Jul 4, 2012

Make Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) with the Mother for pennies a gallon


If you keep chickens, chances are you’ve heard that adding apple cider vinegar (ACV) with “the mother” to their drinking water is good for them. The benefits of apple cider vinegar in humans have been touted for centuries, some have been substantiated and others, scientifically disproven.  Its use in chickens is a more recent concept and as such, is less studied. Using ACV in the drinking water of chicken improves gut health and reduces slime in the waterers.
Not one to rely on hollow, qualifying phrases such as "it is said that ACV..."' or "it is believed that ACV..."  I sought out scientific evidence to support or disprove the claimed benefits to chickens of ACV. I read a few studies that left me with more questions than answers, so I brought them to a poultry expert for demystification.  I asked Dr Mike Petrik, DVM, MSc, aka: the Chicken Vet, for his expert opinion about the use of ACV in poultry water based on his education, research and experience; the following was his response:

 “The value of vinegar has long been exploited by professional poultry farmers. Acidifying water alters the gut’s bacteria, slowing the growth of nasty bacteria, and giving a boost to good bacteria. Acid also helps control coccidiosis and Clostridium bacteria, which can cause a fatal disease called necrotic enteritis. Vinegar (acetic acid) is a cheap, accessible source of acid that anyone can find. It is, however, not a great acidifier...other organic acids such a butyric or proprionic acids actually work better...(the reason revolves around the pKa of the acid....high-school chemistry, anyone?) I have never found any study that showed any value to apple cider vinegar specifically, and several studies (the Journal of Applied Poultry Science in 2011, and Asian Australasian Journal of Animal Science), showed that broiler (meat) chickens grew slower when fed 0.5% apple cider vinegar or formic acid vs. pure water.

Acidified water also affects laying hens by making the calcium in her feed a little less digestible (again, based on chemistry....calcium is a positive ion, and dissociates better in a more alkaline environment.....seriously, who ever knew that this stuff might matter?). Professional farmers regularly add baking soda to their feed when heat stress is expected....this maintains egg shell quality when hens' feed consumption drops due to the heat.  

Using vinegar in the water also helps keep bacteria from growing in your water system. It also smells good, and there is some evidence that birds will drink a little more, possibly because of taste.

 At the end of the day, vinegar (apple cider or not) is an organic antibiotic that has a place in helping to control bacteria levels in your flock and altering bacterial populations in the gut. Just remember that it has some minor negative consequences for the hens, as it makes some nutrients less available to the birds.”  

Dr. Mike Petrik, DVM, MSc, 
This is a mother, also known as a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)
ABOUT RAW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR WITH THE MOTHER
Using raw, unpasteurized ACV with the mother maximizes the benefits of vinegar to people and chickens. The mother of vinegar consists of live bacteria and yeast. SCOBY is an acronym for the mother, which stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.

The mother converts alcohol to acetic acid (aka: vinegar) and its beneficial bacteria remain in the vinegar as a microbe. Jim Leverentz, Leener's   Pasteurizing vinegar kills these living components and as such, pasteurized vinegar does not impart all of the benefits that raw ACV does.

THE BASIC ACV FORMULA
ACV in its most basic form is made by combining:
3 parts Vinegar Stock (attained through yeast fermentation of apples into alcohol aka: hard cider)
plus
1 part Vinegar Culture (attained through converting alcohol into acetic acid by use of acidbactar bacteria/a mother/a SCOBY)


3 RECIPES for APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

RECIPE #1- Hard Cider + the mother
I purchased 24 ounces of hard cider locally for $3.34 and ordered 8 ounces of Mother of cider vinegar from Leener’s for $11.95

Combine hard cider and mother in a sterilized mason jar. Cover with a piece of material or cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band to allow oxygen in and keep insects out.
6/6/12
Place in a warm, dark(ish) place and wait for the mother to convert the alcohol to vinegar. The vinegar smell is unmistakable when it is ready. It can take as few as several weeks or as many as several months for the conversion to take place. Temperatures  between 80-90° F will allow for fastest conversion. Avoid fluxuations in temperature. 
In four weeks, this mixture turned the hard cider to vinegar. The mother can be seen below as a porous-looking sponge at the bottom of the jar.  The formation of this opaque, leathery-feeling mother is evidence that the alcohol has been converted to vinegar. If left to ferment further, the mother will continue to thicken. The mother requires access to oxygen to perform its conversion and since mine sank, I made a 'raft' for it of two toothpicks, bound together.
7/3/12
7/3/12
I made a raft for the mother out of toothpicks.
When the liquid smells like vinegar and a visible film has formed in the jar, (the new mother) pour off 2/3 of the vinegar into a sterile bottle for use.   After a batch of vinegar is made, there will be two mothers, the one that started the batch and the new one that forms. Reserve the mothers in a jar with some vinegar to cover.
To begin a new batch of vinegar, add 24 ounces of hard cider to some of the vinegar you just made. Share the extra mothers with a friend or start another, new jar of vinegar with it.

RECIPE #2- Apples + water + the mother
I am not a vinegar-making expert, but I did consult with one regarding questions I had about vinegar making, particularly as to the method utilizing fresh apples.  Jim Leverentz of Leeners indicated that it is best to ferment fresh pressed or juiced apples with wine yeast, then add the mother to make vinegar. But, I had read about a simpler take on this method and wanted to give it a shot. By some stroke of luck and with consistently high heat for several weeks this summer, my garage provided the perfect environment for making ACV from fresh apples. While this is not the ideal way to begin a batch of vinegar, it is the simplest and most cost effective.
I was fortunate that someone locally shared a mother of theirs with me to begin this batch of ACV.
The mother isn't pretty, but it's pretty amazing!
 
Place half a chopped apple (peel, core and all) with a few blueberries (optional, I improvised and it resulted in a beautiful vinegar color!) and water a to a sterilized mason jar. Add the mother, cover with a piece of material or cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band to allow oxygen in and keep insects out.
Place in a warm, dark(ish) place and wait for the apples to ferment and convert to alcohol and then for the alcohol to convert to vinegar. It can take as few as several weeks or as many as several months. Ideally, temperatures will be between 80-90° F for fastest conversion. Avoid fluxuations in temperature.
Days after beginning this batch, the bubbles indicated the conversion of the
sugar in the apples into alcohol had begun.
Within two weeks, the apples began fermenting due to naturally occurring yeast in the apples and the mother then began converting the alcohol to vinegar!
The mother converts from something resembling a jellyfish to
an opaque, leathery, living disk.
A second batch, sans blueberries.
In two weeks, these apples underwent a fermentation into alcohol and
a second fermentation into vinegar.
When I was finished with the apples from the first batch of vinegar, I nearly threw them away when it occurred to me that my chickens might appreciate them AND that it would be a healthful snack. They did and it was!

ACV RECIPE #3- Unpasteurized apple juice + ACV containing the mother (eg Braggs)
This method did not work well for me, likely because it was kept in the basement, where the temperatures were much too low to convert the apple juice into alcohol, but it should work under proper conditions.
To a sterilized mason jar, add 3 parts apple cider  (or unpasteurized apple juice) and 1 part apple cider vinegar with the mother (eg: Bragg). Cover with a piece of material or cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band to allow oxygen in and keep insects out.
Place in a warm, dark(ish) place and wait for the cider to convert to alcohol and then for the alcohol to convert to vinegar. It can take as few as several weeks or as many as several months. Ideally, temperatures will be between 80-90° F for fastest conversion. Avoid fluxuations in temperature.
When the liquid smells like vinegar and a visible film has formed in the jar, (the new mother) pour off 2/3 of the vinegar into a sterile bottle to use. 
Reserve both mothers in a small jar of vinegar and either share with a friend or make more vinegar. It is not necessary for a visible mother to be present to begin a new batch, repeating the process as before but using your own, homemade vinegar this time!
Additional reading:


126 comments :

  1. Gina Brown7/4/12, 8:17 PM

    Always interesting articules! I think my gang of girls turned up their noses at electrolytes in their water, but maybe they would like the vinegar. Thanks for the info!

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  2. Very interesting . I have used ACV in my waterers and wondered if you could make it yourself. Now I can. Thank you!

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  3. Heidi's Happy Acre Farm7/4/12, 8:30 PM

    I never knew that adding ACV to the drinking water was so beneficial! I have some ACV (not homemade unfortunately) and I will be adding it starting tomorrow. I really should have guessed they would like it as they love my whey after I make cheese! Another great blog thanks!

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  4. Katrina T. DUfrene7/4/12, 8:38 PM

    I would love to start making my own ACV, I got through alot!

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  5. Patricia Hurd7/4/12, 8:49 PM

    I pay $20.00/a gallon for ACV, and go through a gallon/week! (for horses) I need to make my own!

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  6. This sounds great!! I guess I will try this and add baking soda to the feed to help with calcium?

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  7. A new project to make us even more self-sufficient :)

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  8. You must have been reading my mind today. I was going to do a search on how to make home made apple cider vinegar to start giving to my chickens and chicks. I am going to start fermenting my feed to help it last longer and its good for them.

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  9. I need to improve my Apple Cider Vinegar supply. Making my own would be a great step towards that goal. I told you before that I drink ACV when I feel sick. The last time, when my son was sick and I started getting body aches, I took a shot of ACV chasing with water and within an hour the body aches went away. I can't explain it but I will be glad to do it again when I feel bad. I wouldn't want to do every day because it is Yucky!

    Thanks for the information.
    Alex from Facebook

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    1. That little bottle of Bragg ACV has a lid just perfect size for measuring(maybe 1tsp or so?) 1 (DH's preferance) or 2 (MY prefeance) portions into 16 oz of pure water. If you still don't like the fresh tase it then will have, I have injoyed with a drop or two of liquid stevia extract or some raw bee honey. 1/2 fresh fruit juice and 1/2 pure water is another option for ACV mixers. Try drinking 1-3 portions per day and you may be ble to avoid needing that full shot dose in the future.

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  10. Roberta Collins7/5/12, 5:40 AM

    Wow, finally something that I am interested in for my chickens, that actually might make ME feel better! Since I got Lyme disease, my life has changed dramatically, and this sounds like it may help. Thanks, Chicken Chick!

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  11. Thanks for the opportunity to win this kit!

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  12. Thanks Chicken Chick, your the best. I think I'm going to try this.

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  13. Thank you.. I believe I will be trying this.

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  14. I'm seriously looking into this.. not only would it help with my chickens, but I have PCOS which makes me pretty much infertile but a lot of people claim that ACV with the mother in it really helps with fertility too, and I'll be darned if I can't find any around here :(

    Thanks, Kathy!

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  15. Thank you for this blog post, I have heard of the last method. The other method I heard worked is to put 1c of ACVM into a gallon of regular AVC and stick it in the back of a cabinet for a few weeks. I have finally found a local store that carries ACVM and will be trying a few of the options you posted!

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  16. I think I'll give making AVC a go, thanks for posting the link on Facebook, I've read more about chicken keeping this way, there's always something I didn't know I needed to know :)

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  17. Sounds interesting would love to win.

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  18. This is fabulous, thank you! And I love Leener's stuff! We've used lots of their kits before in homeschooling.

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  19. I've never used ACV with my chickens...but I have heard a lot about it...Think I'm going to give it a whirl!

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  20. I have been wanting to try making this.

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  21. I have made apple cider vinegar before but never thought about giving it to my chickens! What a great idea. Your information on making the vinegar is great! Way easier then going through the process of making the hard cider (6 months) and then making the vinegar. I will be starting some new vinegar this weekend.

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    1. Congratulations Valerie! You have won an apple cider vinegar making kit from Leeners!

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  22. What a great article!! I have been buying my ACV from the Big Box Stores - but with this information, I will surely be making my own!!

    Thanks for yet another great article!

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  23. Cider Vinegar really is THE ALL Around Fix Everything Tonic!

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  24. I have been buying ACV with the mother for some time, and for 85+ birds it is getting expensive--Learning to make it myself would be a great help, and so cost effective!!

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  25. Awesome info! Hope to win the kit!

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  26. Personal... why bother! Buy the six back of apple cider and then enjoy them yourselves. I touch use a touch of white vinegar and call it even. My flock is free ranged and have been doing great for years.

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    1. I think I addressed the "why bother" part of your question above. Beyond that, it's a personal preference and those who choose to add ACV to their chickens' water may wish to make it themselves.

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  27. HA... who knew i give all of my wine initial fermentation ingredients to the chickens and it has from time to time gone vinegary cuz i maybe forgot to take it outside after racking the wine.....but in my older days i have become frugal and waste not want not....i surely have the sweetest smelling trash cans in the neighborhood due to composting (via my chickens) almost nothing goes to waste here if it consumable by one animal or another.... i barely have 2 bags of trash each week and i sure bring more into here than that

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    1. I'll bet your chickens are the healthiest and happiest in the neighborhood too! :)

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  28. Is the SCOBY you show the same as the SCOBY use for making kombucha? It certainly looks like it, and I know if we leave our kombucha going too long it turns to vinegar.

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    1. There are two different SCOBYs in this post but the one that looks the most far advanced, like a rubber disc, is a kombucha SCOBY. They are substantially similar with minor differnces but act the same on ACV as you have discovered. Given more time, my mother from Leeners will look just like the kombucha SCOBY.
      Good eye!

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    2. I realize this is an old post, but perhaps you can clairify this for me. Did I understand correctly that you made traditional acv using a kombucha scoby?

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  29. Oh, this is so cool! I would love to make this soon...we'll see with all the other stuff going on :) I will be bold here aaaand ask if you would link this up at my Deep Roots linky party ('EOA'Wednesday)as of today. I think it will get a lot of interest. Thank you in advance!

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    1. I would love to, thanks for asking!

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  30. Gonna try this for sure! Is it true not to use vinegar in metal waterers?

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  31. Gonna try this for sure! Is it true that you should not use in a metal waterer?

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  32. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing

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  33. Wonderful, thank you for sharing!

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  34. How much do you add to the chickens water?

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    1. The rule of thumb is one tablespoon per gallon of water.

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  35. So, if I open up my 'BRAGG's' and cover with cloth, will the mother grow? Can I add Bragg's to reg. aplle cider vinegar and grow more that way, too?

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  36. So, if I open up my 'BRAGG's' and cover with cloth, will the mother grow? Can I add Bragg's to reg. aplle cider vinegar and grow more that way, too?

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  37. Thanks so much for this! I cant wait to make my own! Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday. I cant wait to see what you have in store this week!

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  38. So cool! Thanks for this. Can't wait to try it. :)

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  39. Great article! I think it is great that you shared multiple "recipes". Thank you for linking up to the blog hop today!

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  40. I would love to make my own one of these days! Thanks for sharing this at Natural Living Link-Up!

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  41. My ACV first attempt has been going about a week now (how long it took my first kombucha from motherless raw kombucha to grow a SCOBY and be drinkable) and the SCOBY has sunk. The AC has a "yeasty" smell to it, I think. Should I let it keep going a while and see what develops? I am going to buy some toothpicks to make a raft. In the mean time, I have been bringing the mother up to the surface to "breathe 1 or more times a day, which keeps her aflote for a bit, then sinks again. I always use a wooden utinsel to do this. What to do?

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    1. It's not a problem that the SCOBY has sunk, it will develop another on the top. There is enough bacteria and yeast in the air and in the starter for the second mother to grow. The reason the mixture has a yeasty smell to it is because there is yeast growing in there. That's just what you want!
      Just be sure to keep it in a WARM location (80°F is ideal).
      You're in good shape, patience is the main ingredient now.

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    2. Great! Thank you so much. I saw below that you have used kombucha SCOBY for RACV. Have you ever heard of anyone trying to use the same culture with milk? Might that produce kefir? Again, thank you so much. I have my kombucha, vanilla bean extract and ACV all in a high cupboard, less than one meter from the cool-side of my stove (the burners only work on one side). The A/C vent in the adjoining room is closed and the tmp is around 78-83 day and night. We may get to quit using A/C after this week, it looks like. Yay! I will certainly stay in touch as we are moving and I plan to have chickens at the new place (pending DH approval - he *will* be convinced!) Oh yeah, and for some insane reason, after the SCOBY sunk, I started "swirling" the jar daily, I quit doing that day before yesterday because I realised how insane that was and I made a raft with popsicle sticks.

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    3. I'm not familiar with kefir, you'd have to do some research about it. The flavor of the ACV would travel with the SCOBY, so while the kombucha SCOBY is fine to use for ACV making, I'm not sure you'd want the ACV SCOBY for kefir production if it's for your personal use vs animals.

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    4. Oh. Good point about the flavor. I know that the kefir 'grains' are actually little Symbiotic Cultures Of some Bacterial Yeast or other. I would more likely have tried a kombucha SCOBY as they form more quickly than the ACV one I think I'll just stick to extracts, kombucha and ACV for now. We do use a lot of ACV around here and I would like to get really good at making it. Yoghurt is easier than kefir, anyway! Hahaha. Have fun culturing and fermenting!

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  42. I have several scobys from making lots of kombucha- can I use them? I mixed Braggs ACV and apple juice and it smells like strong vinegar but I don't see any mother... Should I combine these options? Maybe water with fruit (apples) in it and a scoby on top? Just wanting to make my own as inexpensively as possible in great quantities! :)

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    1. I used a kombucha scoby in one of the methods I describe above. There would be no harm in combining the options, but if the mixture smells like vinegar, it is. Just give it some more time to do its thing and you will see a mother before too long. Be certain that you are keeping it at or near 80°F for fastest results.

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  43. HeatherWelly Cobden10/20/12, 10:08 PM

    Without even knowing what I was doing, I juiced up a bunch of local organic apples, strained the resulting juice through cheesecloth and into a half-gallon jar, then poured in a little Bragg's. I don't even know how much. Maybe a quarter of a cup? I then covered the jar with cheesecloth and let sit on the counter. The fruit flies loved it! It took many, many weeks, but it fizzed for a while, then began to smell like vinegar. After a while, it cleared as the mother began to form. I've now used the mother on 2 subsequent batches and each batch since the first has been ready in just a few weeks. Love it!!

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  44. TheChickenChick10/20/12, 11:01 PM

    You apparently have very good instincts! :)

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  45. I had some mother on the bottom of a Bragg vinegar bottle (all vinegar gone).  I filled the bottle with apple juice and close the cap.  After a year, nothing happened.  The juice in the bottle is still sweet, not alcoholic, not sour.  What do you think is wrong?  Is it because I closed the cap?  Does it need air to ferment?

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  46. TheChickenChick11/14/12, 9:37 PM

    You're absolutely right, Angel, it needs air to breathe.

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  47. I have a batch fermenting right now for my first time trying this and I'm excited to try it.  I love your site and check it regularly for tips.  

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  48. TheChickenChick11/17/12, 1:21 PM

    Good for you! Let me know how it works out for you!

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  49. My method was even simpler.  At the end of the cider season last year, I bought several reduced price close out gallons of unpasteurized cider.   I removed the lids, and poured off  about 4 inches from each jug.  I then put them in my basement, which is probably 65 degrees most of the time.  I checked them carefully for a few weeks, as they turned into hard cider.  I then got busy---and completely forgot about them.  About 6 months later, I checked them, and had 4 gallons of raw apple cider vinegar, complete with the mother disc at the bottom of each jug.  My biggest concern is that, even at a close out price, the cider was NOT cheap, compared to the grocery store cider vinegar, which I realize is inferior.  I reserve my home batch for the chickens consumption, and clean the coop with the cheaper grocery store brand.

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  50. I make kombuch (tea rooisbos & hybiscus make wonderful red tea) and let it ferment until it turns to vinegar and put a little in their water.  When I have spare scobies I slice them up and give them to the chooks -Wow they really go crazy for the scobies.  You can use the scoby from your homemade ACV to make kombucha too.

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  51. TheChickenChick1/20/13, 5:48 PM

    I I used a Kombucha SCOBY to make one of the batches of ACV, but would hesitate to use an ACV SCOBY to make Kombucha due to the vinegar flavor.

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  52. Its so funny how i just started reading about how to make racv and then i see your post on pinterest. Its like everyone is on the same wavelength lol. I have read that you dont want to use cheesecloth since is has an open weave and may allow fruit flies in but use an all cotton fabric, like a square cut from a tshirt to keep bugs out. Im waiting for the snow to melt before i try making some acv. Awesome post!

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  53. The vinegar bottles say to store in the refrigerator for freshness. Once you have made it does it need to be stored in the refrigerator? If you are saving the mothers for new batches do you store them in the refrigerator or in the warm area you created them in?

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  54.      ok, nevermind.....I get it now. :)

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  55. It's been Summer here in Aus and I just added a few spoonfuls of Braggs to my supermarket bought apple cider vinegar about a month ago...I completely forgot about it until now. I have the most glorious mother in this bottle. It is quite amazing actually. Which explains why the past week i keep forgetting to bring an empty jar to the store that sells it...as I had some all along!

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  56. Awesome! I've been wondering about this. We can make kombucha and all other kinds of funky stuff, so why not ACV? I think I'd want to give the Bragg's + juice process a second shot, maybe with raw apple juice. Hmm. I'll have to get creative, but I love that you did this!

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  57. I was wondering how i find you on fb? I like your post/experiment on ACV me and my family have in regurlarly.

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  58. TheChickenChick3/23/13, 11:25 PM

    Jessica, you can find me on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/egg.carton.labels.by.adozengirlz

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  59. Erin Nicole Nelson6/2/13, 3:30 PM

    I am no sure how you went from one mother to two. If you used the first mother to make the batch, did the batch create the next with two floating in it?

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  60. Felecia Buchanan6/2/13, 5:39 PM

    Ok really dumb question here, but cant I just buy some Bragg's vinegar and just use that in the chicken water instead of doing all the mixing and everything else?

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  61. TheChickenChick6/2/13, 11:33 PM

    Yes, Erin. The first mother makes a "baby" and the baby becomes the mother for any other batch. The first mother can continue to be used over and over.

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  62. TheChickenChick6/2/13, 11:36 PM

    Of course you can, Felecia. The small bottle will cost approximately $4-6. You can continue to make unlimited batches with that one bottle as the starter forever or continue to purchase new bottles of Braggs and skip the do-it-yourself stuff.

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  63. Erin Nicole Nelson6/3/13, 12:07 AM

    great, thank you!

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  64. I make Kombucha with scoby... could I convert it over to make this?

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  65. Just saw this after I posted the same question. I also have some water kiefer I share with my chicks.

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  66. how do you store the mothers in between batches? I have some bragg mother left over, but no available apple cider. Since it's august now, I'm assuming apple cider will be available in the fall, so I'm saving the mother. So far the mother is sitting in a little vinegar, unrefrigerated. Should I refrigerate it, though, if I'm waiting another month or so for my apple cider?

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  67. Mitch Mace Hall8/5/13, 2:14 PM

    I make lots of Kombucha Tea and have an over abundance of SCOBY's. I didn't think to share any of it with my hens. I have poured the overly strong (too strong for me) tea on some weeds in the garden though. I'll have to give it a try.

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  68. Linda Bober8/26/13, 2:19 PM

    I am not at all familiar with ACV, as I have never used it for anything, even though I would like to try it for my chickens. If I go to the Health Food store, are there other brands available aside from "Braggs"? Just don't want to overlook something. I think for now, I'll stick to buying vs. making. :)

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  69. TheChickenChick8/27/13, 9:51 PM

    Yes, there are other brands, Linda.

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  70. Hello, I have used the method #3. Using apple juice and Braggs ACV as starter. The jars have sat covered about 4 weeks on our outside porch. FL summer averages about 90 degrees. Great mother production. So much so I have skimmed off the top layer.
    Question: the smell is acidic like vinegar. The tasted is still sorta sweet. It does not tastes as acidic as Brags ACV. What taste should I expect? thank you, casual home fermentologist

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  71. TheChickenChick8/29/13, 11:34 PM

    It should taste like vinegar.

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  72. rebeka tang9/4/13, 4:35 PM

    Hello, can U tell me why my apple cider vinegar turned red? it did form the white layer on top, is there something I did wrong?

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  73. I have a couple comments on the chemistry discussed in this article.

    Although they are all very similar in strength, acetic acid (pKa = 4.73) is actually a stronger acid than either butyric (4.83) or propionic acid (4.87). Formic acid, on the other hand, is considerably stronger with a pKa of 3.75.

    In addition, the statement that acidic solutions have reduced calcium solubility is also not correct...or at least it is not that simple. Solutions below about pH 3.5 have reduced availability but you aren't going to achieve that with vinegar. In reality, a pH of about 3.7 is ideal. That said, basic solutions also increase the solubility of calcium, which is why the addition of sodium bicarbonate is effective. Between pH 3.7 and 7.5, solubility is actually at a low around 6.5-7...but again this is dependent on the matrix involved (identity of the calcium salt as well as all the other salts present in the solution and their concentrations).

    Of course a chicken is not a rigorously controlled environment in which to measure chemical equilibria, but it seems increased calcium availability is supported in the reference:
    Boling, S.D., Snow, J.L., Parsons, C.M. and Baker D.H. (2001) The effect of citric acid on calcium and phosphorus requirements of chicks fed corn-soybean meal diets. Poult. Sc. 80:783-788.

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  74. contraption9/27/13, 8:37 AM

    I have successfully frozen kombucha SCOBYs. Putting it in the fridge would slow the processes, and would be good for short term like a month, I would imagine.

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  75. Janet M. Glenn9/27/13, 4:35 PM

    You allow Purina to advertise on your page? That makes me doubt your judgment. Good luck, but no thanks.

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  76. Penny4YourThoughts9/30/13, 12:43 AM

    I feed my chickens raw clabbered milk each day in their feed. I am curious how the ACV would, or would not, work with that?

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  77. Question: I am in Central America. I bought a apple cider, but I think it might be sparkling-- but it does have 4.1% alcohol. Would this matter? Thanks-- Rose in Panama

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  78. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:24 PM

    Do not give sparkling apple cider with alcohol in it to your chickens!! That is NOT the same as vinegar.

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  79. If I click my heels together can I win? Or if a stand on my coop roof and cluck for an hour can I win? Love your site!

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  80. If I read your post correctly, the regular, plain jane, ACV purchased in the store is not sufficient for the benefits (or not) mentioned above. In order to be effective, "the mother" has to be added. Is this correct?

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  81. TheChickenChick11/3/13, 1:12 AM

    For maximum benefit, the mother is required.

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  82. Barbara Remley11/30/13, 12:04 PM

    which is better, G2 in the water or apple cider vinegar?

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  83. TheChickenChick11/30/13, 2:06 PM

    Definitely Gro2Max probiotics.

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  84. PrecioustoHim12/17/13, 4:25 PM

    Can I use apples, a nice sized Scoby from a batch of Kombucha, and some ACV with a tiny bit of the mother in it?

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  85. TheChickenChick12/17/13, 5:58 PM

    sure!

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  86. Allison Spradlin2/17/14, 2:12 PM

    Why do you only pour off and use 2/3 of the ACV that you make? What happens to the other 1/3? I'm new to this and would love to start making ACV as I am hoping to get some chickens of my own.

    Thanks!

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  87. Sandra Lee Simmons3/2/14, 1:22 PM

    I read that I could take regular ACV from the store and add mother to it to make it raw again. Have you heard this?

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  88. Rhonda Voorhis3/12/14, 12:18 PM

    i never store my store bought vinegar (any variety) in the refrigerator, I have gallon jugs that i keep in a lower cupboard in the kitchen.

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  89. How much apple cider vinegar do you give them in their water? What is the ratio of vinegar to water? Thank you for all your unbelievably helpful information and pictures!

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  90. TheChickenChick3/25/14, 9:58 PM

    1-2 tablespoons per gallon.

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  91. Wyone Manes3/28/14, 2:09 PM

    what do you do with the mother to store it for the next time. I have all I need for now but I want to save it.

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  92. TheChickenChick3/28/14, 6:01 PM

    Just keep it covered in vinegar in an open container until you make more.

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  93. Denise Allison Magil3/31/14, 1:20 PM

    Interesting about the vinegar the mother who knew

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  94. Wyone Manes3/31/14, 1:33 PM

    Thank you. You are so much help

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  95. Wow! Thanks for all the great info on apple cider vinegar.

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  96. I've been using apple cider v from the store. Not good??? Also how about using in a metal waterer???

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  97. I have made vinegar for years, even mailed mother!
    When the vinegar reaches the taste you like, you may need to stop the fermentation process. I canned the vinegar in mason jars and used it for 10 years.
    I had to do this...we had a barrel of apple cider go bad...and I needed to salvage it in some way.

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  98. April Frazier5/1/14, 1:19 PM

    I read this last year, and decided it might be more work than I could put in. Then, I decided to try going "No/Low 'Poo" for my hair. I began using my homemade soap as a cleansing agent, and using white vinegar as a rinse. It worked fine, until I ran out of vinegar, and found a small Hannaford's brand ACV bottle in my kitchen. I didn't have much, so I filled my little bottle 1/2 full, and added water to dilute and fill the bottle. I left it in my chilly bathroom.This was February. I used most of it, and had bought a new white vinegar bottle, so I filled up the bottle again...and swirling around inside... was a little circular, leathery membrane. I have put it into a mason jar, and gave it some Braggs, Covred it with a coffee filter, and it has grown and absorbed the vinegar. I will add some more ACV to the bottle to keep it moist.

    Who knew it might be this easy?

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  99. I will bet that Apple Vinegar smell awesome when brewing even though it looks like the jar the homeless bum carried around on "In Living Color" Since you love your coffee; here is some premium stuff I just found fresh from the Civit's butt: https://www.touchofmodern.com/sales/valbemar-f71ec01e-e72d-4250-8fb3-e6a9e8a2f0a6?sale=1&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Subscribers-production&utm_campaign=Daily%20Sales%202014-05-01&email=ehandy%40hotmail.com&open=1

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  100. Joyce Ouellet5/2/14, 4:36 AM

    This is great! Thank you so much!!

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  101. I have two questions please. First can one simply use the Braggs raw cider vinegar for the chicken water and skip all the fermenting recipes? I'm thinking the recipes are for us to make it cheaper, if I'm understanding what I read. Secondly, if I'm brave and try a recipe how long can you keep a "mother" soaking in vinegar future use? Thank you so much

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  102. Yes, you can certainly use a commercial ACV. You can keep a mother in vinegar infinitely as long as it is stored properly

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  103. I have a question for you. I would love to know what you think about this. I have a bunch of watermelon wine that is not very appealing to the palate. I hate to waste it. I am thinking of buying some of the Bragg's (because that is what is easily available to me) and mixing it with the "funky socks" tasting watermelon wine and seeing if it would turn into vinegar so we can use it for the chickens. Do you think that would work? I wonder what ratio of the mother containing vinegar I would need to convert it if it will go that way for me. Hmmmm.......I hope you get the chance to let me know what you think. Thanks

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  104. I do not recommend even trying it. Alcohol and chickens should not mix.

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  105. Quick question on quantities. I bought one gallon jars but with only 24 oz of hard cider and the mother, it barely comes up over the spigot, lots of empty jar left. What would happen if I increased the amount of hard cider, would I need two mothers? I guess the question is how can I increase the quantity I make. Also how much water do you add with the fresh apple version, I think the ratios are confusing me. Thanks, my 10 girls owe a lot to you, as do I.

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  106. I make Kombucha, using the same exact method, only with a sweet green tea base. If left on the kitchen counter for a while, it easily turns to a probiotic rich vinegar. Is there any reason I couldn't give that to my chickens, in their water?

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  107. So. How long does the acv last once it's been made?

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  108. Then why do you use hard apple cidar?

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