Ginger Apple Hard Cider Recipe

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.

For my hard ginger cider, I like an ABV of around 6-7% and stop fermentation early to leave some residual sweetness so I can drink it young without back sweetening.

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.

Five Essential Pieces of Equipment

6.5 Gallon plastic fermenter with lid
FastRack 3 Piece Airlock (Qty. 5), Clear (SY-6U6M-N283)
Fermtech Regular 24" Long Auto Siphon with 8 feet of Tubing and Clamp by Ubrewusa
Brewer's Elite Hydrometer - for Home Brew Beer, Wine, Mead and Kombucha - Deluxe Triple Scale Set, Hardcase and Cloth - Specific Gravity ABV Tester
Five Star - 6022b_ - Star San - 32 Ounce - High Foaming Sanitizer
6.5 Gallon Fermenting Bucket
3 Piece Air Lock
Auto Siphon
Hydrometer Kit
Star San Sanitizer
Price not available
$6.99
$24.00
$11.99
$22.98
6.5 Gallon plastic fermenter with lid
6.5 Gallon Fermenting Bucket
Price not available
FastRack 3 Piece Airlock (Qty. 5), Clear (SY-6U6M-N283)
3 Piece Air Lock
$6.99
Fermtech Regular 24" Long Auto Siphon with 8 feet of Tubing and Clamp by Ubrewusa
Auto Siphon
$24.00
Brewer's Elite Hydrometer - for Home Brew Beer, Wine, Mead and Kombucha - Deluxe Triple Scale Set, Hardcase and Cloth - Specific Gravity ABV Tester
Hydrometer Kit
$11.99
Five Star - 6022b_ - Star San - 32 Ounce - High Foaming Sanitizer
Star San Sanitizer
$22.98

How to Make Ginger Apple Hard Cider:

If you are new to cider making, start by reviewing the basic cider making instructions found here.

ginger root on a digital scale for a ginger beer recipe

Step One:

Bring a 16oz water to boil. Add approx. 8oz of peeled & sliced ginger root and the juice from one lime; steep for 15 minutes.

Step Two:

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 8oz of concentrate to reach my original gravity.

a stainless pot boiling water and ginger for ginger apple cider

Step Three:

Take a hydrometer reading to measure original gravity and document on a Cider Log.

Step Four:

Add 1tsp. yeast nutrient, pitch yeast and attach the airlock.

Step Five:

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.

Step Six:

After the cold crash, the ginger apple cider is ready to be bottled or kegged.  

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Ginger Apple Hard Cider Recipe

A flavorful and fiery ginger hard cider recipe
Prep Time15 mins
Fermentation Time30 d
Total Time30 d
Course: Drinks
Keyword: Cascade Hops, Hard Cider
Yield: 1 Gallon

Materials

Instructions

  • Clean and sanitize all cider making equipment before starting.
  • Peel and chop fresh ginger
  • Juice one lime
  • Add the water, ginger and lime juice to a pot and boil to make a ginger tea
  • Pour the pour the ginger tea into the fermenter and add apple juice into the fermenting vessel leaving room for apple juice concentrate in the following steps.
  • Take a hydrometer reading to measure the gravity and record.
  • Add apple juice concentrate to raise the original gravity to the desired level. Top up the fermenter with apple juice as needed.
  • Take a hydrometer reading to measure the gravity and record.
  • Add yeast nutrient if desired.
  • Pour the yeast into the fermenter.
  • Close the fermenter and install an airlock filled with sanitizer.
  • Allow the cider to ferment in a cool and dark place for about two weeks or until fermentation has ended.
  • Cold crash, rack and bottle.

Notes

Start by making a lemon ginger tea with the fresh ginger, lime and water. The 'tea' will have near zero sugar so when it is added to the fermenter so some apple concentrate will be needed to bring the original gravity back to normal levels. Also, this will add extra apple flavor. The amount added will depend on your desired ABV. 
The ginger root can be added to the fermenter if desired. I find that it will increase the 'fire' flavor of the ginger which I really enjoy. 
Once the fermenter is full and the yeast is pitched, place the cider in a cool and dark area to ferment for about two weeks or until fermentation is complete. 
When fermentation has finished, cold crash the batch and then rack the finished cider into a clean and sanitized fermenter or bottling bucket. 
At this time you can make your final adjustments such as flavoring or priming sugar.  
Follow standard bottling or kegging procedures to package the cider. 

2 thoughts on “Ginger Apple Hard Cider Recipe”

  1. I’ve been making hard cider at home for years and was pleased to come across your site. Am intrigued by the addition of ginger. I had this in a local craft cider and really liked it.

    Was wondering if you had tried fresh ginger straight in the primary or secondary fermentor, rather than boiling it to make a tea first?

    Am going to do some experimenting…

    Cheers,

    Ian.

  2. I made a 5 gallon batch of this cider and added 2 pounds of ginger, and quarter cup of sugar; way too much, It burns the throat.

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