Hopped Cider Recipe

For those who’ve been into our hop fridge you will know the distinct aromas and the citrus-pine flavours hops can impart into your beer. But did you know that hops work well in cider too? Hopped ciders are simply made by introducing hops, either pelleted or fresh off the vine hops, during the secondary fermentation process. Secondary fermentation occurs when you have stopped seeing bubbles in your airlock, or the specific gravity measurement reads 1.010 or below. This could take between 10-14 days depending on your ambient temperature.

Which hops should you use? Well, the key is to pick a hop that marries with the flavours already present in an apple cider. A cider being floral, citrusy & lemony. With that in mind, we recommend using fruity hops such as Cascade, Citra, Amarillo, Simcoe, Galaxy, Centennial or Nelson Sauvin. Then, because we can’t help but be extra, we like adding a crushed dried lime in as well which imparts a complex citrus boost to the cider (find instructions on how to make your own dried limes at the end of this recipe).

This recipe will yield 11.5 litres of final product.


  • 11.5 litres of fresh pressed apple juice
  • 30 grams of hop pellets of choice
  • 1 teaspoon of Mangrove Jack’s M02 cider yeast
  • 60ml of water heated to between 40-42 deg Celsius



  1. Sanitise your 15 L carboy with no-rinse sanitiser.
  2. Sanitise a glass with no rinse sanitiser. Fill with boiling water, use thermometer to ascertain when water has cooled to between 40-42 deg Celsius. Pitch yeast by sprinkling it over the hot water. Stir gently & allow to rest for 30 minutes until it has reached room temperature.
  3. Take a sample of the juice & measure the specific gravity with the hydrometer, make a record of the measurement.
  4. Pour the fresh juice into the carboy.
  5. Pour the rested yeast mixture into the carboy (be sure to add some extra juice into the glass, swirl & add back to the carboy to ensure you have got all the yeast).
  6. Place lid onto carboy, insert the airlock & fill with water to where indicated. Aim to keep your cider at between 13-18 deg Celsius.
  7. Once secondary fermentation is complete, Sanitise a second carboy & fill your sanitised hop sock or stainless steel hop filter with hops of choice & place into new carboy. Siphon your fermented cider into the new carboy letting it wash through the hops. Be sure to avoid drawing lees out from the base of the original carboy.
  8. Apply carboy lid with water filled airlock. Ferment for 2 weeks at between 14-18 deg Celsius.
  9. Taste at the 2 week mark. Continue to ferment for an extra week if you would like to impart more hop flavour.
  10. Take final specific gravity measurement with hydrometer to measure your final ABV.
  11. Remove hops & siphon cider into sanitised bottles.
  12. Store for at least 4 weeks in a cool environment out of direct sunlight, in this manner they will keep for a year. The flavour will continue to change and develop over time.

As discussed above, if you want to impart complex citrus flavours to your hopped cider add a crushed dried lime or two at Step 7 in your hop sock or stainless steel hop filter with your hops.


These limes can be bought from Middle Eastern grocers or simply make your own by adding a half dozen limes to a boiling pot consisting of 4 cups of water plus 2 tablespoons of salt for 5-10 minutes. Remove limes and allow to cool. Then either string through twine using a sturdy needle & hang to dry or simply place in a dehydrator for 2-3 days.

Recipe from The Big Book of Cidermaking; Expert techniques for fermenting and flavouring your favourite hard cider. C & K Shockey, 2020. Storey Publishing.

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