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Waste not want not - Apple scrap vinegar

Updated: Oct 10, 2021

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.

Its that time of year again, alongside The Fire Cider it was time to make up a huge batch of Apple scrap vinegar: Let’s talk about how seriously good this stuff is, as well as being crazy easy to make.

While not being new to the wonderful world of fermenting, apple scrap vinegar was something that up until now I hadn’t made. I’d used it in cooking, I had drunk it and I knew my hair benefitted from rinsing with it, but making it from scratch? Nope, I hadn’t gone there yet.

With a stash of apples in the trees and a little friendly scrumping afoot, it was time... Now is a great opportunity to have a second look at those apple cores and skins, and pips. Sure, they could have been composted, Yet making a healthy, beneficial bacteria loaded vinegar from the scraps, seemed like a pretty good alternative.

When making the vinegar, you can put whole chopped apples in if you would like, or simply just use the discarded parts. I was given a Pineapple only a couple of days ago, a friend of mine and fellow forager and grower inspired me to make Apple Scrap Vinegar a few seasons back… sharing with me, a simple recipe, and said to me " Pineapple, for sure it will work as the clue is in the name" so Kitchen Alchemy begun..

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? Boom oh yes it works so well.. I culture all my own Scoby's for vinegars, wines and beers...


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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