"Master the Art of Homemade Vinegar: Expert Tips from Cultured Guru"

With just three simple ingredients - fruit, sugar, and water - my effortless fermented fruit vinegar recipe is perfect for using up leftover fruit scraps, overripe fruit, or any excess fruit you may have. Create your own batches of apple cider vinegar, apple scrap vinegar, berry vinegar, and beyond!


Making vinegar involves a two-stage fermentation process. First, yeast feeds on the sugar found in fruits and grains, producing alcohol in a process known as alcoholic fermentation. Second, acetic acid bacteria consume this alcohol from step one, converting it into acetic acid, ultimately resulting in vinegar.

To create vinegar, start by producing wild fermented fruit wine that then evolves into vinegar with the proper care and attention. You'll easily spot the white vinegar mother pieces floating amongst the fruit mixture. Three simple components - fruit, sugar, and water - are all that's needed. While it's useful to have raw apple cider vinegar with the mother as a starter, it's not obligatory.

You can create vinegar with practically any type of fruit. I would recommend favoring high fructose fruits and carefully avoiding high-sorbitol fruits, two fermentable sugars present in fruit. High sorbitol fruits tend to lead to kahm yeast, a common issue during fermentation.

Here are some excellent fruit alternatives to utilize:

  • - Apples
  • - Pears
  • - Mangoes
  • - Strawberries
  • - Grapes
  • - Figs
  • - Watermelon

You will require a decent amount of your chosen fruit, water, organic cane sugar, and a large glass jar for making your vinegar. I suggest using a gallon glass jar with a cloth cover and rubber band. A cloth lid is critical for vinegar making since acetic acid bacteria require oxygen to convert alcohol into acetic acid. I often make cloth lids for fermentation from old t-shirts.

Apple scrap vinegar and apple cider vinegar have slight variations. Even though I use the entire fruit and not only the scraps, the recipe in this article is comparable to apple scrap vinegar. To create true apple cider vinegar, start by producing apple cider, followed by transforming that apple cider into vinegar.

Follow my blog recipe for making apple cider at home. Once you've made apple cider, add a vinegar mother and clothe it with a lid. It should take around four to six weeks for the apple cider to turn into vinegar.

My preferred recipe for making vinegar at home is simpler and more practical than the traditional method of first making cider. This method is versatile and can be adapted to various fruits or fruit mixes, producing a mildly acidic yet delicious vinegar that rivals store-bought products.

Although I use this recipe to make apple cider vinegar, I apply the same name regardless of the fruit used. It has a taste almost indistinguishable from that of Trader Joe's apple cider vinegar and I even reuse the bottles of store-bought vinegar for my homemade one.

To succeed in making fruit vinegar, it's crucial to adhere to some principles. Firstly, stir the vinegar daily. Take off the breathable cloth lid, stir well, replace the lid and repeat until you strain the vinegar. Secondly, always use a breathable cloth lid, as the vinegar-making microbes require oxygen to transform alcohol into acetic acid. Thirdly, use a clean glass container, preferably one with high acidity if you're fermenting acidic vinegar. Clean your equipment thoroughly before commencing.

Every individual's vinegar will have varying levels of acidity depending on the fruit ripeness and sugar content. Therefore, it might not be apt for pickling and canning pickles, but can be modified by adding more sugar and using fruits high in fructose, e.g., mangoes, to yield a more acidic vinegar. You can use pH strips to test if the vinegar is safe for pickling. Safe vinegar for pickling should have around 2.4 pH or 5% acidity.

There are diverse ways to use homemade vinegar, such as in salad dressings, in bone broths, and in culturing recipes like the fermented cherry tomatoes recipe, or even in mineral-rich hydrating drinks.

My fermenting fruit vinegar recipe is straightforward, comprising just three ingredients- fruit, sugar, and water. By employing overripe fruit or fruit scraps, you can make apple scrap vinegar or berry vinegar, among others.

Author: Kaitlynn Fenley

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Fermentation Time: 9 weeks

Total Time: 1512 hours 10 minutes

Yield: 1 gallon 1x

Category: Vinegar

Method: Fermentation

Please read the recipe notes.

Chop the fruit into small chunks, add sugar, and apples (or any other fruit) to a 1-gallon glass jar. Fill the jar with water and add a few tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar with the mother to create a robust microbial community, although this step is optional. Stir until all the sugar dissolves, then cover with a breathable cloth lid and secure with a rubber band. Stir the mixture once or twice a day and let it ferment at room temperature for three weeks or until bubbling. After three weeks, sieve out the fruit pieces, replace the cloth lid, and allow the mixture to ferment further for six weeks. You'll notice a vinegar mother formation on the surface that you can retain to initiate the next batch of fruit vinegar. Finally, bottle and seal the vinegar with a solid lid and store it at room temperature in your pantry.

You can use any fruit of your choice, but high fructose or fructan fruits yield the best vinegar. Adding a starter culture like a vinegar mother or raw apple cider vinegar with the mother is ideal, although not necessary. You can substitute a kombucha SCOBY or raw kombucha if available.

Keywords: vinegar, apple cider, fruit

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Kaitlynn, a food microbiologist, specializes in teaching people how to make fermented foods and drinks that are beneficial for gut health. Her guidance is refreshing amidst a plethora of misleading and unscientific posts on the internet. We appreciate all that she does and are grateful for her unique approach. (By the way, we recently left a positive comment on her post about Water Kefir!)

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