Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

I never thought I would end up making my own apple cider vinegar. This summer I was on holiday at my parents' and the apple trees behind the house were full of apples. We made cakes, compote, jam and then we ran out of ideas. We didn't want to waste all these organic apples but we didn't know what to do with them.

Then I read an article on the internet about the wonderful benefits of apple cider vinegar. It was about organic apple cider vinegar, naturally fermented and unpasteurized. So, I brought back to Bucharest a big bag full of apples and I started working. You can see the result below.

I will tell you right from the start that it was great, I didn't even imagine it would be so flavourful, just enough sharp and so pleasant. I like that it doesn't need to be kept under special conditions or in airtight containers. It doesn't expire, on the contrary, it gets better in time. And, by the way, I found a new way of consuming the apples without the carbs! I read somewhere that 1-2 tbsp of this naturally fermented apple vinegar contain all the vitamins from an apple beside other properties as well.

Now we mix 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink before eating, on an empty stomach, once a day. It's a natural way of strengthening the immune system. I recommend making apple cider vinegar, especially if you have many apples that you don't want to waste, for an efficient and healthy use. Not to mention how good it is in the salad...

I understand that the same method can be used to make other fruit vinegars. I haven't tried yet, but I will.


4 kg
4 l
200 g
or honey
250 g

Step by step

Step 1

Step 1 - Fermenting the apples:

The apples have to be ripe, it's not a problem if some start to spoil - even better, they will ferment faster and turn into vinegar.

Just make sure you wash them thoroughly and clean away any soil and dirt.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 1
Step 2

Cut the apples into quarters - unpeeled and uncored.

Put them in a food processor or grate them, we want to chop them as finely as possible.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 2
Step 3

Transfer the chopped apples to an enamel or glass pot - I am using here a 12 litres enamel pot. A bucket or a very large jar would do as well.

Add 200g sugar/honey (50g sugar for 1 kilo apples) and 4 litres water (1 litre water for 1 kilo apples). Stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 3
Step 4

Cover the pot with kitchen cloth and a lid (not sealed!) and let the apples ferment for 10-14 days at room temperature.

I kept it on the kitchen table all this time.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 4
Step 5

Make sure you give it a stir every day. Apples will start fermenting on the second day and they will rise to the surface. Keep moving the mixture around regularly, to help the fermentation process.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 5
Step 6

After 10-14 days the fermentation process stops and you'll notice the mixture will look something like this.

Now it's time for us to strain the apples and move on to step 2.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 6
Step 7

Step 2 - Straining through a sieve and a cloth: 

First, I recommend straining the apples through a large sieve - to strain the big chunks out first.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 7
Step 8

Then place a kitchen cloth or a towel inside the sieve and carefully strain the juice.

Use a wooden spoon to strain easier.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 8
Step 9

At the end, squeeze with your hands the cloth with the apple bits in it, we don't want to waste any precious cider.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 9
Step 10

This is the apple remaining after straining, you can discard, there is nothing we can do with it anymore.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 10
Step 11

Measure how many litres of cider you have after straining to find out how much honey you need - 50g honey for 1 litre juice.

I had 5 litres juice at the end, so I needed 250g honey.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 11
Step 12

Add the honey to the pot and mix well until it dissolves completely.

If you don't have honey, you can replace with sugar in the same ratio. They are necessary for the fermentation process and feeding the fungus in the vinegar.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 12
Step 13

Step 3 - Fermenting the vinegar:

Cover the pot again with a cloth and a lid and keep for 40-60 days at room temperature.

Find a place where it won't be disturbed in the kitchen or in the house - be careful, it will start to smell like vinegar at some point.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 13
Step 14

From now on, you mustn't stir the mixture at all!

In a few days, you'll notice the fungus starts to grow at the surface.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 14
Step 15

It gets thicker as time passes, that's what it's supposed to do.

If you see any vinegar flies around, secure the cloth with a rubber band. It's important that the vinegar is able to breathe, so don't seal it tightly.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 15
Step 16

After 40-60 days, depending on the conditions in the room, the big fungus will sink to the bottom. The vinegar will become clearer and the taste more sharp.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 16
Step 17

Step 4 - Pouring the vinegar into bottles:

Now it's time to pour the vinegar into large jars, 2-4 litres.

Let it settle for a few days, even for a week.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 17
Step 18

This is the fungus at the bottom of the pot where the vinegar fermented.

Discard, we don't need it anymore.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 18
Step 19

The vinegar in the jars will start to develop fungus again, but not as big - it's normal, because the vinegar actually continues to ferment.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 19
Step 20

Here you can see how the vinegar settled, you can notice the dregs on the bottom of the jar.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 20
Step 21

Now carefully pour the vinegar into clean and dry bottles or jars. Close with caps, but not too tightly, as the vinegar will continue to ferment slowly.

Store at room temperature. I keep them in the closet in my flat.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 21
Step 22

The vinegar can already be consumed, but it's even more efficient when it's more mature, after several months or even 1 year. It won't expire, don't be afraid :) 

Meanwhile, it will settle down even more and it's normal for the homemade vinegar to have dregs in it.

Good health to you!

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar - Step 22
Quantity: 5 l
Prep time: 120 min
Difficulty: difficult
Ready in: 360 min
Publish date:
Collections: Sauces, Sauces, doughs...

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