I Eat Plants: Make Your Own Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar


Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has so many health benefits of cider vinegar. Apples are abundant right now.  You can pick your own, grab them at the store, the farmer’s market, or maybe you have a tree in your back yard.  Whichever way you got them, you just might have a bunch on hand!

There are so many ways to use them, and so many varieties to use!  When I do use apples, I often find myself with a ton of peels.

My recent favorite way to preserve them is to make apple sauce.  When I make mine, I don’t use cores, and I use peels from about half the apples.  When I make pie or otherwise bake with apples, I peel them.  I’d always liked to throw a few peels in the freezer for vegetable stock, but then last year, I started reading more about making vinegar, and found the perfect vehicle for using the scraps!

Apple Cider Vinegar is a fun project that doesn’t take a lot of work and will totally impress your friends.  It’s fun to do with kids, and really doesn’t take much in the way of skills.

One caveat:  homemade ACV can’t be used in any type of preserving project that depends on acidity.  The pH is unreliable.  Although there are meters you can buy for home use, they’re not sensitive enough.

You can check out the recipe here.  Before you do that, you might want to check out these tips:

  • I fermented mine on top of my fridge. Although it was only covered with cheesecloth, at no time did it ever smell like vinegar in my kitchen. Well, except when I opened it up to taste it. Then it smelled like vinegar, which I happen to like!
  • I think this can realistically be stored at room temp, but I’m erring on the side of caution and storing it in the fridge. Why? I’m maybe a little paranoid. I wouldn’t toss it if I left it on the counter for day, though.
  • When adding a little ACV to get things started, only use a raw, unpasteurized brand like Bragg’s. Do not use the regular kind.
  • Apples that take a long time to turn brown when cut, like Ginger Golds or Pink Lady apples may not be a great choice.  When I tried this with Ginger Golds the peels began to mold before they really browned sufficiently.

Once you’ve made your own ACV, you can use it as a starter for other fruit vinegars!



Peels and cores and water, oh my! 


I really think if you have apple peels and cores on hand, you should try this one!  You really have nothing to lose on this, and you’ll get to see a little science happen in your kitchen!


About Author

I Eat Plants columnist Jodie Deignan went vegetarian in 2004 and fully committed to veganism in 2007. By day she’s a psychiatric nurse practitioner and by night she spends a lot of time cooking delicious vegan food for herself and her friends. She’s a bit of a picky eater, with a special distaste for mushrooms, seaweed, raw tomatoes, and eggplant, though she’s discovered along the way she’s a little more open-minded than she once thought. She blogs at The Picky Vegan.


  1. So where are the instruction on how to make apple cider vinegar? I don’t see them?



  2. Kim, hover over the words “perfect vehicle for using scraps” and it is a link to the recipe 🙂

  3. I had the inspiration to make my own acv too. I worked at a country store that pressed it’s own cider, so when they were finished I took a 5 gallon bucket home of pressed apples leftovers. I had a bit (1/4 c) of Braggs left with the mother in a bottle, so I poured it into the mixture of sugar and water and then split into 2 buckets. I put it in our unused bathroom that was cooler than what is recommended. About 3 weeks later I thought I better check on it because it was starting to smell like vinegar in the bathroom. What I found on top was not what I expected, but I think it is the mother. There was a film that was yeasty looking. In color and texture. Like when your making bread and dissolve the yeast in warm water. It was one large film but not gelatinous as I expected. Does this sound like an under-formed mother due to cold or a fungus that is not supposed to be there? Also, should I take out the apple pressings now or wait?

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