How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar from Scraps

How to make Apple Cider Vinegar

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Learning How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar from Scraps is a fun way to use up every bit of the apple. You can easily turn apple cores and peels into more than just compost. I learned how to make apple cider vinegar years ago when I challenged myself to waste as little food as possible.

This fall is as about as confusing as this whole year. Thanks 2020! We’ve literally had all four seasons on repeat the last couple of months. From snow the week before Halloween to shorts today on November 8th, there’s a reason we never put our seasonal clothing away ever in the Midwest.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar from Scraps

I’m not complaining as it gives my son extra time to play outside with his “girlfriend” (the sweet little neighbor girl). They are absolute best friends goals I’m telling you.

Despite it never consistently feeling like crispy fall, I’m still in full swing fall baking mode and when I got a bunch of apples in my Imperfect Produce box, I knew I needed to bake a pie. I probably should have waited a couple of weeks for Thanksgiving. **Instant regret**

Oh well.

I remember the first time I attempted to make an apple pie. I was so proud of my homemade dough and cute, rustic lattice work. I pulled it out of the open, let it cool and served it up. We all took our first bites and the look of dissatisfaction on everyone’s faces was NOT the reaction I wanted.

I forgot to peel the darn apples.

I’ll never make that mistake again. Maybe some of you like apple peels left on in pie? Not really a texture that’s pleasant in my opinion.

I generally try to eat the peels with most of the foods I prepare but with apple pie, yea, I can’t.

So, I end up with a bowl full of peels.

There are a few ways I can handle them to avoid just throwing them into the garbage and that’s either compost them, make apple skin chips, or make apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is nothing more than water, apple pieces and sugar. Over time that sugar aids in the fermentation process causing the mixture to turn to alcohol.

For ages, ACV has been used for so many things including medicinal remedies like a nausea remedy, a facial toner, and even as a hair conditioner. ACV is great at removing soap build up in your hair!

Related: The Ultimate List of Zero Waste Swaps

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar from Scraps

What you’ll need:

You'll need a few simple items to make apple cider vinegar

  • jar
  • cloth scrap
  • rubber band – save one from your produce!
  • smaller glass jar that will fit inside the larger jar or a fermentation weight
  • apple skins and cores
  • 2 TB sugar or honey
  • 2 cups of water


Fill jar 3/4 of the way full for Apple Cider Vinegar

1. Fill a clean jar 3/4 of the way full with apple skins and cores.

Pour water over apple scraps.

2. Pour the water over the apple scraps that are nestled in the clean jar.

Sugar or Honey can be used to make apple cider vinegar

3. Add the sugar or honey then mix thoroughly. I put the metal jar lid on and give it a good shake before adding the cloth.

Making Apple Cider Vinegar

4. Use a fermentation weight or a smaller jar to weigh down the apple scraps so that they are all submerged under the water. This prevents spoilage because if the apple scraps touch oxygen they will begin to mold.

5. Cover the top of the jar with your cloth scrap piece and secure with a rubber band. Don’t use a jar lid.

6. Set the jar in a cool, dark place and check on it after 4 weeks.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

What next?

After about 2 weeks, go ahead and strain off the scraps and compost, or add them to another jar to start another batch of ACV. At this point, check your product to make sure there is not scum, mold and that it smells like vinegar. 

Transfer to a smaller jar if you’d like and reseal with the cloth scrap. Check on it again in 2 additional weeks.

What questions do you have?

  • Does it matter what apples to use? –  Nope! Use any apples you have on hand.


11 thoughts on “How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar from Scraps

  1. This is a great idea – does it matter on the type of apple? I have some Bramley’s to cook this week so will have a lot of peel from them. Also when the vinegar is ready does the apple peel stay in or does it need removing? Thanks for sharing this ☺️

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