How to Make Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

by Sarah Drinks and Tonics, Natural Remedies, RecipesComments: 122


raw apple cider vinegar

It’s apple season in many parts of North America which will continue through the Fall.  Time to take advantage of the seasonal bounty and make some raw apple cider vinegar! If you don’t have locally grown apples available in your community, a bag of organic apples from the healthfood store or veggie co-op will work just fine.

Unpasteurized, or raw apple cider vinegar is expensive, so making your own is very thrifty.  A typical quart of organic, raw apple cider vinegar will run you just under $5 at most healthfood stores.  You can make a whole gallon, four times that amount, yourself for about the same price or even less if you use apple scraps that you were going to throw out or compost anyway.

Which Apples Make the Best Raw Apple Cider Vinegar?

A mixture of apples produces the best tasting and most healthful raw apple cider vinegar.

If you are new to the process, try these approximate ratios for your first batch or two and then change it up from there to your own personal liking:

  • 50% sweet apples (Golden Delicious, Fuji (my fave), Gala, Red Delicious)
  • 35% sharp tasting apples (McIntosh, Liberty, Winesap, Northern Spy, Gravenstein)
  • 15% bitter tasting apples (Dolgo crabapples, Newtown, Foxwhelp, Porter’s Perfection, Cortland)

In my neck of the woods, bitter tasting apples are hard to find.  If this is your predicament as well, simply increase the proportion of sweet apples to 60% and the sharp tasting apples to 40%. While the flavor of this mixture won’t be as complex as with the inclusion of some bitter apples, it will still taste fine.

If all you have is a single apple tree in the backyard, however, feel free to use just that one variety to make your raw apple cider vinegar!

Uses for Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

The uses for raw apple cider vinegar are seemingly endless. It’s widely used in homemade tonics, recipes and even for cleaning.  I like to use it for an ACV detox bath (1 quart to a tubful of warm water). Friends of mine use raw apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse or for hair detoxing.

The well known Master Tonic, a natural flu anti-viral, uses raw apple cider vinegar as the fermenting medium.  It’s also an essential ingredient in homemade bone broths.

Pasteurized apple cider vinegar doesn’t have the same benefits as raw apple cider vinegar does as valuable vitamins, probiotics and enzymes are destroyed by the heating process.  If you are going to go to the trouble of making apple cider vinegar, always make it raw for maximum benefits.

How to Make Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Makes approximately 1 gallon


5 large apples of choice or the scraps of 10 apples

Filtered water

1 cup raw, local honey or organic cane sugar (find it here)


1 wide mouth gallon glass jar (I like these)

Cheesecloth or floursack cloth (I use these)

Large rubber band


Before you can make your raw apple cider vinegar, you must first make hard apple cider.  The alcohol in the hard cider is what transforms via fermentation into acetic acid, which is the beneficial organic compound that gives apple cider vinegar its sour taste.

Nature is amazing!

Wash the apples and coarsely chop into pieces no smaller than 1 inch.  Cores, stems and seeds may be included.

Put the chopped apples into a 1 gallon, clean, wide mouth, glass jar.  The chopped apples should at least fill half the container and maybe a bit more.   If at least half the container is not filled, add additional apple scraps until you achieve this level as a minimum.

Pour in room temperature filtered water until the chopped apples are completely covered and the container is just about full leaving a couple of inches at the top.

Stir in the raw honey or cane sugar until fully dissolved.

Cover the top of the glass jar with cheesecloth, a thin white dishtowel or floursack cloth and secure with a large rubber band.

Leave on the counter for about 1 week, gently mixing once or twice a day.  Bubbles will begin to form as the sugar ferments into alcohol. You will smell this happening.

When the apple scraps no longer float and sink to the bottom of the jar after approximately one week, the hard apple cider is ready.

Strain out the apple scraps and pour the hard apple cider into a fresh 1 gallon glass jar or smaller sized mason jars of your choosing.

Cover with a fresh piece of cheesecloth and secure with a rubberband.

Leave on the counter in an out of the way spot for an additional 3-4 weeks to allow the alcohol to transform into acetic acid by the action of acetic acid bacteria (these are the good guys!). A small amount of sediment on the bottom is normal. In addition, a mother culture will form on top, similar to what happens when making kombucha.

Taste your raw apple cider vinegar to determine if it is ready starting after 3 weeks.  If it has the right level of vinegar taste for you, strain it one more time and store in clean, glass mason jars or jugs.  If after 4 weeks, the taste still isn’t quite strong enough, leave it for another week and try again.  If you accidentally leave it too long and the taste is too strong, just strain and dilute with some water to a level of acidity that pleases you.

Use as desired and store in the pantry out of direct sunlight.

Raw apple cider vinegar doesn’t go bad, but if you leave it for a long time, another mother culture will likely form on top.  This is fine, just strain it again if desired and dilute with a bit of water if the taste has become too strong.

Hint: Your homemade batch of apple cider vinegar can be used not only in the kitchen, but also as a vinegar bath (2 cups per tubful) to greatly aid detoxification.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Sources and More Information

How to Make Cider

Making Apple Cider Vinegar

How to Make a Vinegar Compress for Sprains and Bruises

Maple Kombucha Salad Dressing as an Alternative to Apple Cider Vinegar based Dressings

Comments (122)

  • Jessica

    I’ve tried making ACV from apples then from a bottle of Briggs and apple juice. I had to discard both batches around the one week mark because patches of mold (not the good kind) kept forming in small black/green patches on the sides of my jar above the liquid line. Does anyone know how to prevent this?

    July 23rd, 2016 3:07 pm Reply
  • coral

    I chopped up whole apples not just using the cores – is there anything I can do with the apples after I strain it? It seems like a waste to throw it away

    July 17th, 2016 7:25 am Reply
    • Sarah

      Absolutely. Compost them for the garden.

      July 17th, 2016 7:30 am Reply
  • Chris

    Hi, the quickest way to get it fermented and make a hard apple juice or cider, is to blend the whole apple (Both the pulp and the skin or peels). But do not include the apple seeds, bcos the seed contains arsenic which is as toxic as mercury and lead. After fermentation, you just have to leave it for about 4-6 weeks more to make an hard apple vinegar. But i normally use pineapple juice and peels to make my vinegar. It is as good as apple vinegar, they have thesame benefits. I use pinapple bcos apple is not common and not locally produced in my country. The price of apple is too costly in my country. Wish you all good luck.

    June 20th, 2016 11:01 am Reply
  • oddizee

    Followed recipe and and it turned out so well. Thank you for this recipe. Fresh ACV is so much better, I have already sent some to my son.

    May 23rd, 2016 7:31 pm Reply
  • Camille Nordwall

    It’s been over two weeks and my apples are still afloat. Did I do something wrong?

    May 11th, 2016 1:26 pm Reply
  • Kris

    Hey Sarah! Just found a SCOBY in my braggs ACV bottle. Can I use it to make some more? Would I use this same process or would it be more like a Kombucha recipe?

    April 3rd, 2016 8:55 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      Probably could! I haven’t ever tried that though. It would be more like kombucha is my guess.

      April 4th, 2016 9:01 am Reply
  • patricia

    Mine floated after 2 weeks but was definitly smelling like wine now I’m just waiting. I’m at room temp also of 68. I know the merky is settling at the bottom. So I’m still hopeful

    March 23rd, 2016 1:00 am Reply
    • Rose Velasco

      I used your recipe and started the batch on 3-7-2016 and the apples are STILL floating and haven’t sunk like the instructions say. What do I do?

      March 25th, 2016 7:15 pm Reply
      • Sarah

        Please see other comments where this has been answered before.

        March 27th, 2016 5:10 pm Reply
  • Thomas

    Okay, I made the hard cider, no problem,. But, it refuses to cross over into ACV. It tastes like apple beer, not hard cider. It is like it has stalled in the process. What can be done to restart the process or force it to covert?

    February 26th, 2016 12:49 am Reply
    • Sarah

      This recipe is for raw apple cider VINEGAR, not hard cider.

      February 26th, 2016 7:57 am Reply
    • Lily

      Hi Thomas,
      What’s happening is that your ‘hard cider’ is lacking a bacterial component to complete the acetic acid conversion. One way to get this process going is to inoculate it with some already made raw acv, such as Bragg’s. I’d say a tablespoon will do it. Just like when making kombucha, it’s a good idea to hold on to 8 oz or so of your previous batch of fermented product so you never have to start from the very very beginning again. Best of luck to you and your vinegar! -L

      March 3rd, 2016 12:36 am Reply
      • Chocolatmarie

        That’s exactly right! Just like making Kombucha it help the new mix and also protect it from bad bacteria and mold trying to form. Love this article!

        March 10th, 2016 1:13 pm Reply
  • Emmy

    I know you get this question SO much by reading the other comments, but is there any way you could possibly post a picture of what the Mother Enzyme will look like once it’s formed? That would be very helpful for us first timers. Thanks so much!

    February 18th, 2016 12:32 pm Reply
  • K.C.

    I harvested many pounds of an unknown apple during the fall and have since chopped most of them and frozen them. Would it be okay to use these exclusively to make vinegar?

    January 18th, 2016 6:43 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    Is naturally fermented apple cider veniger equally to the task, I mean is it good for the health ? that’s the only apple cider veniger sold here in Ghana.

    January 12th, 2016 5:40 pm Reply
  • Alaina

    Ive made ACV before using scraps and cores, and it came out great.
    This time around however, the result after straining is thick.
    Is this okay?

    January 6th, 2016 4:40 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      Should be fine. Feel free to dilute with a bit of water if you want it thinner.

      January 6th, 2016 5:25 pm Reply
  • Tim

    Good morning. I am in the process of making my first batch of ACV. My house temperature probably averages around 68 degrees right now so I know from fermenting other things that it takes a lot longer than, say, the summer, when items ferment in less than half of the time. I created the first step concoction about 11 days ago. It’s definitely “working” and fizzing. But, the apples have not dropped to the bottom of the container. Is this step a certainty? Or, should I go with what I have and strain the apples? Just looking for a little guidance. Thanks for sharing! Peace

    December 23rd, 2015 10:56 am Reply
  • david pollitt

    I made a couple of batches of ACV and all worked out well. The last batch, in two containers, I left untouched for about 2 months and when I went to taste it, it was like apple water…..what happened?

    Thank you

    December 5th, 2015 11:47 am Reply
    • Sarah

      Somehow it didn’t take. This sometimes happens when doing fermentation at home.

      December 5th, 2015 3:59 pm Reply
      • Casey

        1 did 3 jars, 2 with apple and 1 with apple&pear. The apple and pear tastes lovely (never formed a mother). The apple jars both formed mothers but both taste like apple water. Can I add some other ACV to them? Or do I need to throw them out?

        December 23rd, 2015 3:17 pm Reply
  • Tara

    I made this recipe three weeks ago. The apples never stopped floating. I’m still stirring it once or twice a day, but I haven’t strained out the apples in hopes that they would signal me to by sinking, as described in your directions. Could there by a typo with the size of the apple chunks? Is it meant to say “no smaller than one inch”? I’m just trying to troubleshoot. Wondering if I should filter this out anyway or let it go longer.

    Thank you for sharing the recipe!

    October 27th, 2015 11:01 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Some apples are denser than others … what types did you use?

      October 27th, 2015 11:49 am Reply
  • Paul

    Have had a stunning crop from our 8 apple trees so looking for products to make. With raw ACV how long will it last once made and bottled? is it best kept refridgerated?

    October 21st, 2015 1:51 pm Reply
  • brandon

    Can I make ACV from my homemade apple cider? How? Hard to find info on this

    October 18th, 2015 7:58 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes you can! I should do another post on this!

      October 19th, 2015 1:52 am Reply
  • john


    It took a LOT longer then a week for the apples to sink and alcohol smell. I think it was closer to 6 weeks for my batch. We just filtered the apples out and poured into a clean jar for the next phase.

    September 30th, 2015 12:47 pm Reply
  • Julia

    I started this on Sunday 8-22. The apples started on the top and by day 3 or 4 they were level with the water but did not fully submerge. Day 5 I started to see bubbles. Today is 8-31 so it’s been one week. However, The apples are now floating on top again. Yet, The liquid is cloudy n murky. There is a lot of bubbles at the top. Should I strain the apple chunks out or let it sit until the apples are under the sugar water brine?

    August 31st, 2015 4:04 pm Reply
  • Anny

    I did make my first batch 2 months ago and it’s still standing on the bench top, because it hasn’t gone acidic/vinegary yet. No mother has formed and if i taste it, it tastes like slightly off apple water 😕 what have i done wrong? 😕

    August 16th, 2015 8:19 pm Reply
  • Ellen

    It has been 10 days and my apples are still floating-the taste is no different! Has anyone else had it take longer than a week for the apples to drop?

    August 2nd, 2015 12:39 pm Reply
    • Ellen

      whoops-just realized the person before me asked the same question!

      August 2nd, 2015 12:41 pm Reply
  • Kari

    I’m making my own ACV for the first time. It’s been two weeks now since I’ve started it. I’m still waiting for the apple pieces to sink to the bottom. If they don’t sink does that mean something is not going right with my ACV? I may have added too much water because I underestimated the amount of apples for my container and added more water than I wanted to try to completely cover the apples. Is it coming along ok still? There are bubbles. Should I go ahead and strain apple pieces now to start the second part of the process of actual vinegar making or do I need to wait for the apples to sink (if they ever do)? Thanks so much!

    July 31st, 2015 1:07 pm Reply
  • Caroline

    Do I need to use “raw” honey only – or are there other things I could use please? x

    July 20th, 2015 6:03 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      You need to use raw honey.

      July 20th, 2015 8:23 am Reply
  • James

    I purchased a gallon of raw Apple cider back in the fall but never really used it. I did open it but have since just kept it refrigerated. Is it possible to make apple cider vinegar with this?
    Thank you

    July 13th, 2015 4:21 am Reply
  • Bernadette

    I followed the recipe to a tee and a scooby never did form. At most a very light film. It did taste vinegary though. Is this still good?

    June 5th, 2015 6:47 pm Reply
    • Teresa

      The scoby for ACV is a thin white bubbly film, in my experience. As long as it has a pleasant smell, everything is going fine.

      January 9th, 2016 9:08 pm Reply
  • Kathy

    OK… over the last 10 days, the concoction has thickened very slightly — almost like a VERY light syrup. If I dripped it on the counter, it was a little sticky. It smelled great and tasted good. I don’t think I put too much honey in it, but I’m wondering if this is what it’s supposed to do.

    Also, I’m straining it today. There are still chunks of apple, of course. Other than the chunks, though, what I have in the cheesecloth looks a little like applesauce. Presumably, this is just disintegrated apples (from stirring, etc).

    But… I want to be sure, so… does all this sound right so far?


    May 25th, 2015 1:54 pm Reply
    • Kathy

      A couple days have gone by. Now… there’s a ring of what looks like bubbles on top of the liquid. Is this the beginning of the mother? Or should I be stirring it, still?

      Sure hope to hear back soon.

      May 27th, 2015 11:41 pm Reply
  • Fatima

    Hi everyone, I recently purchased my first bottle Braggs Unfiltered Unpasteurised Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and I am enjoying the sour taste so much that I cant seem to stop taking it in… straight, with water diluted, in my green smoothies, as salad dressing, as condiment with my rice and lentils and even diluted on my skin as a toner. I think I consume ACV daily about 100 ml that is 3 to 4 ounces and I feel great. The moment I feel light headache coming up I realize I have to drink more water, because I read that headache is the most common symptom people get from detoxing. When you support your body through a cleanse, those cells have the opportunity to release more stored toxins, pathogens and waste thus causing a headache. It can also be the result of the die off of sugar, yeast or caffeine. I would like to communicate with anyone who enjoys and benefits using raw unfiltered unpasteurized ACV in these high amounts. I have started to make fermented veggies in a glass jar, next step would be making ACV at home..

    May 17th, 2015 10:12 am Reply
  • Atti harris

    I’m wanting to make acv as I use it to treat my dogs skin (yeast infection) which is proving expensive! Will this recipe be ok for this, I will be adding honey not sugar. Thanks

    May 13th, 2015 5:29 pm Reply
  • janice

    would it speed up the process if u put ur apples in a blender? Can you make this cider in a plastic container or does it have to glass?

    March 29th, 2015 2:59 pm Reply
  • rod

    do you know how to make acv from organic apple juice ? if so will you share?

    March 1st, 2015 12:24 am Reply
  • Lauren

    I have Apple Cider from a CSA that I am not planning on drinking. Can I use this cider and ferment it to Apple Cider Vinegar?

    February 23rd, 2015 9:43 am Reply


      April 9th, 2015 12:21 pm Reply
      • Victoria

        Organic, unpasteurized and unfiltered apple cider vinegar has only 3 ingredients, apple, sugar and water, tools you’ll need is jar and cheesecloth :) :) :) and of course your airlock container for storage. :)

        February 26th, 2016 9:13 am Reply
  • Matthew W

    Would adding Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops have undesirable effects? I wouldn’t think so as even micro organisms use minerals. My wife and I have made water kefir before and saw it was recommended there, just wondering if it would apply here too. If so, what would you recommend for ratios (drops per quart, etc)?

    February 18th, 2015 12:06 pm Reply
  • Jenny

    I started my apple cider with larger cut apple scraps…I read this might be why after 2 weeks they still float. It is smelling potent. Then I added a little apple cider vinegar with mother in it a week ago to keep it going without any mold issues (very easy here in humid FL). So, I think it’s ready to strain?

    My other question is I never added the raw honey, but it’s started to ferment without it. Can I skip the honey or added sugars? If not, I think it would be ok to add it in now. I put the apples together into a jar on January 23, so about 2 weeks ago.

    Thanks for your help :)

    February 5th, 2015 2:02 am Reply
  • Andrew Gulak

    So mine is going on 3 weeks (without straining). Smells quite a bit like fermenting, has the white foam (not mold) indicating a reaction is taking place. Is there a TOO long to wait thing? I would think the mixture would be more potent if allowed extra time to ferment. Next time I’m just going to make straight up ACV. It’s not harder at all. Thanks for this though. Now that I know what it actually is I can use it for dressing and recipes and things.

    January 31st, 2015 3:05 pm Reply
  • Carol

    I am on my second batch and really sold. Will never buy again. The taste is so much better too even my beloved takes 2 tablespoons a day without complaining. His high blood pressure is down and no more uric acid. What is you opinion on taking it with black strap molasses?
    Thank you for a wonderful website
    Carol form the UK

    January 24th, 2015 3:00 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yay! So glad :) If you can stomach the strong flavor of ACV and blackstrap molasses together, then go for it. It would be an extremely potent combination for sure.

      January 24th, 2015 4:11 pm Reply
  • Lynda

    This is apple scrap vinegar not ACV. They are different things and have different levels of acidity which may be very important depending on the intended use.

    January 22nd, 2015 11:05 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      It looks and tastes exactly like raw ACV from the store and works perfectly for the ACV uses and recipes I have on this blog.

      January 22nd, 2015 1:21 pm Reply
  • Sasha

    Hi, I’ve been pointed to this article by many people when I’ve had to explain the difference between real apple cider vinegar and apple scrap vinegar. Many people are using your recipe and thinking that they are producing real ACV, which is unfortunately not the case, since it is a scrap vinegar. True ACV is made by pressing apples to get pure raw juice, fermenting this (either with added or with wild yeasts) into hard cider, and then acetifying this into vinegar. Normally pure raw juice yields a cider of 4-7% alcohol. The strength of the alcohol is determined by the percentage of sugar in the raw juice. And it is this alcohol which then acetifies into vinegar. High natural sugar content=high alcohol content=high acidity. If you make scrap vinegar you essentially start with apple-flavoured water. It’s extremely dilute compared to pure juice. Low sugar content=low alcohol=low acidity. Basic chemistry there. You can add sugar to your brew to boost those percentages, but again, that is NOT real APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, which is made from… apple cider. I agree that scrap vinegar is easy and economical to make, but it doesn’t have the same strength or all of the same beneficial properties as true ACV, and now there are an awful lot of people who think they’re making real ACV, when they are not. (Especially unfortunate, since most of these people could quite easily make true ACV, all you need to do small amounts is a juicer). I urge you to clarify what this recipe is actually for.

    January 22nd, 2015 7:49 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      It’s a matter of semantics .. this recipe turns out exactly like Bragg’s ACV from the store and I bet you couldn’t tell the difference if you put them side by side and tasted them. Call it what you like!

      January 22nd, 2015 8:05 am Reply
    • Angel

      Maybe you have a recipe and method you would like to share with everyone. You must have spent a lot of time criticising many individuals with regards to ACV, since many people make the product this way and are more than satisfied with it. Do you make REAL ACV or is it basic, like your chemistry….your words. To think that Sarah has taken the time to share here recipe, and here comes a know it all, being critical. If you are the Queen of everything, like I said earlier; share your recipe and method. So long as it doesn’t take away from your time spent on the computer, finding others that make it the same way as Sarah; enabling you to also criticise them!!!!!!

      May 29th, 2015 6:16 am Reply
  • Bonnie

    I purchased a gallon of raw Apple cider back in the fall but never really used it. I did open it but have since just kept it refrigerated. Is it possible to make apple cider vinegar with this?
    Thank you

    January 9th, 2015 9:01 pm Reply
    • Darrel

      You can only make more ACV if there is a mother that has formed in it.

      January 19th, 2015 9:29 am Reply
  • Charry

    Help! My first attempt at making ACV has green and white mold forming on top and it is only on day 4. Do I scrape this off or is it a goner?

    December 11th, 2014 9:39 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      You will have to throw it out :(

      December 12th, 2014 9:33 am Reply
  • Sarah

    Did it, turned out great! Now I’m a believer.

    November 29th, 2014 9:56 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yay! :)

      November 30th, 2014 9:03 am Reply
  • Jane Metzger

    My batch has turned into a mucus-looking scary looking mess. What happened.

    November 24th, 2014 10:43 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      There is a “mother” culture that forms on top with sentiment in the bottom. This is normal.

      November 24th, 2014 1:26 pm Reply
  • Cindy

    I followed the recipe but the apples are still floating after 3 weeks. Suggestions?

    November 2nd, 2014 1:53 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I would go ahead and strain if it smells alcoholic. You may have cut the pieces too large?

      November 2nd, 2014 5:17 pm Reply
      • Jane Metzger

        No, the whole mess looks like clear snot. Sorry, but that’s the only way I can discribe it.

        November 24th, 2014 2:35 pm Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          How long did you leave it with the apple pieces in it before straining?

          November 24th, 2014 3:40 pm Reply
          • Jane Metzger

            I haven’t strained it yet. It still has all the pieces in it. I used apppeels and cores. If I have to throw it out it will be no big loss. Just some sugar. It has been about 3 weeks. It has bubbles on the top and a very thin whitel coat.

            November 24th, 2014 4:02 pm
          • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

            Sounds like it should have been strained awhile ago and it went moldy. Depending on the type of apples used, less dense apple pieces don’t seem to ever sink so you have to strain after about 2 weeks at most when it starts smelling a bit alcoholic.

            November 24th, 2014 4:44 pm
          • BriVeeduB

            yes, mine went snotty, too! But it was like that from almost the beginning. Only left it in 8 days. I strained it, but it’s super viscous. Is it supposed to be fairly liquid at this point? Thanks!

            December 8th, 2014 9:52 pm
  • Hope

    Mine did not form a scoby, only a layer of white mold. :(
    Any suggestions?

    October 13th, 2014 8:07 am Reply
    • Mary Gercke

      put a little ACV in to get it started

      November 22nd, 2014 7:18 pm Reply
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  • Derek Wood

    Maybe an easy/obvious question, but I am using a clean dish towel for the cover, with a rubber band. It’s not too think ,but not thick either. Could it possibly not allow enough air through to ferment properly? I am still opening and stirring each day, but want to be sure it is getting enough O2. I am only 3 days in, so not much happening yet. Thanks

    September 18th, 2014 10:25 pm Reply
  • Amanda

    It’s been two weeks and my apple chunks have still not dropped… should I go ahead and strain anyway?

    September 15th, 2014 7:53 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, I would. Does it smell alcoholic yet?

      September 15th, 2014 9:28 am Reply
      • Jessi

        I was having the same issue and wondering, too. Only, it’s been just over a week…definitely smells alcoholic, but the apples are still floating. I used mostly apple cores and scraps from making apple sauce. Wondering if I should go ahead and strain and move on to the next step.

        September 25th, 2014 11:55 pm Reply
  • Lisa

    I’m making this right now for the first time. I did need twice as many apples as it called for to fill the container halfway & had to run to the store for the sweet apples. My apples must be small. I stole some crab apples from the neighbor & have a mass of apples from our own two Liberty trees. My big problem two days into this is the fruit flies drawn to it and landing on top of the covering. I used paper towels instead of cheese cloth which works well for my kombucha tea. You think I could put the whole jar in a cooler or is it better to have it out in the light? It’s already fermenting. I’m vacuuming flies every hour or so.

    September 11th, 2014 7:30 pm Reply
  • Thomas

    Don’t you put the lid on the jar at any point? Do you just cover it with the cheese cloth?



    September 11th, 2014 5:44 am Reply
  • Pingback: How to Make Raw Apple Cider Vinegar | All Natural Home and Beauty

  • Tanya Roehlk via Facebook

    Thanks for this. We go through a lot of ACV! We like to make Cinnamon apple drink with ACV and stevia. So refreshing!

    September 4th, 2014 3:51 pm Reply
  • Catherine Purington via Facebook

    Interesting. I use my apple press to make cider, put it in a jar and wait. Easy Peasy

    September 4th, 2014 12:12 pm Reply
  • Jacqui

    Also a perfect time for me because organic apples just came in season here. I got my first batch the same day your email arrived. I am putting the peels and cores in a glass bowl of sugary water as we’re eating them. I think today we ate at least 8 apples. I used jaggery and I had a little of the spectrum organics raw apple cider with the mother so I put a drop of that in the bowl. As we eat the apples, I’ll keep dropping the peels and cores in. Then with every batch throughout the season I’ll do another batch of vinegar… Very cool! I think with the next load I’ll use white sugar and watch the difference. Thanks for this excellent blog!

    September 4th, 2014 11:07 am Reply
    • Jacqui

      My next project after this is to make a ginger bug. I have ginger growing in the garden. I also have very hard whisky type smelling alchohol from a couple of years ago that came from water kefir. It’s also souring up nicely into vinegar. I believe that you can never have too many bottles of vinegar in the house – it’s too useful for so many things… I live in India and no raw vinegar is available readily here – only synthetic white vinegar and even that’s hard to find so these days it’s a necessity for me to make it – once again – thanks!

      September 4th, 2014 11:18 am Reply
  • Saeriu

    This comes at a perfect time! Next weekend we’re going to go pick apples at a nearby apple orchard. I like to make apple sauce, butter, and jam. Now the rest of the apples won’t go to waste either. :)

    September 2nd, 2014 9:40 am Reply
  • Ashley

    Thanks for the great recipe! I’ve read a lot of positive thing about apple cider vinegar. What do you think Sarah, can I use it as a “facial tonic” after makeup removal?

    September 2nd, 2014 7:36 am Reply
  • Rebecca Campbell

    I am so doing this. Was going to do applesauce anyway, this is perfect!

    September 1st, 2014 4:41 pm Reply
  • The Healthy Home Economist via Facebook

    So cool to see that many of you make your ACV the exact same way! Awesome!

    September 1st, 2014 12:53 pm Reply
  • Justin from Extreme Health Radio

    Sarah I love this! Can you use green apples? We usually by the Bragg’s brand but this would be more fun and most likely best for you!

    September 1st, 2014 11:16 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, definitely :)

      September 1st, 2014 1:05 pm Reply
  • Stacy

    The directions say to pour water over top of the apples until the apples are covered, but the apple pieces float. So, I guess just fill the jar all the way up leaving a couple inches at the top??

    August 31st, 2014 9:34 pm Reply
  • Marilyn

    got the apples,i”m ready Marilyn

    August 31st, 2014 4:51 pm Reply
  • Jill

    Have you ever tried bottling it after the first week when you strain out the apple chunks? This looks like an easy way to make sparkling hard apple cider (I am imagining it would get carbonated if it was tightly bottled for at least several days at room temp after this point). I’m thinking of bottling half of it as hard cider and letting the rest turn to vinegar. Thoughts?

    August 31st, 2014 3:29 pm Reply
    • Cindy

      I was thinking of hard cider too. Did this work Jill?

      November 11th, 2015 3:09 pm Reply
  • Mrs Hall

    I have 2 apple trees that have a ton of fruit but most of it this year won’t be edible thanks to pests. If an apple isn’t infested but just not edible, can it be used for the apple cider vinegar?

    August 31st, 2014 2:56 pm Reply
    • Julie

      We didn’t spray our trees this year & made cider from the majority of our apples. We went thru & cored (as more than half were bad from pests) and cut out other bad spots. The good cores we saved to make ACV with. We also found that the higher up apples (and ones still on the trees vs. the ones that fell daily to the ground) were in much better condition (actually found several dozen pristine apples!)), so I’m guessing from 2 loaded trees you should be able to salvage more than enough to make ACV. I’ve currently got about 3 gallon containers worth (perhaps 2 gallons once cores are strained out???) going.

      October 25th, 2014 4:49 pm Reply
  • Carolyn

    Approximately what percentage of acetic acid is in the homemade version? I have read that if under 20%, it can’t be used in home canning.

    August 31st, 2014 1:38 pm Reply
    • Julie

      I’ve heard not to use homemade cider in canning unless you have a way to measure the acidity, as homemade is generally weaker.

      October 25th, 2014 4:57 pm Reply
  • Beth

    Thanks for this recipe Sarah!
    And thanks for a chuckle over a funny typo. I know you meant ‘sediment’.
    “A small amount of sentiment on the bottom is normal.” :-)

    August 31st, 2014 1:03 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Ha! Thanks for catching that :)

      August 31st, 2014 11:05 pm Reply
  • Diane Napierkowski via Facebook

    I am making some today dad is going to go pick me 10 apples

    August 31st, 2014 12:09 pm Reply
  • Diane Napierkowski via Facebook

    I did not realize by following this link on to detoxification baths that soaking in apple cider vinegar may help me with my quinolone poisoning

    August 31st, 2014 12:08 pm Reply
  • Sarah M.

    Cider vinegar is made from the pure juice of pressed apples, with no water or sweetener added. This is a fruit scrap vinegar, which is not the same thing.

    August 31st, 2014 10:31 am Reply
    • Julie

      Ya, but I just can’t see making ACV from GOOD cider (it’s way too precious to make into vinegar!), when you can make it this way (and not waste your scraps either!).

      October 25th, 2014 4:58 pm Reply
  • Amanda

    You can do this without adding sugar too. Just use sweet apples. It makes sense to not add a highly processed product to something you’re making at home for health. :)

    August 31st, 2014 10:11 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Raw honey isn’t processed. Not sure what you mean here.

      August 31st, 2014 11:06 pm Reply
    • Julie

      Sweetener, I understand is just to help speed things up. Someone else pointed out that they use cheap white sugar, as it all gets eaten up by the yeast anyway. (??)

      October 25th, 2014 5:04 pm Reply
      • Ethalfrida

        Some people do not understand how much food products have changed due to the invasion of chemicals and other additive. Cheap white sugar can mean that it is not cane sugar but from beets. In my experience with fermenting cane sugar is what should be used. To me it is worth it to use high end ingredients to produce a product that costs upwards of $18 per gallon.

        July 10th, 2015 12:57 pm Reply
  • Angela Elliott via Facebook

    I do this every six months or so.

    August 31st, 2014 8:40 am Reply
  • Stephanie

    How many apples do you need if just using the cores? My children eat all the apple except the core. Can you freeze apple cores til you get enough scraps to start the vinegar? Thanks.

    August 31st, 2014 7:35 am Reply
    • Saeriu

      I’ve frozen apple peelings and cores to make apple jelly/pectin before. It works great and if you get them into the freezer fast enough, they don’t brown. Hope this helps.

      September 2nd, 2014 9:39 am Reply
    • Megan

      Absolutely! Whenever I don’t have enough scraps I keep a bag of scraps in my freezer until I have enough to make a batch.

      September 6th, 2014 5:21 pm Reply
  • Dorothee Rund via Facebook

    Hm sounds quite easy, I think I´ll give it a try.

    August 31st, 2014 7:26 am Reply
  • Lisa Stevens via Facebook

    We have well water that has a UV filter. Would this water work?

    August 31st, 2014 5:43 am Reply
  • Pat

    Wow! Great healthy & economical recipe! Didn’t realize there was a DIY version.
    Does this ACV need to be refrigerated?

    August 31st, 2014 2:38 am Reply
  • Lina Barake via Facebook

    That was easy..

    August 30th, 2014 11:43 pm Reply
  • Cathi Foster via Facebook


    August 30th, 2014 11:14 pm Reply
  • ErinCF

    Sarah, can I use frozen apples? Crab apples are easy to find where I live but only in the fall when trees are full of them . Would it cause problems to use frozen crab apples as the bitter apple throughout the year?

    August 30th, 2014 3:22 pm Reply

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