Waste not want not - Apple scrap vinegar

Apple scrap vinegar, a wonderful way to create a no waste kitchen by using up all the scraps from Autumn and Winters most favourite apple recipes.

Autumn may have passed, yet with an abundance of Apples still to be enjoyed.. We made a wonderful Apple Crumble.. And so often the Apple Peelings would end up in the compost.. Yet a friend of mine and fellow forager and grower inspired me to make Apple Scrap Vinegar…sharing with me, the simple recipe... And with Spring slowly stirring, this wonderful vinegar will become a core ingredient in lovely herb vinegars or Spring Salad dressings…

Its a simple recipe and if you have a little Cider Vinegar with the Mother.. Infuse a Tablespoon or two and your ferment and craft some of your very own apple cider vinegar.. Simple Alchemy right their… I love this journey.. Learning and sharing as we go….Alongside it we made a couple of Crumbles and a huge Vegetable Lasangue for the table…

I see the mountains of apple cores and peels every Autumn and Winter produced from preparing & preserving our favourite apple sauce, apple crisp, crumbles and cakes, that typically make it to the compost pile.

This is not a “true” apple cider vinegar, but a wonderful addition to dressings, marinades, and infusing with your favourite herbs.

Apples are pressed to release their juices creating apple cider. This cider is then left to ferment first into hard cider & then continuing the fermentation process, resulting in the creation of apple cider vinegar.

Apple scrap vinegar, on the other hand, is made using the apple scraps. These apple scraps are then fermented using a bit of sugar, creating a milder & less acidic apple vinegar.

Anytime I ferment, I hope that the ferment captures all the beneficial cultures present in the air itself and create a “mother”. However.

Then it dawned on me. I have the mother of all mother’s when it comes to fermenting…a kombucha scoby. What would happen if I placed a slice of the scoby along with my scraps?

Once my ferment has completed in a few weeks time, I will update this tutorial with my experimental results! A week in its fermenting beautifully, becoming cloudy.. a little taste .. its amazing .. Tastes of vinegar with a wonderful hint of apple...


Now to the easy part. Making the apple scrap vinegar. Taking these simple ingredients, apple scraps, water, glass jar, and a bit of sugar, it’s just a matter of time before you can enjoy your end product….vinegar.

1. Start With Clean Everything

When it comes to fermenting vinegar from fruit scraps, cleanliness matters. Start the process with clean, well, everything. Utensils, tools, jars, bowls, and kitchen. Although we are looking to attract the acetic acid bacteria, other forms of bacteria can be harmful to the ferment and cause failure.

2. Do not use metal containers.

Metal reacts badly with fermentations and vinegars and will leave you with a nasty unusable product. To avoid bad tastes and chemicals from leaching into your ferment, try to use glass jars.

3. Don’t ditch the sugar.

The sugar is important for the whole fermentation-turned-into-vinegar process. Don’t skimp on adding the sugar , since that’s what the bacteria will eat up. You can use honey instead.. but it will majorly slow the fermentation process down. So if you use honey, expect to add at least a few more weeks to the process.

Uses for Homemade Apple Scrap Vinegar

There are loads of uses for homemade apple scrap vinegar. It can be used for household products and cooking. Just because it’s not an authentic apple cider vinegar doesn’t mean that this apple scrap vinegar isn’t still a great healthy product for the home. It’s also a great humble option so you don’t just throw away the apple scraps.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar from Scraps

Fill the glass jar ¾ of the way with apple peels and cores.

Stir the sugar into the water until it’s mostly dissolved, and pour over the apple scraps until they are completely covered. (Leave a few inches of room at the top of the jar.) Add a little of your Scoby if you have one...

Cover loosely (I recommend a coffee filter or fabric scrap secured with a rubber band) and set in a warm, dark place for around two weeks.

You can give it a stir every few days, if you like. If any brownish/greyish scum develops on the top, simply skim it off.

Once two weeks has passed, strain the scraps from the liquid.

At this point, I am looking for my vinegar to have a pleasantly sweet apple cider smell, but is still missing that lovely tang.

Discard the scraps compost them and set the strained liquid aside for another 2-4 weeks.

You’ll know your apple cider vinegar is complete once it has that unmistakable vinegary smell and taste. If it’s not quite there yet, simply allow it to sit a while longer.

Once you are happy with the taste of your vinegar, simply cap and store in the fridge as long as you like. It won’t go bad.

If a gelatinous blob develops on the top of your vinegar, congratulations! You have created a vinegar “mother”. This mother can be use to jump-start future vinegar batches. You can remove it and store it separately, but I usually just allow mine to float around in the vinegar as I store it.

This coming season We hope to have our very own little Apple Tree for The Bothy... I have discovered a small tree that carries 5 different variety's It would be lovey to be able to Wassail our little tree each January and each Imbolc tie a rag ribbon or two.. Enchanting the Tree and Garden...

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