Homemade Vinegar

I've been making vinegar for several years now: apple, plum and pear vinegars. Any fruit that I have an excess of is turned into vinegar. My latest batch was pineapple vinegar.

When I bottled the finished pineapple vinegar, I put the layer of mother-of-vinegar into a pint jar with enough vinegar to cover the top of it. The next time I make a new batch, I'll use this mother to get it started. It's the easy way to make vinegar.

I use a vinegar-and-water rinse when I wash my hair, using my homemade vinegar. This week the bottle needed to be refilled, so I took it into the kitchen to add more. That's when I realized there was something inside the bottle.

A new "mother" had begun to grow inside this bottle of vinegar and water. That must be powerful stuff! It's diluted 1:1 -- half vinegar and half tap water -- tap water with chlorine and whatever else they add to the municipal water system. I don't use tap water to make vinegar; the chlorine inhibits the process. And yet this plastic bottle of diluted vinegar had grown a new mother.

I pulled the quart jar that holds my stored vinegar out of the cupboard so I could pour more into the hair-rinse-bottle, but I didn't see any new floating mother in that jar. Then I checked the pint jar where I was storing the mother from the last batch, and found that it too had grown another layer. I've had this happen before, but not an inch-thick layer like this one has.

Underneath the top layer you can see the original mother; the photo below shows the same jar when I strained the finished pineapple vinegar. You can see the original layer in the pint jar, folded over on itself. That top layer in the photo above is new, and it's very thick.

Yes, that is powerful vinegar with a very healthy mother.

Maybe I'm strange. I love making things from scratch -- I mean really from scratch, like making vinegar from fruit, sugar and water. I've become rather attached to that gelatinous layer of mother-of-vinegar, like people are attached to their kombucha "scoby" or their sourdough starter.

How about you? Would you like to learn how to make your own vinegar? I'm giving away my 12-page ebook "Make Your Own Vinegar for Pennies."
  Go here to get your FREE copy!

Related posts:
Five Foods You Should Stop Buying and Make at Home


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  1. Anonymous4:02 PM

    Very cool. Great pictures of the mother. We have talked about making our own vinegar, but just haven't done it yet.

  2. Ann, it's pretty easy. My biggest piece of advice is to not use tap water. (Don't ask me how I know that.)

  3. Sara K.10:23 AM

    Great pictures!

    I am making acv for the first time. One of my jars has mold growing along with the mother. Should I throw everything out?

    The other jars don't seem to have that problem.

    I use acv on my hair too. :) And on my face, diluted of course.

  4. Hi Sara. Yes, throw out the jar with the mold; keep the other jars that don't have mold. So glad they are growing a "mother" - you did it!

  5. Very cool! I've always wondered about how you make you're own vinegar! Definitely adding this to my list of things to try :-)

  6. Making vinegar is one of those things I haven't tried yet!

  7. great info! Never thought about making vinegar.

  8. Nancy, I hope you'll give it a try sometime.

  9. Thank you Sandra!

  10. Thanks for your vinegar update!! I do appreciate your little experiments :) Thanks for linking up with the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

  11. Thank you, Jes. What would life be without experiments? ;-) Perhaps I should have been a scientist.

  12. Hello, Kathi, and thank you so much for these instructions on making vinegar! I have read all your posts and was so interested that I decided to start some myself! I have had it going now since Nov 11th, but havent seen much happening. Patience is not one of my virtues! Anyway, when will I know it's time to strain out the fruit? Also, if this batch works for me, and if I develop a mother, do I put just a piece of the mother into the next jar I make, or the whole thing. Also, do I put it under the fruit or on top. Or, do I wait until I have strained out the fruit to put the mother in? Thanks. This is so very interesting and wonderful! I am having so much fun fermenting things right now. I just made my first batch of sourdough bread and I have both kombucha and ginger beer fermenting in different cupboards. I was afraid I might cross contaminate the yeasts, but after talking with a gal at Cultures for Health (where I got my kombucha scoby), she said as long as I keep everything 4-5 feet apart, it should be fine.

  13. Hi Vickie. It will take several weeks before you see anything. As long as there is no mold you should be fine. Thank you for the suggestion of keeping fermenting things 4-5 feet apart. I put mine on different sides of the kitchen. They can definitely react with each other and go rogue!

  14. Also, when you use an existing mother on a new batch, just set it on top of the fruit and water.


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