FERMENTING IN ISOLATION! How To Make Tepache (Pineapple Beer)
We got curious about fermentation a couple of years ago. We started out making yogurt and sourdough, then kombucha and now we’ve gone fermenting crazy.
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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Hi people, kindly guide me on how to preserve my tepache other than fridge
Just got the Tepache bottled and in the frig. Tasted it and not sweet at all. Cold weather where I am at and temp in house around 72. Fermented for 72 hours put in bottles and left out for about three hours. Hopefully by tomorrow it will be ready for football games.
thank you so much for your information,my question is about how to preserve tepache apartfrom refrigiration, thanks for your response
Maybe bottle it like beer or wine? You’ll have to do an internet search.
So, Tepache just exploded all over my kitchen – Yosemite in Colorado – very cool if not just a bit messy! When you cap the bottle for the carbonation stage do you still use the cap with the slit in it and keep the balloon on it or a normal cap? i assumed for carbonation i would need to seal it completely and oh boy did that work! yikes!
Love love love your vlog! have been following you since you started sailing – we went to sailing school at about the same time as you did. Had plans to vacay in BVIs to take out two different cats to decide which one we were going to buy so that we could begin our process of putting a boat into Charter until our kids graduate from HS and then begin sailing around the world. While the kids in school will just use the charter program to show them the world via sailboat. But alas, Covid has affected us all and our process will hopefully begin next summer with that BVI vacation and boat purchase.
Hope you get home soon!
Oh no!! I had some happy yeast blow the airlock off a batch of fermenting porter (dark beer) once. That cleanup is big fun! Beer dripping from the ceiling and running down the walls. Hopefully your mess wasn’t quite as bad.
Once the initial fermentation has finished, you can cap it to carbonate BUT you must be very sure it’s done. As the yeast consume the sugar during fermentation most of them will die off when they run out of food, but some always survive to capping or kegging & continue to produce CO2. A keg or glass bottle can withstand the added pressure but I’m guessing the plastic will not. If you want to cap it in the plastic bottles, I’d suggest refrigerating it to prevent explosions. If you’re making big batches & there’s no room to refrigerate, you may want to invest in some glass bottles with the ceramic flip tops.
Oh goodness, you do have to watch those bottles closely, especially plastic. We do completely seal it off to trap the carbonation after it is fermented. We only let them set out at room temp for a few hours and then put them in the fridge. You can always put it directly in the fridge if you are headed out the door. It will still be carbonated.
Thank you – i will try putting in the fridge sooner. It was fine until i removed the cap and then the geiser happened! going to try pineapple and kiwi this week.
Nice diversion from all of the USA news right now, so thank you !! Loved the bloopers🤣
I watched this video on making pineapple beer and wanted to tell you our outcome. We followed your instructions (I did add some ginger because I had some) and fermented the brew for 3 days (we had a heat wave for 3 days and the kitchen was pretty warm). The first sip kind of tasted vinegary, but the second sip not so much. After a few more sips it I could feel the alcohol (it was strong) and wish I had a hydrometer to test it. I put the batch in mason jars and will report back after I give some to a few friends and get their opinions (guinea pigs haha).
Thanks for sharing. I happened to have a pineapple awaiting slicing so I gave it a try. It was so easy & good! I had an airlock from a past failed attempt to ferment so I put that to use. (It’s too hot most of the time where I live so things can go downhill fast!) I can’t wait to make another batch!
You guys are always fun to watch. Gives a whole new meaning to lemons and lemonade. Maybe you could turn it into a propulsion system for a new toy or a boat, sail optional. Thanks for the entertainment, love kitty 😻👣.
I loved the fermentation video and am sure you will take what you’ve learned in Fiji and continue your experiments when you get home to Curiosity. Fun times. Thanks, as always, for sharing the fun. You guys are amazing. Hope Pip continues to thrive! You are her saviors. 😻 Stay safe, well and sane! 🤣😜⛵️💞🙏
Rum, definitely needs rum…and maybe an umbrella! BTW, I received a very nice Thank You from Fiji Animals. It’s always nice to know the funds were received half way around the world. Thank you for your help with the animals 🙂
Undeniably needs an umbrella! Thank you for donating and so happy they sent you a nice note in response.
This was interesting to watch after your fun episode with the process! Thanks for being so creative and give Pip a squeeze from me. xox
Interesting when you say that the water in Fiji is not always safe and locals suggest boiling it. Yet the primary thing that we can think of that we import from Fiji is WATER.
Right, we thought exactly the same thing! Turns out most of the population here doesn’t have access to clean drinking water. Americans probably have easier access to clean Fiji water than the Fijians do. We’ll most likely touch on this in an upcoming episode.
The dull knife is sad and dangerous.
You can actually sharpen a knife on the bottom side of a ceramic coffee mug , the area without glazing.
Worth a shot.
Ha, we will have to give it a try. Because it is worth a shot!
Ted and Lisa Troan
Hi Jason and Nikki,
I have to say you both are the coolest couple ever! We saw the first video of yours when you first were in isolation in Fiji, riding out Cyclone Harold, and we were hooked! We went back to the early videos of your venture from RV’ing to buying a boat, and we have watched every single episode, and the RV videos. All during isolation! So thank you for the entertainment! In 2005 my husband and I bought a boat in Miami and sailed to Fiji. We knew nothing about boats, sailing, or the worries and hard work that came with the territory. We had our 16 year old daughter and 9 year old son taking the journey with us too. We went thru the Panama Canal, to Galápagos, Nuku Hiva, past the Tuamotus, Niue, Tahiti, and Tonga before our stop in Fiji, where we lived for three years. We sold our boat and she resides there now in Pacific Harbour. We absolutely loved Fiji, and we left our hearts there. Watching you both there now makes our hearts overflow with great memories! We just now watched your vlog on fermentation. We too made beer there, and I made wine from our guava tree on property. And passionfruit wine. All most delicious! Because we were new to sailing when we left Miami, we learned everything by experience and hands-on training. I was encouraged to write a book about our sailing adventures, and I did. It is entitled “Ship Happens” under my name Lisa Troan. Seeing your vlogs makes us relive what we did as a family. We experienced so much, and learned along the way. We wouldn’t trade that for anything. We enjoy your adventurous spirit and your drive from curiosity. It’s what makes life extra special, right? Keep the awesome vlogs going. We love them! Thanks for all your hard work in getting them out!
Wow, what an adventure you have been on! I will have to look up the book, thanks for sharing that. I bet your kids look back on that time with fond memories too. Fresh tropical fruits are simply the best. Turn them into wine…even better! I will have to try fermenting guava. That sounds divine!
Ted and Lisa Troan
Yes, it was a great adventure for our whole family! We admire your sense of adventure and your very professional and informative videos. Vlogging was not a thing yet when we were sailing, so keeping a daily journal was,my means of recording our journey. I hope you look at my book! We sailed 10,000 miles in 4 1/2 months, as we had a timeframe to stick to in reaching Fiji. What a ride. We love re-living the adventure thru your journey!
Is this recipe the same portions if using ginger to make ginger beer?
Ginger beer is a little more complicated and I think they are planning another episode with that. Stay tuned!
This We definitely have to try!
These experiments reminded me of our early experiences with making wine. Here is one of our less successful attempts:
THE SET UP:
Living in a Washington DC apartment did not stop our wine making experiments. Early June brought a bumper crop of strawberries so Judy and I went to a upick and got our bounty. Brought them home, washed and mashed them up. Into two plastic tubs (plastic was still a new product) added yeast, pectin, and sugar. Let them ferment for about 3 days. We strained as best we could and put the “must” into 2 5 gal water bottle with air locks installed so the gas could escape. We put them in the tub for security.
There was a distinguishing odor in the apartment by day 5….to say the least. Then we got a call tha my parents and younger brothers were in their way for July 4th in the Nations Capitol. First visit. My mom was ?Pickey?..maybe more. They reached the apt. With mom mentioning the odor. We were doing our best to show off our first home.
My dad stood up and announced he needed the bathroom. Before I could say anything, he was in. About a minute after the door shut, it sounded like a gun went off with a loud hissing noice. This was followed by a louder “GOD DAMNIT” from my dad. He was fighting the door knob with other words we just couldn’t make out.
I got the door open. He was standing with his pants down and covered with strawberry mush. One of the air locks had become plugged (for a time) and blew most of 5 gal of not quite wine all over a 6’ x8’ bathroom with my dad stopping most of it.
🤣😹😂 That is funny! Probably not so much for your dad…but oh my. What a way to impress your parents on their first visit! I needed a laugh, thank you for sharing.
I will leave the fermentation craze to the beer & sourdough lovers out there!
When will Pip get the “cone of shame” off? How about an update on the Animals Fiji fundraiser? I hope you will keep Pip – she is now your family.
Nikki mentioned in a YouTube reply that Pip’s flank is nearly healed, so the cone may come off pretty soon. And they will get us a total as soon as Animals Fiji has the final number. Their director had her baby the same day as the fundraiser so she’s a little bit tired I’ll bet!
We will come back at ya with an update on the fundraiser once it has ended. There are still a few more days. 😁
Joyce H Guthrie
Thanks! That was a very interesting video, I’m going to give it a try. Sorry you guys are stuck in Fiji…but, as I’m sure you have said many times, there are def worse places you could be stuck!
Thank you! I really enjoy your videos, they have a happy vibe to them.
Love the video, love the bloopers, I needed a good deep belly laugh, and got one. Thanks!
I bet Pip likes the brew, too!
Pip is crazy all on her own, no fermentation needed!
Love the videos about how you shop and prepare food and drink. This one was awesome. I make my own kombucha and my mother scobie has produced many babies over the years that I have shared with family and friends and even got my Dr. hooked with making her own kombucha. I start every morning with a glass of kombucha before I eat breakfast. I think fermented drinks are wonderful for a healthy gut as you already know. Are we going to see the ginger beer next?
All I can say is, “Yuk.” haha
You must not be a pineapple fan. 🍍
I’d love to make this in my new van/home, just hope I don’t make it explode (as in your “shower scene”)!
Refreshing video. 🌴🍹
Hope you’ll be on your way to Curiosity on June 13th.
I made ice cubes out of the juice leftover from pickling jalapenos and I am going to make this and add those! YUM.
Oh, I would love to know how that comes out. Interesting combo!
Haha! there is a reason that fermented beverages have gotten us through all of history’s trials! Love the science nerd in you guys!
Hi Nikki, Jason & Pío! That was so cool & educational. I would love to see some more of your food recipes too.
What is the Tonga Covid19 update?
Stay safe, Norma
Tentative border re-opening is set for mid-June but who knows if it will actually happen. They have very few documented cases but they haven’t done many tests so no way to know if it’s accurate.
That looked pretty easy! I think some dark rum would be a nice addition!
That was a fun video! Enjoyed the bloopers!