A Surprisingly Easy Way to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

Did you know that Apple Cider Vinegar has so many purposes? Neither did I, until recently.

They say when life gives you lemons make lemonade, well life gave me apples so I made apple cider vinegar (ACV).

I like to get the most out of my food scraps for several reasons, one among them is that they cost money and took time, water, and labor to produce. Another is that when I chuck them in the trash I know they’re going to release methane into the air that’s not so great for the environment. So count this as both a frugal and environmentally friendly practice. What’s great about this recipe is that you can use it with all kinds of fruit scraps, not just apples. The most popular variations are pineapple vinegar and pear vinegar, though any fruit scraps will do. The benefits and uses for ACV are limitless. It contains gut-healthy bacteria that have been consumed for thousands of years as a natural detox. But I’m not taking shots or making salad dressing. No, I make a hair rinse and a facial toner with the stuff. More on that later.

Here’s how to make Apple Cider Vinegar at home!

Step 1: Save all your apple cores & apple scraps in a container in the freezer.
Step 2: Once you’ve finished all your apples, put all the cores and scraps in a large container (we reused a big yogurt tub) and add water cup by cup until it’s covered.
Step 3: Add 1 tablespoon of sugar for each cup of water.
Step 4: Put something heavy on top of the apple cores so they’re fully submerged. If they’re not fully submerged you can expect mold. I used a coffee mug, you can also use a small bowl.
Step 5: Let sit for about 3 weeks.
Step 6: After 3 or so weeks, strain and compost the scraps.

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Now that I have this huge bottle full of ACV, and another on the way in two weeks, what to do with it? One way I use this is I make an ACV hair rinse. Creamy conditioners have always left my type 1 hair looking greasy, so I’ve been very happy with switching to this ACV hair rinse.

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
1 part water
1 part ACV
10 drops essential oils (not suitable for use by infants)

I really loved it with lemongrass. Rosemary and lavender have also been delightful. I keep it in a spray bottle.

Another way I use ACV is as a facial toner. Before I was using Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel toner in a spray bottle and I refilled the same container once it was empty with my homemade toner.

Apple Cider Vinegar Facial Toner
1 part ACV
1 part witch hazel
5 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops tea tree oil (optional)

What I love about making things myself is the liberating feeling of being self-sufficient that’s so central to the idea of basic living, even homesteading, if that’s your thing. I don’t need to buy these products because I can make them at home. I eat apples, so I use the apple cores to make something I need and would otherwise buy.

It’s good for the environment too, because homemade items have lower carbon footprints. No fossil fuels were used in “production” and there was no gas needed to transport it. Additionally, when you make instead of buy you’re helping reduce the amount of plastic pollution that’s causing the environment so much stress.

What do you think? Do you think you’ll get a little fermentation station started and give it a go?