Glass jar (like this) (a quart is a great place to start, but you can definitely make larger quantities, too.)
Fill the glass jar ¾ of the way with the 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.)
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, my vinegar usually has a pleasantly sweet apple cider smell, but is still missing that unmistakable tang.
Discard the scraps (or feed them to your chickens!), 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 it 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.
Use your homemade vinegar just like you would storebought vinegar– for cooking, cleaning and everything in between!
If your family doesn’t like peels in their homemade applesauce, this is the perfect way to keep them from going to waste.
It’s perfectly fine to use scraps from slightly bruised or browned apples for your apple scrap vinegar. However avoid using rotten or moldy fruit.
Don’t have enough apple scraps for a full batch? No problem– just collect your scraps in the freezer until you have enough for a full jar.
Since we’re using the peels for this recipe, I highly recommend starting with organic apples to avoid any pesticides or chemical residues.
Your apple scraps might float to the surface. We want them under the liquid, so consider using fermenting weights.
You could use honey in place of the sugar in this recipe if you really wanted too. However, using honey will slow down the process a bit. Also, keep in mind the beneficial organisms will be eating the sugar throughout the fermentation process, so there’ll be little to no sugar left in the final product.
You can make any quantity of vinegar you like—my first batch was in a quart jar, but now I’ve graduated to a gallon jar.
You can definitely experiment with other fruit scraps too– pears and peaches especially.