How to grow a Mother in your first batch.
Homemade apple cider vinegar is such a self-reliant thing to do! See how my 1st and 2nd batch are doing and what a mother looks like when it is beginning to grow.
One of my favorite YouTuber’s is Blake Kirby. I just love the way he presents his Texas homestead and I frequently tune in to see what he has going on. Late last year he made two videos about homemade apple cider vinegar and I thought I would give it a try.
With this many household uses, I thought it was time to try making it myself so we can save money. Every bit helps, you know!
The process is not quick. It took 6 weeks for this first match to be finished. I think it’s well worth the wait.
This picture with all the bubbles is my second bath. The mother is doing her job!
For this project you will need:
- a 1-gallon glass or plastic jar.
- enough apple pieces to fill 1/3 of the jar
- filtered or spring water
- 1 cup of sugar (optional but helpful)
- 1 cup of organic apple cider vinegar with the mother (optional but helpful)
Begin by cutting the apples into 1 to 2-inch pieces. You can leave in the cores, seeds, and stems. If you are using frozen apple scraps, defrost them in the microwave until there are not any ice crystals remaining.
Add the apples to a clean, dry 1-gallon jar.
Pour in the sugar (if using) and stir it around with the apples until they are coated.
Add 1 cup of organic vinegar with the mother. We use Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.
Fill the jar with filtered water, but be sure to leave at least 3 inches for the ferment to expand. Cover the jar with a towel or coffee filter and keep it in place with a large rubber band. The mixture needs to breathe while it is fermenting.
To maintain the batch while it is fermenting, keep an eye on it every few days and gently push the apples under the water. This will prevent mold from growing.
When will you have ACV?
That’s a good question. My first batch went through several stages before I felt it was ready. The whole process took about 6 weeks.
When you are making your first batch you don’t have any frame of reference. After a week it started smelling sweet, then at 4 weeks it turned sour and I thought I had lost it, but I kept on going.
My first batch never went through the bubbling period like the first picture in this article.
Finally, at 5 weeks a film started growing on the top and I thought for sure I would start to see mold growing. But no – it was the mother making herself visible and I knew that batch was finished.
It smelled and tasted like vinegar. I removed the mother, placed it in a glass bowl, and covered it with half a cup of vinegar from the batch.
Once it is finished strain the apples from the ACV and compost them. Pour the ACV into glass canning jars for storage.
My ACV Mother is different
My mother does not look thick like Blake’s. I think that it will continue to add layers as I make additional batches.
I started a second batch right away. After 10 days there are bubbles rising to the top and things are definitely working. The mother has settled to the side of the jar.
As you’ll see, I followed Blake’s instructions fairly close. In video #1 he shows us how to save apple cores and pieces in the freezer until there is enough for a batch. I just happened to have a bag of apples that didn’t get eaten quickly enough, so that’s what was used.
In video #1 you’ll learn:
- how to prepare the apples for a batch.
- how to care for the mother
- where to store a batch while it is brewing
- how to process a completed batch
Do you make homemade apple cider vinegar? Have you ever had a batch go bad?
Share your ideas in the comments below and thanks to Blake Kirby for letting me use his video!