Making ACV from apple drops

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by nab58, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. nab58

    nab58 Songster

    Mar 28, 2013
    we have several apple trees that have not been tended for years but still produce apples. The apples are not fit for human consumption as they are buggy but I thought I may be able to make them into ACV for my chickens.

    I've been reading about fermented feeds, particularly pumpkins that get more nutritious as they're left out and have been wondering what would happen if I put a bunch of apples with some OAVC in a trough and let it sit in the chicken run.
    Would I end up with fermented apples and juice/vinegar after a while?
    Is it too cold for fermentation outdoors? (60's days, 40's night)
    Do you think the chickens would eat the apples once they're mushy?
    do I need to worry about the seeds? They're toxic, aren't they?
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I think you'd end up with mushy rotten apples.
    If you want vinegar, all you use is the juice from the apples.
    I'd just give the apples to the birds as they are, bugs and all
    1 person likes this.
  3. Poulet Mama

    Poulet Mama In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2013
    Northeast Kansas
    My girls love the mushy apples, so maybe they'll like them.
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    My chickens will go crazy for apples, soft or hard. I too have an ancient, ill-tended apple that drops a lot of fruit on good years. Every morning in the autumn I pick some up and toss them in the run for my girls to enjoy.

    I have also made ACV out of these apples-- I take the ones that are not too buggy and have no outstanding problems (NO mold!) and core them, then juice them. If you like fresh juice, enjoy some for yourself at this point! The whole mess gets poured in with some existing ACV to "start" it, then I store it in a cool dark place for a few months. Either cover the container with a coffee filter and rubber band, or burp it regularly! At one point it will create a lot of carbonation and you don't want it to explode. There are a lot of more in-depth tutorials on how to make it at home if you search. :)
  5. Only you can decide if it is too cold at your location for outside fermentation. I vote yes. There are more than one process in making vinegar and dumping a wheel barrow full of wind fall apples into a feed trough is hardly one of them.

    You first need to make hard cider from your apples and after you are finished converting the sugars in the apples into alcohol the next step is the use of a bacteria culture to convert the alcoholic apple cider into acidic acid or vinegar. Don't be surprised when you do this if you find that your apple cider has a disgusting alien life form looking thing living in it that reminds you of the "Blob that Ate Chicago."

    I have no proof but judging from historic prices that I have seen for apple cider vinegar made the old fashion way, what is offered today as organic apple cider vinegar is plain old nor organic apple cider vinegar that has mother of vinegar bacteria added to it to cover up the subterfuge.

    Bacteria cells don't do well in the presence of ultraviolet Sunlight so I doubt that outside fermentation is a good way to start making vinegar. If you have a wine or beer making club near you that might be a good place to start learning how to make hard cider or you might stumble onto a free source of apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is the bane of all wine and beer makers and they may be more than happy to give you all the vinegar they produce, or you could offer the wine makers your next apple crop in return for X amount of hard cider.

    Good luck.

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