Apple scrap vinegar

By the way, nothing went to waste in this latest apple canning enterprise.

We use a lot of vinegar around here, in homemade cleaning products and the like. I had just read about making apple scrap vinegar on a beloved blog I read, and a little Googling provided more (and widely varied) information. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it.

Sofía helped… pretty well, actually. She took all the peelings and cores from the apple prepping and packed them into the giant jar that used to hold olives. She nibbled a lot, but hey, I’m not about to stop her from eating apples!

After packing, we used a ratio of 1/8 to 1/4 cup honey per quart filtered and boiled water to fill the jar. After hooding it like a Sunday-school Nativity actor, we crossed our fingers and stowed it in a dark cupboard to bubble away the coming weeks.

We put in about 2 gallons of water. It’ll be interesting to see how much vinegar we get back, if it works. (If it doesn’t, well, nothing lost but chicken treats!)

At this point Sofía lost interest and went to watch Dora while I put together the rest of the goodies. Ah, well. Maybe she’ll remember some of this in a month when we take it back out.

23 Responses to “Apple scrap vinegar”

  1. Farrah Says:

    I tried this about 3 or 4 months ago with some pear scraps from where I had made pear preserves from our tree. It turned out really well. I did mine a little different (instead of adding sweetener I added some unfiltered vinegar to start my mother), so I’ll be excited to see how this turns out!

  2. Diana Guillermo Says:

    It works great Farrah! Just keep tasting until it tastes right. I had to keep putting my first batch back to get more acidic, but now that I use previous batches to innoculate my latest batch, the vinegar gets very sour much more quickly. It’s how I make all our apple cider vinegar now! I’m even thinking of trying to make white vinegar from sugar water in the same way; I’ve heard you can do that (though I don’t know the details) and we use so much of it for cleaning that it would certainly be handy.

  3. Houston Ima Says:

    Would you be able to send me the exact details or recipe how you made this? I’d love to make some. How did you store the apple scraps until you used it in the vinegar?

  4. Diana Guillermo Says:

    We actually used the apple scraps right away, there was no storage – but I have also made it successfully by storing apple cores in a freezer bag until I had accumulated enough for a batch. Then just mix 1/4 cup honey or sugar per quart water and keep filling it until the scraps are all covered. Put a screen on top to keep out fruit flies and keep in a dark place for two weeks. Filter out the fruit bits at that point, taste & add more sugar if it’s not sour enough for you. Let it ferment a couple weeks longer, filter and decant into bottles.

  5. Mercy Says:

    Are you able to compost the apple pieces after you filter them out? Or does the vinegar ruin them for that purpose?

  6. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Absolutely you can compost them. We even feed ours to the chickens after they’ve been effectively “pickled”. :)

  7. Mercy Says:

    Did you have problems with this growing mold at all? My apples got moldy. I strained them out for the second phase and now there is mold growing at the top. Am I doing something wrong?

  8. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Were the apple bits fully submerged during the first phase? Might it be yeast floaties you’re seeing? If they are brownish then you are fine.

    If the batch actually smells bad or “off” I would toss the batch and start over. But if it smells fine (like vinegar), it may just be a harmless household mold. Skim it off and take a tiny sip of the vinegar to see if it’s sour enough – I bet it needs more sugar/honey to kick up the good bacteria’s acid output. And if you have any other raw vinegars lying around, dollop some in there as well as a culture quick-starter infusion.

    I am not sure what kind of mold it is or how it got in there, but I do know that in fermenting saurkraut we are told that mold formation is natural and harmless, and just to skim it off the top before consuming. Once skimmed, it should not reform as long as the acidity increases.

    Hope this helps! Let me know what happens.

  9. Mercy Says:

    It was a greenish mold. It formed on the tops of the apples that were floating. I did just skim it off. I will try adding more homey to see if that helps. Thanks.

  10. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Ah, as long as it wasn’t black I don’t think you have to worry much. If you are not against using white sugar, it is more easily metabolized by the bacteria and will make the vinegar more acidic, faster.

    If you choose to add more honey, first mix it in a separate bowl about 50/50 with some of your fermenting vinegar. Then pour it in once liquefied so you aren’t stuck stirring a layer of sticky honey goop on the bottom of a 2 gallon crock trying to get it to dissolve and making a mess. :)

  11. Krista Says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I have a question about something similar that you may be able to help me with. I have 1/2 a jug of organic apple juice (cloudy) that wasn’t opened for several weeks. When I opened it today, it was like opening a bottle of soda and the juice was fizzy. It didn’t taste bad or off, just not like fresh apple juice. It does have some small brown floaters in it. Do you think it’s just fermenting or should I toss it out? If I were to leaveir alone, do you think it would turn into vinegar? I’m VERY new to this whole living thing so any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!

  12. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Sounds like it’s fermenting into hard cider. :) Those brown floaties are yeast clumps, the fizz is the carbon dioxide they produce while fermenting. It’s most likely safe to drink – probiotic too, actually, but a bit alcoholic. If you leave it (screened, so the yeast can breathe but flies can’t get in) and the cider will eventually turn into vinegar. If you want to be SURE it turns to vinegar, get yourself a tablespoon or two of someone else’s raw vinegar and pour it in. It will be rich in all the proper vinegar bacteria and will make sure it ends up tasting just right. :)

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Are you supposed to put a lid on the jar first, then cover it with a cloth, or just a cloth with no sealed lid on top while your waiting during those weeks?

  14. Jessica Says:

    Do you put a sealed lid on top of the jar, then cover it with a cloth, or do you only use a cloth so the contents can breathe during those weeks?

  15. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Just a cloth like muslin, held on tightly with a rubber band. Gotta keep those fruit flies out, but let the contents breathe.

  16. Debby Hayes Says:

    Thank you for sharing all this info on making apple cider vinegar. It has so much more benefits being made from scratch. I use it for everything from eating to cleaning. It has cured my husband of athlete’s foot and toenail fungus by soaking his feet in warm water with the vinegar. I use it to rinse my hair after shampooing, it has brought back the shine and luster to my hair and also it is growing in thicker. I lost my hair due to chemo and it didn’t all grow back in. I swear by natural homemade apple cider vinegar!!:smile: Thanks again!

  17. Big Whitt Says:

    I believe I am going to try it. I didn’t know I could make my own vinegar.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Do you use a glass container for the vinegar?

  19. Diana Guillermo Says:

    I have used food-safe plastic, but glass would be better.

  20. Larhonda Says:

    Hi! I’ve been reading your weblog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead aand giv you a shout out from Houston Texas!

    Just wanted to tell you keep up the great job!

  21. Jean Says:

    What is the difference of raw vinegar are and the vinegar you buy in the grocery store

  22. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Raw vinegar is still alive and probiotic. The grocery store vinegar has been pasteurized and super-filtered.

  23. Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar From Scraps! Says:

    […] Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar but when I saw this recipe for a DIY version of ACV from Diana at These Two Hands I had to give it a […]

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