FERMENTING IN ISOLATION! How To Make Tepache (Pineapple Beer)
We’re stuck in isolation in Fiji, we have limited supplies and budget. So, there has never been a better time to hone in on our fermentation skills!
Why? Because fermentation is cool…and not just because that’s where alcohol comes from.
- It’s an ancient technique used to preserve food.
- Fermented foods are loaded with probiotics and are good for our gut.
- Saves us money.
- It helps us be more self-sustainable.
- It creates less waste.
- We can make a lot from a little.
- Super-duper easy.
We asked you last week for suggestions on our next video and the response was overwhelming, “we want those beer recipes”.
We’ve been making ginger beer and Tepache (pineapple beer) here in Fiji because both ingredients are affordable and plentiful. We’re sharing our Tepache recipe first because it’s insanely simple and super tasty.
I am sooo glad you requested this recipe and if you aren’t already a fermenting fiend, hopefully this will be your gateway experimentation.
Because if you haven’t gotten into the world of fermentation, you are missing out on one of nature’s most rewarding adventures!
Please let us know how your first batch of Tepache goes. Show off your new homebrew skills on Instagram and tag us in your photos!
Tepache – Homebrewed Pineapple Beer
This fermented pineapple drink is made from the peels of the pineapple (the part we would typically throw away!). Pineapple is a sugary-sweet when fully ripe, so it lends itself well to fermentation.
We first learned about Tepache in Mexico and there are variations all throughout Central and South America. Some recipes call for spices such as cinnamon and clove…but we prefer to keep it simple and jazz it up when serving.
- Cutting board
- Knife: gonewiththewynns.com/product/knives-sharpener
- Measuring cup & spoon
- Fermentation vessel: We are using 2 x 1.5 liter plastic bottles.
- Airlock: Balloons
RECOMMENDED: We have a setup on the boat like this…
- Fermentation Jug & Airlock: https://amzn.to/3gh2pmn
- Glass Grolsch-Style Beer Brewing Fermenting Bottles: https://amzn.to/3bTTKmh
- 1 medium pineapple
- 1 cup of sugar (raw or brown sugar)
- 2.5 liters of purified water
- ½ tsp of yeast (bakers, brewers, champagne)
Remove the top & bottom of the pineapple. Cut as usual leaving around 1/4 inch of fruit on each peel. Set fruit aside to eat later (or freeze for ice cubes!).
Proof Yeast in a little bit of water and sugar.
Combine pineapple, sugar, water, and yeast. Stir or shake, cover or use an airlock.
Place in a warm spot (NOT IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT) and allow to ferment for 1 to 5 days. The warmer it is, the faster it will ferment. It’s an average of 85 degrees inside our apartment here in Fiji and that is also typical for our boat. We ferment for 2 days (30-40 hours), cap it (or transfer to Grolsch-Style glass bottles) for carbonation (half a day or more) and then place it in the fridge.
Check the flavor daily to find your preferred taste. The longer it ferments, the less sweet, more dry and sour it will become (think beer or champagne flavors).
Alcohol By Volume – How Alcoholic Is It?
As with most fermentations, tepache does contain a very small amount of alcohol (similar to kombucha).
If you want more alcohol (of course you do), add in yeast (baker’s yeast will do in a pinch but preferably brewer’s or champagne yeast). My guess would be less than 1% within the first two days of fermentation. By day 5-7 we’re probably at 3-6%.
But, without a hydrometer we won’t know exactly what our ABV% is. Hydrometers are super easy to use and here is one under $15: https://amzn.to/3cXhsQ8
If you make a batch and test it, please let us know your results!!!
If you are making this for the under 21 family members, keep your fermentation times shorter (24-48 hours) and/or skip the yeast.
But…no matter what, be sure to taste test each day so you don’t end up with vinegar.
COVID-19 UPDATE IN FIJI
Fiji had a total of 18 coronavirus cases and ZERO deaths. There haven’t been any new cases of COVID-19 since April 21st. This means Fiji hasn’t had any new (confirmed) cases of coronavirus in over 30 days! Fingers crossed they announce us COVID Free soon and open up the borders.
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