How to Make Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Every fall, my family and I go to the Ellijay Apple Festival in North Georgia! It’s such a fun time of the year. We enjoy watching the clogging performances, eating all the fall treats, and checking out handmade local crafts and art. Of course, we always come home with heaps of farm fresh apples to enjoy. My favorite way to enjoy these tasty fruits is to eat the apples raw with a spoonful of peanut butter. Sometimes I make homemade apple sauce with them, which by the way is really simple to make. However, there are times when I just can’t eat all of the apples before they start going bad. Instead of tossing them into the compost bin, I like to make homemade apple cider vinegar!

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Before realizing how terribly easy it was to prepare ACV at home, I used to purchase apple cider vinegar at the grocery store regularly. Now that I can make it at home, I can simply reuse the same glass bottle over and over again. This truly is a zero waste recipe in that way! It’s a great way to use food scraps instead of composting them! What’s also really cool about making raw ACV at home is that you can use whatever variety of apples you have on hand and can even mix them together when preparing. I usually use honey crisp or fuji apples when making it, but that’s just because those are more two favorite varieties of apple.

Oh, also, I try to avoid food waste often — not just with my in season fresh apples, haha! Check out this post for other tips for reducing food waste!

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Benefits of Using Apple Cider Vinegar

Maybe you are unfamiliar with apple cider vinegar?? It’s often abbreviated to ACV, and this stuff has SO many uses in your home and for personal health. Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries for its potential health benefits and versatile uses. While scientific research is ongoing, there are several potential benefits associated with consuming or using apple cider vinegar:

  • Digestive Health: ACV is believed to aid digestion by promoting the production of stomach acid, which can assist in breaking down food. It may also help with issues like indigestion and bloating.
  • Blood Sugar Regulation: Some studies suggest that ACV may help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes or those at risk.
  • Heart Health: Some research indicates that ACV may have a positive effect on heart health by reducing factors like cholesterol and blood pressure, although more studies are needed.
  • Antimicrobial Properties: ACV contains acetic acid, which has antimicrobial properties and can help inhibit the growth of bad bacteria. This is why it’s sometimes used as a natural disinfectant or for cleaning purposes.
  • Skin Health: ACV is often used topically as a toner for the skin due to its acidity and potential antibacterial properties. It may help with issues like acne and skin irritation.
  • Hair Health: Some people use ACV as a hair rinse to enhance shine and manage dandruff. Its acidity can help balance the pH of the scalp.
  • Gut Health: ACV contains beneficial, good bacteria (probiotics) that can support gut health and a balanced microbiome.
  • Alkalizing Effect: Although ACV is acidic, it’s thought that it can have an alkalizing effect on the body, helping to balance its pH levels.
  • Potential Antioxidant Activity: ACV contains antioxidants like polyphenols, which can help combat oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.
  • Natural Cleaning Agent: ACV’s antimicrobial properties make it a popular natural cleaning agent for various surfaces around the home.
  • Ingredient in Salad Dressings: Apple scrap vinegar tastes so good in homemade salad dressing. It gives it the perfect tartness! I like using this homemade salad dressing recipe

These are only a few of the many benefits of DIY apple cider vinegar. It can be used in many different ways. I’ve attached a couple of links if you want to read about more uses for apple vinegar at home!

6 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

50+ Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

15 Reasons to Use Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day

homemade apple cider vinegar

How to Make Homemade ACV

Ingredients and Equipment you’ll need to make your own apple cider vinegar

2 clean mason jars

Filtered water

2 coffee filters

2 rubber bands

3 organic apples chopped (I used the peel and core)

2 tbsp local, raw honey (You could also make this recipe with organic cane sugar, if you don’t want to use honey.)

homemade apple cider vinegar

Recipe for DIY Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Be sure to use a clean jar or container. This is important. You don’t want mold to grow in your ACV during the fermentation process.
  • Rinse and chop the organic apples, then throw them in your sterilized jar (I used two regular sized mason jars. Wide mouth jars are great as well!). You can use scraps like apple cores, apple peels, and seeds from organic apples. You can even use a whole apple that is starting to soften.
  • Fill the jar(s) with filtered water, just to the top of the apples. Leave some space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion during fermentation.
  • Add honey and stir until dissolved.
  • Cover jar with a paper coffee filter and secure it with a rubber band. This is also important, because ACV can attract fruit flies. You don’t want them getting in your jars.
  • Let it sit in a room temperature, dark place. Keep it out of direct sunlight. 
  • Stir the mixture every few days for about two weeks using a wooden or plastic utensil.
  • Your homemade vinegar will probably have some bubbles on top, but there should NOT BE MOLD on top. If there is, you need to throw it out and start over fresh. The bubbles and froth is a sign of fermentation. 
  • Once the vinegar has reached the desired acidity, use a strainer to separate the vinegar from the apple bits and throw those apple pieces in your compost bin.
  • Continue to let your ACV sit for about 2-4 weeks to more. (Mine was perfectly ready at six weeks) Now your ACV is ready to use. If your ACV doesn’t have a strong, tart vinegar flavor it might not be quite ready. Let it sit longer.

Keep in mind that the fermentation process can vary based on factors like temperature and the natural yeasts present in your environment. If you prefer a more consistent result, you can consider using a starter culture or a small amount of unpasteurized store-bought apple cider vinegar to kick-start the fermentation.

homemade apple cider vinegar
homemade apple cider vinegar

I originally published this post in 2015 (when I was a blogging baby). However, I’ve updated it now in August of 2020 for my newest readers to enjoy! Be sure to bookmark or pin this post for apple season which is just around the corner.

Do you use apple cider vinegar in your home? Have you ever made your own acv? Do you have any tips for someone wanting to try it out?

homemade apple cider vinegar recipe

4 thoughts on “How to Make Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. This is great to read! I am in the process of making some. My instructions said to remove the apples after 2 weeks and let sit for another 2 months… But after reading this I will check to see if it is done sooner. I am using a Pickler jar, hoping it works!

    1. How’s yours coming along?! Oh yeah, I should add that in there… I took the apples out at the end!! Next time I want to make a bigger batch. I just used three apples I had that were going bad and it didn’t really make that much. When will yours be ready??

  2. Quick point of clarification, you mentioned that your ACV was “perfectly ready at 6 weeks.” Was that the combined time of the 2 weeks with the apples floating in the water and the 4 weeks of letting the strained liquid sitting on the counter? Thanks!

    1. Yes! Six weeks including the 2 weeks with apples in the water and 4 without!

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