Homemade Vinegar – Apple and Blackberry

Fermenting Apple Peel Vinegar

Apple peel vinegar in the process of fermentation plus our son who loves to be in front of a camera.

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The gardening season is winding down. I am usually ready for it by this time of year. I don’t do much of the fall prep work because my husband has always been the one who loves gardening. I enjoy the canning and preserving part more. 

This has been a productive learning year for me in the home and garden arena. I’ve added a few more skills to my repertoire. One thing I learned to make was vinegar. 

The whole vinegar idea came when I was looking at the peels and cores leftover after I canned apple pie filling and apple sauce.  Usually they go to compost, but I wondered if there was some other use for them. I found out I could make apple peel vinegar. 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t as simple as downloading a recipe. A lot of the instructions I found online contradicted each other.  Some were simple and some were more on the level of wine making.  

This is what I finally decided to do… 

    Apple Peel Vinegar  

  1. Put apple peels and cores in a non-metallic container like a crock or jar. Go with containers where the mixture will have a wider surface area for best results.
  2. Cover with water.
  3. Cover container with something that will keep out bugs while letting air in–cheesecloth, muslin, coffee filter, etc. Fasten with a rubber band.
  4. Leave the jar in a warm place to ferment, stirring every day or two.
  5. When it is to your taste, it is ready to strain. 
  6. Store in airtight bottles or jars and label with the date.
  7. The thick growth is called the mother. Place in a sealed jar and save for making other vinegars, if desired. It really helps with other fruits that don’t turn to vinegar as readily. 

Caution: Do not use for pickling or canning unless you know that the acid level is at least 4%. 


Blackberry Vinegar
I didn’t really plan on the blackberry vinegar. It happened out of circumstance. I was going to take blackberries to my mother-in-law and forgot them. They were sitting on the counter for the weekend.  I decided to forgo compost again and set them out to make vinegar. 

I mixed in some of the mother from the apple peel vinegar to give it a good start. This was a fun process to watch. It was a little like channelling Dr. Frankenstein, “Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive…IT’S ALIVE!”

You could really see the activity of all those wonderful microorganisms.  It sure gives you a different perspective on the world to watch these natural processes up close.

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6 Responses to Homemade Vinegar – Apple and Blackberry

  1. Heather says:

    What a great post! About how long did it take for the vinegar to be “finished” for you? I never thought to take some of the mother and use other fruits…

  2. DeAnn Yount says:

    You’re the bomb! To quote my former adolescent clients.

  3. Karen says:

    Reminds me of when my cousin left a bunch of apples in a box in the pasture and came home much later to find some veeeery happy horses! Ha! Cool blog!

  4. heather says:

    Love your vinegar post! Living in CA, I have no idea about such things.

  5. So cool!! I never thought of doing this.

    How come it doesn’t make wine? Is it all in the “starter”?

    • Deborah Lee says:

      There is something about the make-up of apples that makes it go to vinegar more easily than other fruits. I can’t remember exactly what it is.

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