Learn how to make apple scrap vinegar using scraps from your apples. Today we are going to talk about the difference between apple cider vinegar and apple scrap vinegar. After that, I’m going to share my easy recipe for apple scrap vinegar.
You will be shocked at how effortless the process is. It will have you wondering, why am I even buying this stuff? Which brings me to my next question, have you looked at the price of apple cider vinegar lately? With the mother? It’s about $5.00 for 16 ounces! I will also be talking about what exactly ‘the mother’ is and why it’s important.
Apple Scrap Vinegar vs. Apple Cider Vinegar
Below, I am going to take a quick look at the differences and similarities of apple scrap vinegar and apple cider vinegar. You will see they are very similar and have one glaring difference.
Apple Cider Vinegar
First, let’s talk about apple cider vinegar. We are all familiar with this vinegar. Or maybe not! Apple cider vinegar has numerous benefits. From health and beauty, to livestock, cleaning, canning and cooking. It really pays for itself it the useful department! But what exactly is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is the result of a two step fermentation of apple cider. The first step of fermentation is adding yeast to apple cider. The yeast feeds on the sugars in the cider, turning the cider into alcohol. The second step is turning that alcohol into acid. When left alone, the bacteria in the cider will turn the alcohol into acetic acid. Acetic acid is the acid that gives vinegar its distinctive taste.
Apple cider vinegar purchased from the store is closely regulated to allow for a higher, more controlled acidity. For this reason, store bought vinegar is recommended for canning.
Apple Scrap Vinegar
First, you should know that apple scrap vinegar possesses all of the benefits that apple cider vinegar does. The glaring difference between the two vinegars is the acidity content. Most of us do not have the ability to test the acidity level of homemade vinegar, therefore, purchase your vinegar from the store when canning with it.
So what exactly is the ‘mother’ and why is it important? Apple cider vinegar can be purchased two ways: filtered and clear, or with ‘the mother’ and cloudy. Consequently, there is also a noticeable price difference in the two. ‘The mother’ contains friendly bacteria, proteins and enzymes, which are all good for your gut health. This bacteria and protein is what gives unfiltered apple cider vinegar its cloudy appearance.
Making Apple Scrap Vinegar
Homemade vinegar is very similar to the process of commercially made vinegar, with a few exceptions. Apple scrap vinegar is still a process of fermentation. Although, you do not add yeast to this process; you catch wild yeast in the fermentation process.
But first, I want to discuss some important tips to ensure success.
*Have a Clean Kitchen and Clean Supplies
Take the time to ensure your utensils, jars, bowls and countertops are clean. This will help prevent any bad bacteria from ruining your vinegar.
*Use the Sugar
Maybe you are following a low carb diet, or maybe you try really hard to only use natural sugars in your food. I get it! I do too. But this time, you need to use the sugar. Don’t worry, the fermentation process will eat up all of it.
*Don’t Use Metal
This is a rule of thumb when fermenting, period. Use glass jars or ceramic crocks.
*Use Filtered or Tap Water
If you have chlorinated water, I’m sorry. You can’t use it on this recipe. It can kill or slow the growth of the yeast necessary to ferment. In a pinch, boiling chlorinated water for 20 minutes, then cooling completely before using, will allow it to be used in this recipe.
How to Make Apple Scrap Vinegar
Learn how to make organic Apple Scrap Vinegar using scraps from your apples, with ingredients you already have!
- Organic Apple Scraps (peels + cores)
- Sugar (for every cup of water used, you will need 1T of sugar)
- Any size wide mouth glass jar or crock
- Coffee Filter or Cheesecloth
- Rubber Band
- Small Glass Jar, or Fermentation Weight *See Notes*
- In a small saucepan, gently warm the water, but do not boil. Remove from the heat, then add the needed amount of sugar. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool completely.
- In a large, wide mouth glass jar or crock, add enough apple scraps to fill the vessel 3/4 of the way full, lightly packed.
- Now, pour the cooled sugar water over the apples, leaving 1-inch of headspace in the vessel. Next, place the small glass jar or fermenting weight on top of the apple scraps to weight them down.
- Place the coffee filter or cheesecloth over the opening of the vessel; secure with a rubber band. Put the vessel in a dark cabinet for 3 weeks. Check the vinegar every few days to ensure the apples are submerged and no mold is growing.
- After 3 weeks, strain the apple scraps from the liquid. Save the scraps for the compost pile or for your chickens.
- Again, cover the vessel with cheesecloth or a coffee filter, secured with a rubber band. Return to the dark cabinet and let the liquid set for another 3 weeks.
- On week 6, taste the vinegar for tartness. If it has reached the tartness you like, transfer the vinegar to a different jar or bottle and put a lid on it. You can start using it! If a more tart flavor is desired, place the vessel back in the dark cabinet and let it age for another week or two.
- Any variety of apple can be used to make this apple scrap vinegar. Using different varieties will give the vinegar a slightly different taste and color. Try mixing apple varieties for a one of a kind vinegar!
- Only use scraps from apples that were washed of dirt and debris.
- It is okay to use scraps from bruised and browned apples. However, avoid using rotten fruit.
- If mold appears on the surface of the vinegar, discard the batch and start over. Weighting down the scraps so they are submerged under the liquid and frequent checks will prevent mold.
- While fermenting, a slight vinegar/apple smell is normal. The smell will attract fruit flies, but keeping the vessel tightly covered will prevent them from ruining the vinegar.
- The recipes measurements are left vague so the recipe can be customized to make any quantity desired.
- If a white, gelatinous substance appears on the surface of the vinegar, this is completely fine! In fact, it is wonderful! This is called 'the mother'. The mother can be left in the bottled vinegar, or can be removed and stored in a separate jar with a smidge of apple scrap vinegar. The mother can also be disposed of. Alternatively, the mother can also be used to start future batches of vinegar.
- A fine sediment may appear at the bottom of the vinegar. This is a result of the apple scraps and is okay. The sediment can be filtered out using cheesecloth, or left in the vinegar.
- As a final note, do not use homemade vinegar for canning recipes. The acidity of homemade vinegar cannot be accurately measured, therefore, it may not be safe for home canned food.
Today I talked about the differences between apple cider vinegar and apple scrap vinegar. I then shared my easy recipe for organic Apple Scrap Vinegar that creates ‘the mother’. In addition, I included helpful tips for ensuring fermenting success. Making your own organic Apple Scrap Vinegar will save you money and is a fun introduction to fermentation.
Looking for More Vinegar Inspiration?
Looking for more ways to use vinegar? Check out my post here to make your own cleaning vinegar, using two simple ingredients. This all-purpose cleaner is non-toxic and kid safe and the everyday cleaner I use in my home.