Living Homegrown

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LH 50: Easy Homemade Vinegar from Scratch

Learn Two Ways to Make Homemade Vinegar on Your Countertop

Making homemade vinegar offers you a flavorful liquid and beneficial bacteria (like yogurt or kombutcha). And the finish vinegar can be used in cooking, beverages and it makes the most incredible salad dressing EVER!

In this podcast episode, I interview Karla DeLong from Mountain Feed & Farm Supply and talks about the easy steps of making homemade vinegar from scratch.

Now you may already know about making vinegar with a “mother”, but you can also make vinegar from nothing more that fruit bits. And the process is really pretty fun!

You learn:

  • How to make homemade vinegar both with a “mother” & without
  • The easy way to create homemade vinegar using leftover fruit scraps
  • What’s on the bottom of those tiny fruit fly’s feet??
  • What is a SCOBY?
  • Why setting this out at room temperature is totally safe
  • Why testing for pH is so helpful (and how to do it)

Mountain Feed -

Mountain Feed & Farm Supply:

Mountain Feed & Farm Supply is a cool homesteading supply store here in California just north of Santa Cruz. Part of their mission is to offer classes on homesteading skills and Karla DeLong is one of their knowledgable instructors.

Karla is a certified natural chef and a preservation expert who also homesteads. And she totally geeks out on food preservation projects just like I do. I love that!

Making Vinegar With a Mother:

In the first part of the episode, Karla and I talk about making vinegar using a “mother”. This is how I have made vinegar and it’s super easy. All you need is some wine and a “mother”.

But what is a mother???

A “mother” is the bacteria that you use to inoculate your wine. Technically, it is a SCOBY which stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.

All the steps are given in the audio podcast, but if you would rather read than listen, the full instructions are in the transcript below.

Making Vinegar Without A “Mother”

In the second half of this episode, Karla explains how you can also make vinegar without a mother using leftover fruit scraps (like apple peels and cores).  With this method, you are not starting with an alcoholic beverage like wine.

So you first do a primary fermentation on your countertop to create an alcoholic brew. And then you go through a secondary fermentation to transition that into vinegar.

It’s super cool!

Here’s a link that walks you through the steps of making vinegar from fruit scraps. And you can also download the transcript below which has all the instructions Karla gives in the audio podcast.

Resources & Links Mentioned:


Mountain Feed & Farm Supply – Their website, newsletter & supplies

Mountain Feed’s ShopIncludes Fermentation Tools

Making Vinegar from Fruit Scraps

How to Make Hard Apple Cider

pH Strips for testing Vinegar

pH Meter for testing Vinegar*

Source for buying a “mother” – Farmcurious is one source for buying a mother if you don’t have a friend with one.

Unpasteurized Raw Apple Cider Vinegar*



Click here for the full transcript for Episode #50


Other Related Episodes You May Enjoy:


How to Flavor Commercial Vinegars – Podcast Episode #24

Infused Gifts – Homemade Vanilla Extract & More – Podcast Episode #67


*Denotes an affiliate link

Sweatshirt photo courtesy of Mountain Feed & Farm Supply

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.