’s initial fermentation and turned to vinegar it no longer has enough sugar in it to build up the pressure that will blow the lid off. It’s when a beverage still has enough sugar in it that fermentation is actively happening that it can build up that kind of pressure. If you do see a lot of fermentation bubbles and foam inside the jar just taking off the lid at intervals will release the pressure. If there is pressure building up, you should be able to hear it make that ‘sssshh’ sound when you crack the lid. But you should be fine now, if it tastes tart and vinegary that means the microbes have used up the available fruit sugar in the fermentation process and fermentation has stopped.

  151. Mandi says:

    I have used 7 quart jars for the scraps method. After reading through many of the comments, I wonder of I allowed it to “brown” long enough. I think it was about 3 hours in full.

    I’m ready to check and strain. Can I store my ACV in an old white vinegar bottle?

  152. glenda says:

    thanks for the information. I am glad I did not pausterize it!! got second two glass gallon jars going in fermentation. also have some kombucha that has went to vinegar. so have lots of wonderful flavorful vinegar this season. love fermentation. I fed our apples to the chickens who loved them!! I did not want to compost something chicks would eat. I hope that is ok.

    • Donna says:

      I think it will be fine for the chicks, I think actually that they know if something isn’t good for them and avoid it. Unless they are really hungry and don’t have an alternative, I’m sure yours are nicely well fed though 🙂

  153. Mellany says:

    Hi! I just wanted to say thanks for your knowledgeable recipes & I really like that you answer questions and stay on top of your website, it’s really appreciated and nice to see!! I just finished my first batch of apple cider vinegar yesterday using your recipe after researching extensively on the Internet.. Honestly I went with your recipe because it seemed like the simplest one…. And it was! My vinegar turned out a cloudy yellow color.. And it actually has a tiny bit of fermentation to it.. But taste exactly like apple cider vinegar perhaps not quite as tart.. Is this alright or did I make something else? Either way I like it, just wanted to see if perhaps you have had this experience as well. Thanks again!

    • Donna says:

      Hi Mellany, thank you! How long did you let your batch ferment for? And was it using the cores and peels method? It sounds like you did it if it tastes like apple cider vinegar. It may just need to ferment a little longer to become more tart. But it sounds like you could start using it now too if you want to.

    • Sher says:

      I have just tried this whole apple method, but wondered if you are supposed to add a little water at times during fermentation, to keep water from evaporating?

  154. sherri says:

    Hi. I followed the “scrap” instructions and made the vinegar. I made two batches. One with 3 T honey in it and one without. How does one go about taste testing it? You have that “mother” on top of the fluid in the jar….do you push it aside and take some out? Would it be best to put it in a jar with a spigot in the beginning? I was afraid to disrupt the “mother”. Since I thought it smelled vinegary, I discarded the “mother” and bottled it. The color came out a medium yellow. I then tasted it and it has a faint vinegary taste and a faint apple taste, but seems too watery. Is there anything to do with it? I have the one without honey left and haven’t disrupted it. I had both mason jars in my dining room which is fairly dark and has the right temperature and I had the dishtowel I covered the top with keeping any other direct light out of the bottle. Every time I have fermented something.. pickles and sauerkraut they have come out ok, actually good, but I am always afraid I am going to poison someone, especially if I see anything questionable at the top of the batch… not fuzzy, but a piece of cabbage that is darker than the rest, or something. I always remove that, and leave what is left to eat myself. I wonder if I will ever get over that. Someone who knows what they are doing needs to do a progressive video along the time of the fermentation so we can “see” what is right or not. Maybe even doing one wrong so one can see what not to do would help!!

    Let me know how much disrupting can go on. The apple skins etc are all floating towards the top. With the sauerkraut you are supposed to keep the cabbage submerged. But apparently you don’t have to do that with the apples. Of course you don’t add water to the cabbage, it makes its own liquid with salt.

    By the way, the vinegar process has the dishtowel or cheesecloth opening the process to the room, the air smelled so clean all month and I have dogs, so even on the wettest day it didn’t smell doggy!!!

  155. Jay says:

    Hi, I notice there is a fungus on the top of the apples. What should I do?

  156. Anusia says:

    This is an unique recipe. This is totally new for me.

  157. Thomas Brophy says:

    Thanks for all your efforts to inform us about ACV. I’ve been adding a couple tbs to a glass of water for awhile now after reading “The Science of Skinny.” What I’m hoping you can help with is this: since I already have raw, unfiltered ACV with the mother, can I simply add some of that to a jug of cider or apple juice to make more ACV , and would either of these have to be unpasteurized? (Following an outbreak of salmonella in the unpasteurized , many producers have stopped offering it.) Thanks for your help.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Thomas, I didn’t hear about the salmonella, and that seems strange. The ACV should have a pH that bad bacteria can’t live in. You can make ACV from apple juice, using the 2nd method in this article. It’s best if the apple juice is unpasteurized. I’m not sure if it will work with pasteurized apple juice. Adding ACV to the apple juice will speed up the fermentation time, and should prevent bad bacteria and mold.

  158. Nikki says:

    Hello! I was given a juicer and was wondering…. If I just juice some apples, but the juice in a glass jar, cover with a cover filter, and store in my pantry….will that work?

  159. rudaina says:

    Hi Donna

    Thanks for your wonderful site. I am going to try to make my very first apple vinegar using method one.
    I have some questions before starting and would appreciate your answers to my inquiries.

    1- Why do we have to leave the apple scraps turn brown/
    2-In method 2 can we just use the whole apples without peeling them ?
    3-Why don’t you use sugar in making vinegar?
    4-Which batch is stronger ? method one or two?
    5-Do we have to stir the vinegar everyday to circulate air in it?


    • Donna says:

      Hi Rudaina, I’ll try to answer your questions as best I can.
      1. I believe it’s so they dry a little on the surface which preserves them and protects from bad bacteria until the fermentation process starts. Once the fermentation process starts, the good bacteria are present and proliferating and they will protect against any bad bacteria taking over.
      2. You can if the apples are organic. If the apples are not organic peeling them gets rid of a lot of the poisons sprayed on the apples which are detrimental to the health of the good bacteria as well as our health.
      3. It’s not necessary, the sugar in the apples is enough.
      4. I’m not sure, I’ve only used method one. If anyone has tried both methods, please let us know what you found, this is an interesting question.
      5. No, stirring is not necessary. Some bacteria need air, but others are designed to work in an anaerobic environment. Some fermentation cultures, like Kombucha consist of both and the bacteria and yeast in those cultures just work it out themselves and everything is where it needs to be to survive and do it’s job.

      Have fun, and let us know what method you ended up using and how it turned out! 🙂

  160. Helyn says:

    There have been several posts about using white vinegar in place of raw cider vinegar. I was told that white vinegar comes from wheat and corn, a lot of wheat and corn is now gmo. I researched the web and found at the following:
    White vinegar, sometimes also called “distilled vinegar,” is a mildly acidic clear liquid used in cooking and cleaning that is usually made through the fermentation of grain alcohol. When grain alcohols are exposed to the air and allowed to oxidize, they produce acetic acid, which manufacturers then down to between a 5 and 8 percent solution with water. White vinegar is one of the simplest vinegars available and, aside from the bitter or sourness usually associated with acetic acid, has no real flavor or taste of its own.

    It is commonly used in cooking as a complement to sweet flavors in sauces, salad dressings, and marinades, and its acid content also makes it a good preservative: cooks often use it to pickle vegetables or meat. The vinegar’s mellow, nearly tasteless nature usually works to enhance food’s natural flavors rather than overshadow them. Its acidic nature also makes it invaluable around the house. People use it to clean windows, to remove calcium deposits, or as part of a home remedy for clogged drains, among many other things.

    Core Ingredients

    There are a couple of different ways to make white vinegar, but grain alcohol is almost always the starting point. Wheat is a popular choice, as is corn; a lot depends on where manufacturers are, and what sort of grain is readily available at a good price. The key is to find something that is clear and basically flavorless and odorless.

    I think I would use only the raw apple cider vinegar for health purposes and use the white vinegar for cleaning and killing weeds.

    • Donna says:

      That’s interesting Helyn, thanks for sharing your research. I have also heard that the really cheap white vinegar is made from wood pulp. I’m not sure how true that is, but for sure commercial (as opposed to home made) white vinegar is not made from healthy materials to begin with, then it’s pasteurized. Your conclusion is exactly the same as what I do. I use raw apple cider vinegar for anything I’m going to put in or on my body, and use the cheap white vinegar for cleaning around my house and deterring ants.

  161. Rawiri says:

    Not sure but reading this stuff i am at a loss why the process takes 6/7 months using no cores or skin but just clean apple flesh if that’s the correct terminology. My Granny smith apple tree has yielded a bumper crop so i have a lot of apples to dealt too.

  162. chinenye says:

    Hi! can apple cidar be consumed by a pregnant woman?

  163. Russty says:

    Can I put the apples in a glass carboy and skip the cheesecloth or does it need to keep breathing the air to not spoil. Do I need to store the end product in the fridge or can I bottle and cap it and store it in the cupboard? How about zinging up all the apples in the Vita Mix after they have browned to accelerate the process? Orrr can I whip them up in the Vita mix and let the mixture brown in a large wide bowl or pan and then put them in a carboy (with an air lock)

    • Donna says:

      Hi Russty. I think using a carboy would make it hard apple cider. I think zinging them up in a Vita Mix would work well though.

  164. Sher says:

    I have followed the recipe with apple chunks for over 8 mos. I accidentally left these fermenting longer than I had intended. . After I filter out the “mother junk”, I think it would be best if I pasteurized the liquid. After this, can I water bath the jars, sealing the vinegar, in a water bath pot? it is recommended that the temp. should be maintained at 140F. no more, but it doesn’t say for how long the water bath should continue. I do a lot of canning, and there is usually a specific time for this procedure.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Sher. That “mother junk” is actually good for you and is found in the best apple cider vinegar. Pasteurizing the apple cider vinegar will destroy most if not all of the good healthy properties of it. So, in my opinion there is no reason to make your own really good, traditional, healthy fermented foods if you’re going to ferment them and destroy all their health-giving properties. Vinegar itself can be kept for long periods of time, out of the fridge without going off so there is no reason to water bath the jars to seal the vinegar in. It’s not like things like jams, fruit and vegetables that you’ve canned before. They need to be sealed so that they don’t ferment or rot because that’s not the end goal. But vinegar is different. It’s been used throughout history as a preservative. I don’t do canning, so I can’t advise you on that at all, except to say that heating up the vinegar like that is going to destroy all the good properties that you’ve just been cultivating over the past 8 months.

  165. Emm Vee says:

    Hi! I’m not sure if you’re still responding to this post, but I did have a question. Once the “mother” forms, can it be used as a started for new batches? Thank you!

  166. Barbara Burdette says:

    I started my apple cider vinegar about 10 days ago. It looks good with a bit of white foam but has a yeasty smell along with an apple smell. Is that OK?

  167. Miarebecca says:

    I was in the process of making apple cider vinegar and when I went to strain out my scraps, lo and behold there was a colony of fruit flies inhabiting and committing unmentionable acts atop all of my beautiful healthy smelling vinegar. The recipe I took from had us use a paper towel with a ring lid to a mason jar. I see this recipe suggests cheesecloth. I am wondering what is the best method to keep the flies out. I had to throw the whole batch out because…disgusting!

    Please and Thank You!

  168. Marci says:

    Hi, I have 5 batches of Acv. They have fruit flies and worms.
    Is it still ok?

    The avc is 2 months old for sure.

  169. Debbi says:

    i have mine in a dark, cool room fermenting. I’ve never made this before. I checked on it last night before bed, and it smells like alcohol (which I expected it’s only been 3 days). You say to bottle it, do you mean to water bath can it? Or just put it in bottles and leave on shelf? Or do I need to refrigerate it after it turns to vinegar?

  170. Jody says:

    I have read several methods for fermenting apple cider vinegar but yours is the only one that doesn’t use any sugar?

  171. Tamara says:

    I have been working on my apple cider vinegar now for 2 months. I have read many post and other l articles on how to make it.

    I am using organic apples and filtered fresh spring water. In a glass jar covered with cheese cloth. The first batch I threw out due to an infestations of knats/fruit flies getting in it. Started another batch using paper towels to cover it and still had an infestation of the knats/fruit flies. Threw it out.

    Can this be processed with a lid on it? Would you know if it safe to filter and use the the vinegar with knats/fruit flies in it?

    I have not yet found any articles about how to prevent the infestation of these little pest. Just post on how to get rid of them with vinegar and soap. I want to use the vinegar not use it to catch and kill pest.

  172. Debbi says:


    Many people don’t realize that the fruit fly eggs are in the apple peels. The best way to keep them from hatching is to weigh down the apple peels, until none are above the liquid.

  173. Marie says:

    Should the new vinegar be stored in the refrigerator when it is done?

  174. jean Evans says:

    Hello, you say to just cover the apples then leave to ferment but surely this amount of water isn’t enough to make several jars. Could you please let me know what ratio of apples to water to use if possible.

    Many thanks, Jean

  175. Saniya says:

    I have made apple cider vinegar with almost the same recipe. Only difference I didn’t let the apple chunks brown.
    My problem; after a couple of months the cider looses it’s sourness. Please advise ?

  176. Saniya says:

    I have been making ACV by this recipe using whole apples and it turns out fine. The problem is that after a couple of months the cider looses it’s sourness. Please advise

  177. Debra Foster says:

    I began making this 3 weeks ago, I didn’t use any sugar and I sealed the jars. I just checked them, they seem fine, so I took the lids off and covered with cloth. Now will this still be good vinegar?

    • Donna says:

      If they seem and smell fine, I think so. Just keep going with the lids off, but covered with cloth and see what happens. 🙂