Winecraft: Genial Ginger

Are you a ginger fan? Do you delight in its pungent bite, that “pop” it gives to dishes and beverages? I sure do…and kimchi would not be the same without it! Not only tasty, ginger also has a number of impressive proven health benefits, among them anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and has been used to combat nausea and as a digestive aid. Sounds like it would make a fantastic country wine!

I used this Ginger Wine One Gallon Recipe from Pixie’s Pocket. I generally make one gallon batches, and Amber has a great collection of one gallon wine and mead recipes at her site that will appeal to herbalists, wildcrafters, and anyone who likes unique wines. One of the aspects of her recipes I like most is the use of on-hand ingredients – very accessible!

To begin, I poured a quart of dechlorinated water into a large saucepan and set it on medium heat. While it heated, I chopped the ginger root, thinly sliced the orange, and added them to the pot. I was out of raisins, so I threw in a few dried figs. Once the mixture came to a boil, I reduced the heat and let it simmer for an hour.

It really did make the whole house smell great!

When the hour had elapsed, I strained out the solids and poured the liquid into the primary fermenter, to which I had already added the sugar. The two were mixed until the sugar had dissolved, then allowed to cool. Once cooled to room temperature, I added yeast nutrient (not called for in the recipe, but it helps facilitate the fermentation) and Red Star Premier Cuvée wine yeast. This yeast is similar to Lalvin EC-1118 and is effective even with difficult fermentation mediums, so I was confident it would take hold in the mixture well.

The next day, I checked the progress of the yeast: there wasn’t any foam on top, which would be concerning, except that I knew that Premier Cuvée is a low-foaming yeast. Upon stirring, I could hear the fermentation hissing. It’s alive!

A view into the fermenter

I aerated the must daily for a few more days, then transferred it to a secondary fermenter with airlock. I have high hopes for this brew, and am already planning variations (and Amber lists some in her recipe) with the next batch!

Interested in how this wine progresses? Stay tuned for updates!

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