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November 5, 2014

The Continuing Saga of My Homemade Vinegar

I've been making vinegar for several years now. I've made apple, plum and pear vinegar from the peels, skins, cores, and other "scraps". My latest batch was pineapple vinegar.

When I bottled it, 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 have enough scraps to 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, and I've been using my homemade vinegar for this. This week the bottle was ready to refill, so I took it into the kitchen to add more. 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.

I poured it into a strainer so I could take a picture. There were four thin layers of mother. Evidently every time I disturbed the bottle (to use it on my hair) a new mother began to form.

I checked the quart jar that holds the vinegar I was using for cleaning and to pour into the hair-rinse-bottle. I didn't see any new floating mother in that jar. Then I checked the pint jar where I was storing the mother, and found that it 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, which is curled into this jar (compare it to the second photo in this post, taken when I first transferred the mother into the jar). That top layer is new, and it's very thick.

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

Click here to see all my posts on vinegar

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  1. 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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