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Spiced Alcoholic Ginger Beer Recipe

Spiced Alcoholic Ginger Beer Recipe

The perfect recipe for a winter ginger beer with nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise and a warm ginger finish!

Colder weather and warm spices go hand in hand. This alcoholic ginger beer recipe is perfect for those who love a ginger beer but want to add some extra character and complexity to it. 

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What you'll need:

Equipment

- Basic Brewing kit such as this one
- Bottles and bottling equipment/kegs and kegging equipment
- Small pot (3 - 5L works fine)
- Muslin Cloth Hop Bag

Ingredients

- Brew HQ Ginger Beer Concentrate (Morgans works too)
- 1 - 2kg Dextrose Powder (Dictates how alcoholic you want this ginger beer, 1kg makes around 4% ABV, 2kg makes around 6% ABV)
- Yeast Nutrient
- EC-1118 Champagne Yeast 
- 1 Whole Nutmeg
- 2 Cassia Sticks (Use more for more cinnamon flavour)
- 1 Star Anise
- 50g Dried Ginger Powder 

 

Base Ginger Beer Ingredients 

Ginger Beer spice ingredients

Instructions:

1. Add 3 litres of water to your small pot and bring to a simmer. Line the pot with the muslin bag as seen in the image below.

2. Chop the nutmeg into small chunks and break up the cassia sticks and star anise to increase the surface area. Then add them to the boiling liquid.

3. Gently simmer the spice mix for 25 minutes. While you are waiting sanitise your 30L fermenter and accessories.

4. Remove the muslin bag containing the chunks of spices after the 25 minute boil. The liquid will look brown and smell fragrant.

5. To your sanitised fermenter add the ginger beer concentrate, the 1-2kg of dextrose and a teaspoon of yeast nutrient. At this point add the boiling hot spice water to the fermenter and stir well to combine all the ingredients. 

6. Using cool water top the fermenter up to the 21 litre mark.

7. Check the temperature on the stick on thermometer ensuring it is between 20 and 30 degrees celsius. Ideally 24 celsius. If your mixture is too warm allow to cool before you continue to avoid off flavours.

8. Sprinkle the sachet of champagne yeast across the top of the surface of your ginger beer mixture and screw on your fermenter lid (as seen below). Ensure your airlock is half filled with water and allow the mixture to ferment. 

9. This recipe will take approximately a week to ferment assuming the temperature is stable. Ensure the ferment has finished before bottling or kegging. This can be checked using a hydrometer. Ensure the gravity is stable for 3 days before bottling or kegging. The final gravity will be approximately 1.010.

10. Package your ginger beer into bottles or kegs the same way you would for beer or cider then enjoy! 

 

Want to play around with this recipe?

Everyone likes a different flavour, don't be afraid to mess around with the dosages of ingredients. As a big cinnamon lover I've doubled the dose of cassia and that came out awesome. Here's a few other ingredients or changes that can really make your ginger beer pop:

Fresh ginger root

Use 100 - 500g for a fresh ginger pop. Make sure to blend it up or cut it fine to get the most bang for your buck and add it to the other ingredients when boiling.

Chilli

Adds a fresh bite. Different chills will add different levels of spice from a more mild capsicum flavour in the case of a jalapeño to a punchy hit from a birds eye chilli or other chilli. Add to the boil with the other spices or directly to the fermenter after sanitising with vodka. Ensure you cut the chilli open to release the flavours. One birds eye chilli is more than enough to add a crisp bite.

Brown Sugar

Increases the alcohol and adds a sweet caramel note. Keep in mind this is largely a fermentable sugar so it will also add more alcohol to your ginger beer. If using brown sugar substitute it for the dextrose. 500g is enough to add a noticeable flavour.

Lemon

Add the zest of a lemon to the spice mix or add some lemon juice to add a citrus note. Lemon rind is great when added to the fermenter halfway through the fermentation process; just ensure to sanitise it by soaking in vodka before adding it! Lemon also works great when serving your ginger beer too.

Next article How to use a hydrometer