Homemade Vinegar With Apple Scraps

We go through a lot of vinegar in this house it seems. Cleaning the bathrooms and occasionally in the laundry washes. Every time I empty a jug or buy a new jug  I cringe. I have Been keeping the jugs from the recycling bin hoping to put them to good use like a makeshift watering can for the kids in the garden. Refill them with some product in the future.

I am hoping this apple scrap vinegar from the Zero Waste Chef will be the switch we can make to get away from the containers.

Apple Scrap Vinegar

I have been saving apple peelings and most recently apples that have not been eaten entirely by the kids. Just popped them into the freezer in a container. The large jar came from my Mother-in-law. Its the perfect size for this project. I was very much delayed in trying to make vinegar because I had no large container to use.

I started this project April 6th and it could take up to 2 weeks to finish, April 20th or so.

Recommended by Zero Waste Chef, I placed a cloth on top to let the oxygen in, otherwise I would have to open the cover periodically to let the gasses out. Don’t need an exploded jar! The cloth is held by an elastic band I am reusing from The Farmer’s Market.

For fruit fly season, my plan will be to have a separate dish next to this jar yo try and deter the flies there. If the fruit flies become to much to handle, then I may have to make this project throughout the winter and stick up then for the rest if the year. This vinegar should last a year, with periodic “burping” to let the gasses out. I will need another jar or two I think.

I will keep track how long I go through my next jug of vinegar to get a rough time frame and know how much I need to get by with homemade.

Day 1- Apple scraps + 1 Tbsp sugar + water to cover the apples (I think I put more than that, the apple scraps float, haha).

Day 2- Fizzy bubbles are present!

Day 3 and 4- no bubbles. Watching for mold now. Not sure what to expect. I did not let the water sit to for the chlorine to disapate (I did not think there is very much in our water). If this does not work out, I already have some apple cores stored for the next batch. An apple crisp would be delicious any day too! (For the apple peels).

Day 5- Fizzy bubbles are back like it was on day 2, fingers crossed

Day 6- More fizzy, yay!

Day 7- Very fizzy!

For the next several days (April 13-20)  stir once a day until bubbling has stopped.

Day 12– 

Day 16– The fizzy has stopped and the apple scraps are starting to settled on the bottom. 

Day 18– strained the liquid from the scraps. It smells more like alcohol than vinegar/apple cider vinegar.I did a little experiment. I’m not sure yet how to test for the acidity. I took a tsp of baking soda and poured a bit of my vinegar on it to see how much bubbling happens. It was minimal, but there was some. I did the same amount with 5% store bought vinegar, big difference. The Zero Waste Chef did say the homemade kind is weaker than store bought. I want to know how much though. She says the acidity will increase over time too.

1 tsp baking soda with homemade vinegar
1 tsp baking soda with store bought vinegar, 5%

I already started my second batch as well. I have been saving apple cores and un-eaten apples from the kids rather than tossing them in the freezer.

More testing and time needed.

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