By 'wild' ACV, I mean old rainwater and apple cores left in a warmish darkish place. No mother, no vinegar, no cider. It's been a week and a half and the mixture smells like spilt booze on a hot day and has yellowish bubbles sitting under the surface, so I think it's working. Is it working? The various how-tos I've read online suggest it takes a lot longer than that. I don't fancy putting any of that sludge in my mouth. I used the rainwater out of the barrel for two reasons. One, tapwater gets a particular nauseating funk after a while sitting. Anything that's going to grow in the rainwater will have done so by now. Two, I figured the rainwater would contain a nice charge of the relevant micro-organisms. As for maintenance -- once it's vinegar, can I pull out what I need and keep it topped up with apples and occasional other fruit, or does it need to be fed alcohol?