How to Make Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar with “the Mother”

how to make apple cider vinegar

All you need is:
APPLES (organic is best)
SUGAR (it gets eaten up in the process so no need to worry about sugar levels!)
WATER (filtered is ideal)
(Plus a bit o’ cheesecloth to throw over the top).

This wonderful elixir is packed full of goodness and has so many uses. It’s made through a fermentation process, and is rich in nutrients like potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus.

One of the big things I love about making apple cider vinegar is how it can reduce food waste! You can use apple peels and cores to make the vinegar, along with a few other ingredients. This way you have virtually no waste!

If you only use apples occasionally, you can store the peels and cores in the freezer until you have enough gathered to start a batch.

Farmer’s markets are great places to find organically grown apples. Organic apples are ideal for making apple cider vinegar, especially if you’re using the peel. If you aren’t able to find organic apples, peel them first.

A lot of the ACV you find available in stores have been heavily filtered and pasteurised. These versions still work well for cleaning, but are not ideal for internal use because most of the health benefits are gone once “the mother” has been filtered out.

When you make your own vinegar, you’ll know for certain that it contains this beneficial “mother.”

Before we get started in learning how to make this homemade apple cider vinegar – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!

Before We Begin…

  • Ensure all the equipment has been sterilised to avoid introducing any new bacteria into the drink other than what naturally occurs during the process.
  • White scum will often form on top of the liquid. This is normal, but mould is not and will spoil your vinegar. To prevent this, keep the apples submerged under the water.
  • At some point during your vinegar-making process, you’ll notice a SCOBY-like growth start to appear on top of the apple cider vinegar. This is “the mother.” You can leave it floating in your vinegar.

Organic, pre-made apple cider vinegar with “the mother” can be found in grocery stores, or online.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Once you’ve finished making the apple cider vinegar, you can save “the mother” and a small amount of the finished ACV to start a new batch.


  • Organic apples and/or apple scraps, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp organic brown sugar
  • 2 cups filtered water

To make:

  1. Clean a large jar thoroughly and let it air dry.
  2. Fill the jar 3/4 full with apple pieces. If you’re using whole apples, roughly chop them before putting into the jar.
  3. Dissolve the sugar in a cup of water, then pour over the apples until they are completely submerged. Add a little additional water if needed to ensure the apples are completely covered.
  4. Weigh down the apples with a small glass jar. Any apples that are exposed to the air may become mouldy.
  5. Cover with a cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Store in a dark place at room temperature, and leave to ferment for around 3 weeks. Check on it every few days to make sure the apples are staying under the water and that no mould is growing.
  6. After 3 weeks, strain the apple pieces and return the liquid to the jar. Compost the scraps.
  7. Re-cover and put the jar back in a dark spot for another 3-4 weeks, stirring every few days.
  8. When the ACV has reached the “tartness” you like, put a lid on it or transfer to a different jar, then it’s ready to start using!

Apple cider vinegar tutorial

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. I am not a doctor. All opinions expressed are my own personal thoughts and feelings of the products mentioned. Check with your doctor or health practitioner if you are uncertain about trying out any of the products, recipes or tips mentioned in this post.

What are some things you use apple cider vinegar for? Share in the comments below.

🖤 Vanessa

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