I have always loved homemade ginger beer so I when I began making cider I knew I had to try a ginger apple cider recipe. My favorite part is how the fresh ginger creates a fiery flavor that I can’t get from a commercial beverage.
Making this alcoholic ginger apple cider is a simple process that only requires basic brewing equipment. Essentially you will be making a sweet ginger tea with apple juice and fermenting it into a delicious nectar.
To do that, I start with an original gravity of 1.060 SG and monitor the fermentation process. Once the cider reaches about 1.010 SG, I place the carboy into a refrigerator for a cold crash to halt fermentation and allow the suspended yeast to settle.
After a couple of days of cold crashing, most of the yeast will drop out of the cider and I rack it into half-gallon growlers and cap them for short-term COLD storage. Because there is residual fermentable sugar in the cider it must stay cold or it will continue to ferment and possibly cause the bottles to explode.
Even at cold temperatures, some yeast may be able to slowly metabolize sugar. I suggest keeping the bottled cider in a refrigerator for less than 3 weeks and burp the bottles if needed.
Don’t worry, this stuff is so good it won’t last 3 weeks anyway!
To carbonate the ginger apple hard cider, I use the carbonation cap method for smaller amounts or a corny keg for large batches. If you prefer to naturally carbonate the ginger cider you can try to pasteurize your bottles but whenever carbonating a sweet beverage, take special care not to over carbonate. It can be very dangerous.
How to Make Ginger Apple Hard CIder:
If you are new to cider making, start by reviewing the basic cider making instructions found here.
Bring a 16 oz water to boil. Add approx 8oz of peeled & sliced ginger root and the juice from one lime; steep for 15 minutes.
Once the ginger tea has cooled, transfer it to a clean & sanitized carboy and Top up the carboy with apple juice and apple juice concentrate. I add a few pieces of ginger to the carboy but toss the rest.
The amount of apple juice concentrate you will need to add will depend on how much water and lime juice you add. And, your target original gravity, of course.
I estimated about 16oz of liquid (some of the water boils off) mixed with 4oz of concentrate is very similar in SG to my fresh apple juice. So, I use this estimation plus an additional 8 oz of concentrate to reach my original gravity.
Take a hydrometer reading to measure original gravity and document on a Cider Log.
Add 1tsp. yeast nutrient, pitch yeast and attach the airlock.
Place the carboy in a cool area, around 65F, to ferment. Monitor fermentation and at 1.010 SG place the carboy in a refrigerator to cold crash.
After the cold crash, siphon the ginger apple cider to your preferred storage container. Because I drink this right away, I siphon directly into 2-liter soda bottles and carbonate the cider.