How to Make Pineapple Vinegar from Pineapple Scraps

by Kaitlynn Fenley

My easy pineapple vinegar recipe requires only four ingredients: pineapple scraps, sugar, raw vinegar for a starter culture, and water. This is the perfect recipe to use up pineapple scraps.

How to Make Pineapple Vinegar

Vinegar is made via a two-part fermentation process. First, yeast consume sugars within fruits to produce alcohol, known as alcoholic fermentation.

Second, acetic acid bacteria consume the alcohol from step one and convert it into acetic acid. Once all the alcohol is metabolized by bacteria and converted into acetic acid, you have vinegar.

To make pineapple vinegar at home, you first make wild pineapple wine, which then turns to vinegar!

What is Pineapple Vinegar?

Pineapple vinegar is just like any other fruit vinegar. It can be made from pineapple juice, pineapple fruit, or scraps.

It is traditional in Mexican cuisine and in many regions such as Zacatecas and Jalisco have used it for decades to make everything from hot sauces to chorizo. It’s essential in Mexican cuisine. (I learned this from @hechovistocomido on Instagram)

How to Make Vinegar from Pineapple

It is so easy to make vinegar with pineapple. You only need a few ingredients: pineapple scraps, sugar, raw vinegar (as a starter culture), and water. It’s important to use organic pineapple scraps in this recipe. Conventional pineapple is prone to kahm yeast which is no good for vinegar fermentation.

It helps if you have some raw apple cider vinegar with the mother as a starter, but it is not 100% necessary. It is possible to make pineapple vinegar with only pineapple scraps, water, and sugar.

What is a Vinegar Mother?

Vinegar “with the mother” is another name for raw vinegar containing all the microbes from the brewing process. So, think of the mother as microbial cultures. Vinegar mothers form cloudy floating pieces within the vinegar and a SCOBY on the surface.

A vinegar mother SCOBY looks similar to a kombucha SCOBY but is often lighter with varying textures. Vinegar mothers in homemade vinegar are always unique. No two will look exactly the same because the wild microbes from fruit scraps will be slightly different across batches. If it’s not chalky or fuzzy, it’s probably a perfectly normal mother.

You can use the vinegar mother SCOBY from your first batch of vinegar to culture the next batch of vinegar.

Equipment for Vinegar Fermentation

I suggest a gallon glass jar and a cloth cover with a rubber band for this recipe.

You must use a cloth lid when making vinegar because acetic acid bacteria require oxygen to convert alcohol into acetic acid. I usually make cloth lids for fermentation by cutting up old t-shirts.

Here is all the equipment you need:

  • 1 gallon glass jar
  • a cloth lid and a rubber band
  • a kitchen scale
  • large spoon (for stirring daily)

What Do You Use Pineapple Vinegar For?

I use my homemade pineapple vinegar in any recipe where I would use store-bought apple cider vinegar.

Pineapple vinegar may or may not be adequate for pickling and canning pickles. It depends on how ripe the pineapple is. To make a strongly acidic vinegar, use more sugar and scraps from very ripe and sweet pineapple. You can also add in some sulfite-free wine, tequila, or vodka in place of some of the water.

You can also test the pH with a pH strip to see if it is good for pickling/canning. Vinegar that is safe for pickling recipes should have approximately 2.4 pH (about 5% acidity).

Here are my favorite ways to use homemade vinegar:

  • for homemade salad dressing
  • in heirloom culturing recipes like this fermented green tomato recipe
  • I love to drizzle it over honeydew melon with raw honey and a pinch of salt.
  • In mineral-rich hydrating drinks (I like to mix a tablespoon of fruit vinegar into a quart of water with a splash of coconut water, orange juice, and a pinch of sea salt for a homemade hydrating “Gatorade”)
  • You can also use homemade vinegar in Oxymel and Fire Cider recipes.

Homemade Pineapple Vinegar

The keys to remember when making pineapple vinegar or any fruit vinegar at home:

  1. Stir the vinegar once daily. Remove the cloth lid, give it a good stir, replace the lid, and repeat daily until you strain the vinegar.
  2. You must use a breathable cloth lid. The microbes involved in vinegar production require oxygen to convert alcohol to acetic acid.
  3. Use a clean glass container. It is best to use glass when fermenting acidic vinegar. Clean your equipment well before getting started.
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How to Make Pineapple Vinegar from Pineapple Scraps

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My easy pineapple vinegar recipe requires only four ingredients: pineapple scraps, sugar, raw vinegar for a starter culture, and water. This is the perfect recipe to use up pineapple scraps.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Fermentation Time: 9 weeks
  • Total Time: 1512 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 gallon
  • Category: Vinegar
  • Method: Fermentaiton

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chopped organic pineapple scraps*
  • 255 grams of organic cane sugar
  • Water
  • 3 tablespoons raw vinegar with the mother*
  • 1 gallon glass jar
  • cloth covering
  • rubber band

Instructions

  1. Please read the recipe notes.
  2. Wash the pineapple rind if you haven’t already. Chop the pineapple scraps into chunks.
  3. Add the sugar and pineapple to a 1-gallon glass jar.
  4. Add water to the jar until full.
  5. Add in a few tablespoons of raw vinegar with the mother. This helps establish a good microbial community (see notes below)
  6. Stir the mixture until all the sugar is dissolved.
  7. Place a cloth lid on the jar and secure with a rubber band.
  8. Stir the mixture once or twice a day and allow to ferment at room temperature for three weeks. Don’t forget to stir it. I like to just do it first thing in the morning each day.
  9. You should notice the mixture bubble within one week.
  10. After three weeks of fermentation, strain out all the pineapple pieces, replace the cloth lid and allow the mixture to ferment for 6 more weeks.
  11. You will notice a vinegar mother form on the surface (it looks like a kombucha SCOBY but is very light in color). You can keep this to start your next batch of vinegar.
  12. After fermentation, bottle the vinegar and seal it with a solid lid. Store at room temperature in your pantry.

Notes

  • Vinegar works best with a starter culture. While it is possible to make vinegar without it, adding a vinegar mother or raw apple cider vinegar with the mother to the mixture ensures success. If you have a kombucha SCOBY or raw kombucha, you can sub for that with good results.
  • For very strong vinegar, you can also add in some sulfite-free wine, tequila, or vodka in place of some of the water.
  • You should use organic or homegrown pineapple scraps in this recipe. Conventional pineapple is prone to kahm yeast, which is not suitable for vinegar fermentation.
  • If you’ve had trouble with kahm yeast when making vinegar, try boiling all the ingredients then allowing it to cool before adding the raw vinegar with the mother starter culture.

 

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author avatar
Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

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21 comments

Gert August 23, 2023 - 6:25 am

Question: as a starter can i use other things like brine from a fermented vegetable (I have sauerkraut at hand) or a bit of kefir water?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley August 23, 2023 - 6:48 am

So glad you asked before doing this because, no! Absolutely not. Kombucha and vinegar contain the same groups of microbes (yeasts and acetic acid bacteria) so you can use kombucha here. Things like fermented vegetables and kefir contain completely different groups of microbes (lactobacilli) so those will not work at all for vinegar.

Reply
Sonbos October 31, 2023 - 1:03 pm

Hello i loved doing your recipe for pinneaple vinegar , but started to get a lot of questions as something apparently kahm yeast has formed and the vinegar turned from yellow to dark amber color and there is no mention in the recipe or pictures of things like this that can happen and i dont know of i should throw it out and i have sent multiple questions on dms and comments in instagram over months and no reply i think this is something very important to mention in the recipe some people dont get stuck with some weird jars not knowing what to do like me or maybe open a subscription for Q&A’s for those of us who cant afford right now the course






Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley October 31, 2023 - 2:03 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I do not answer DMs on social media. You can ask your questions, for free, here in the comments of these free recipes that I work very hard to provide. If you follow the directions and use quality ingredients then you shouldn’t encounter any issues.

Reply
Jake August 30, 2023 - 9:28 pm

Thanks for sharing this recipe! So far so good with my vinegar. Just want to make sure I’m doing this right. I’ve strained out the pineapple pieces. At this point, should I stop stirring? I imagine that’s the only way to slow the Scott to form, right? Thanks!

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley August 31, 2023 - 10:42 am

No need to stir it once the fruit is strained. And correct, you don’t stir it anymore so the SCOBY can form.

Reply
Brandon September 29, 2023 - 10:15 am

When I replace the lid at the 3 week mark, do I replace it with a new CLOTH LID or a Sealed lid for the remaining 6 weeks?






Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley October 2, 2023 - 9:42 am

Put the same cloth lid back on the jar.

Reply
Melissa Humphries October 2, 2023 - 7:57 pm

It’s early to tell how this will turn out as I only started it yesterday. I only bought one pineapple so I had only 1/4 the amount of scrap needed so I cut the recipe in 1/4 and used a 32 ounce jar. So hopefully it’s fine to Reduce the recipe. A gallon would be way more than I would have wanted especially on the first attempt, in case we don’t end up liking it.






Reply
mj October 2, 2023 - 11:19 pm

Hi there- a few q’s!
1. I attempted pineapple vinegar and followed instructions to a T. It looked great and then I strained it out to let it continue to ferment. Then it just did nothing. Never turned to vinegar, no mother formed. Any ideas what happened here?
2. I think my apple scrap vinegar is tasting pretty good, but it never appeared to grow a mother. There is some thicker stuff at the bottom of the jar but I assumed it was just residue. Does it need to have a mother to be finished?
3. Is Kahm yeast bad? I think my plum vinegar is growing kahm yeast but I can’t quite tell.

Thank you!

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley October 3, 2023 - 9:42 am

hello!

1. You can add some more raw vinegar starter and let it sit longer. You wont really see anything happen after you strain it, but a mother usually forms eventually. It should smell sour like vinegar and taste tart.
2. Glad to hear the apple vinegar is going well. There wont always be a mother, but if you want one, you can always add a bit more raw vinegar with the mother (or raw kombucha) after straining and one should grow.
3. Kahm yeast isn’t necessarily bad, but it can mess up the vinegar process. Stone fruits don’t work well for vinegar because they contain high levels of the fermentable sugar sorbitol, which kahm yeast loves.

Reply
Melissa H. Lamb November 19, 2023 - 10:53 am

I made this and it just finished. It tastes amazing and is my favorite vinegar I have ever had. I’ll definitely be making a gallon next time. I’ve been mixing it with sparkling water and tinctures and it’s really good. I’m sure it will make good salad dressings and good to add to stir fries, too. It’s quite versatile and sweet tasting.






Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley November 19, 2023 - 11:06 am

Glad to hear you love the pineapple vinegar! It’s my favorite too.

Reply
Brandon December 23, 2023 - 12:55 pm

Omg! Thank you so much for this recipe. Me and my wife have a tent at our local farmers market and we sell elderberry syrup and fire cider. This will make a great addition to our table. The vinegar came out perfect. We added honey and it is so delicious and the health benefits our amazing .. thank you






Reply
Dianarazana February 4, 2024 - 3:54 pm

When it’s in it’s alcohol state, would it be a drinkable pineapple wine?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley February 5, 2024 - 8:52 am

Not exactly. It might be a little like sour wine but I’ve never tried it.

Reply
Dianarazana February 18, 2024 - 3:42 pm

I’ve been doing more reading since asking my initial question… Without using raw vinegar or a mother it would be more like a fermented soda or fruit scrap “kvass” within 2-7 days. Which I’m actually really excited about! I’ve been looking to make non-alcoholic fizzy drinks with fruit scraps that don’t have a long fermentation period.

Reply
Nicole February 8, 2024 - 10:37 am

Hello! I am following your recipe and am currently at week 2 of 6 of letting it sit on the counter without stirring. But I have mold (it’s got blue in it, so I don’t think it’s Kahn yeast) forming on the top. I read this may be because it’s not acidic enough. Do I need to throw this out? Is there a way to make it more acidic at this point? Thanks!

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley February 8, 2024 - 10:49 am

If there is mold you should throw it out! Did you follow the recipe precisely and did you use organic pineapple?

Reply
Nicole February 13, 2024 - 1:23 pm

Oh, no. We did not use organic. We followed the entire thing precisely except for that part so I’m sure that’s the problem. We will have to try again with organic! Thank you for the reply!

Reply
Gissel February 21, 2024 - 5:19 pm

I just started my very first batch of vinegar, thank for sharing.

Reply