Malt Vinegar vs Apple Cider Vinegar – Are They the Same?

Published Categorized as Ingredients Tagged

Malt vinegar vs apple cider vinegar – what’s the diff? These two wonderfully tasty vinegars have certainly earned their place in the hearts of many people, but what exactly are they, and how do they compare to one another? In this post, we’ll dive into the sundry aspects of these two vinegars by observing both their similarities and differences. So, let’s dive into the details surrounding malt vinegar vs apple cider vinegar. 

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Malt Vinegar Vs Apple Cider Vinegar – Are They The Same?

Table of Contents

Is Malt Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar the Same?

No, malt vinegar and apple cider vinegar aren’t the same. Of course, the two share similar qualities, but they shouldn’t be regarded as the exact same thing.

Let’s take a deeper look into why!

What Is Malt Vinegar?

Malt vinegar is made from malted barley. Barley is malted when it is given time to sprout and is fermented to create alcohol. From there, the barley can be used in alcoholic beverages such as beer, or it can be further fermented to make vinegar.

Malted vinegar (in comparison to normal vinegar) is typically a dark brown color and has a robust flavor. Due to its barley content, it has slightly bready notes, especially when compared to other vinegars.

Malt vinegar is especially enjoyed with “fish and chips” in European nations, and this is the case in America as well. It is also eaten with fries as a stand-alone dip or alongside ketchup.

Malt Vinegar Vs Apple Cider Vinegar – Are They The Same?

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is made by combining fermented apples with yeast. The sugar in the yeast and apples is fermented and used to produce apple cider vinegar. Once this happens, apple cider vinegar takes on a light brown hue with a sour fruity odor. Because of its source, apple cider vinegar tastes somewhat sweet but still retains its tanginess and acidity.

Note: Despite its sweet taste and aroma, apple cider vinegar can be quite harsh on the stomach and skin when not diluted. We caution against drinking apple cider straight or applying it topically to the skin. These actions with apple cider vinegar may cause adverse results, according to the National Eczema Association.

Malt Vinegar Vs Apple Cider Vinegar – Are They The Same?

How Does Malt Vinegar Differ From Apple Cider Vinegar?

Malt vinegar and apple cider vinegar differ in a few ways.

For ease, we’ll break the differences into categories.

Malt Vinegar vs Apple Cider Vinegar for Cooking

Malt vinegar and apple cider vinegar differ in uses for cooking and eating. However, these two vinegars can also be swapped when needed. 

As previously mentioned, people usually use malt vinegar alongside fish and chips or fries with ketchup, which is totally different from the usage of apple cider vinegar, or ACV. Though malted vinegar flavor tends to be more robust, it is also milder and less acidic when it hits the tongue.

Apple cider vinegar, on the other hand, is sharp with a distinct apple flavor. You may not love it splashed on your fish and chips as much as malt vinegar, but you may think it a better choice than malt vinegar when combined with oils and spices for salad dressings.

With all of that said, it should be noted that both vinegar options are great for making chutneys!

Note: If you have gluten allergies, you’ll want to avoid malt vinegar. Because it is made from barley, there will be residuals of gluten in the final product.

Malt Vinegar vs Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss

Although malt vinegar isn’t quite known for providing consumers with weight loss benefits, apple cider vinegar certainly has seen its fair share of claims that it works wonders for belly fat.

But are any of these claims true?

In actuality, Harvard studies show that an apple cider vinegar diet may not be as helpful for the waistline as many think. Still, both vinegars have several health benefits that may interest you. 

Stick around to learn more!

Malt Vinegar vs Apple Cider Vinegar

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Unlike malt vinegar, apple cider vinegar is often touted as having outta this world health benefits. This is especially true of aged apple cider vinegar containing what is called “the mother.” This means that the ACV has more bacteria and yeast than regular apple cider does.

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Other health benefits of apple cider vinegar include the following:

  • Can kill bacteria and pathogens
  • Can help lower blood sugar
  • May enhance skin health

There are many other supposed health benefits of taking ACV. However, many of these claims remain unproven. 

Health Benefits of Malt Vinegar

There aren’t a ton of health benefits closely associated with malt vinegar varieties. However, don’t let that make you skip this beloved condiment. Malt vinegar may still help to control blood sugar levels and tastes darn good! 

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Is Malt Vinegar as Good for You as Apple Cider Vinegar

As you can see, malt vinegar may not be as good for you as apple cider vinegar. 

Malt vinegar does not yield nearly as many health benefits as apple cider vinegar. However, it is still a lovely choice to pair with food. When looking for something that will significantly improve your health, though, it can be beneficial to choose apple cider vinegar, given its ability to fight off pathogens and manage blood sugar levels. 

Note: Remember also that apple cider vinegar is especially effective when purchased with the ‘mother,’ which is the remaining good yeast and bacteria unfiltered from the liquid. 

When Should You Use Malt Vinegar, and When Should You Use Apple Cider Vinegar?

Malt vinegar is great for when you want to add a little zing to your food without too much sharpness. That’s because malt vinegar’s flavor has bready undertones, so it is perfect to pair with fish, fries, and some salad dressings. 

Apple cider vinegar, on the other hand, may not be as delectable when sprinkled onto fries and fish. While it can be done, you may find the taste to be too sharp and pungent.

Instead, apple cider vinegar really shines in salad dressings, and many drink it diluted in water or other beverages. Just be careful when doing so; most of the time, you only need a couple of tablespoons per cup of water. 

In addition, any type of vinegar, including white vinegar and apple cider vinegar, does great as a substitution for lemon juice in a recipe. In fact, apple cider vinegar can be the best substitute for lemon as it maintains its fruity flavor, getting as close as possible to a natural citrus taste.

Malt vinegar can also be used in this respect, but only in small quantities. Though both apple cider vinegar and malt vinegar are tangy and acidic, their flavor profile is quite different. Along with that, malt vinegar packs a taste that is very robust.

Thus, though many types of vinegar can be substituted for lemon, you may find malt vinegar to be overpowering, depending on the recipe it’s used in.

Malt Vinegar Vs Apple Cider Vinegar – Are They The Same?

Vinegar Substitute: Malt and Apple Cider Vinegar Substitute

Now that you know the many benefits of consuming both apple cider vinegar and malt vinegar, you may be wondering about malt and apple cider vinegar substitutes. As mentioned, you can substitute one for another, but you have to be careful when doing so. The two vinegars, though similar, sharply contrast in terms of flavor and bite. Thus, you have to use discretion when swapping one for another.

Other substitutes for malt and apple cider vinegar that can be used in recipes (not for dipping!) include:

Is There a Difference Between Apple Cider Vinegar and Malt Vinegar? Yes, Absolutely!

Yes, there absolutely is a difference between apple cider vinegar and malt vinegar. The two are not the same! Malt vinegar is known for being used as a condiment on goodies like fried fish and potatoes. It has a wheat-like taste that is completed by the natural acidity that comes from the vinegar itself.

On the other hand, apple cider vinegar is sharper, tangier, and fruity. It lends itself beautifully to salad dressings and even baked goods. Many who are looking to reap health benefits from apple cider vinegar place a couple of tablespoons of it in water.

No matter which you prefer, both apple cider and malt vinegar have their perks. We hope this helps!


Can you substitute malt vinegar for apple cider vinegar?

In most cases you can, as long as the quantity isn’t much. Apple cider vinegar and malt vinegar have different flavor profiles, with malt vinegar being the most robust. Apple cider vinegar is less mild in terms of tang and acidity. Thus, you should be mindful when swapping the two vinegars as doing so may cause flavor differences in your food. 

What is the difference between malt vinegar and regular vinegar?

Malt vinegar is made from malted barley. Regular vinegar is made with only acid and water. This is essentially what makes malt vinegar different from regular vinegar.

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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