Tepache: a Fermented Pineapple Drink

It’s been a while since I’ve been on here to share with you. Boy hasn’t life gone a little crazy in the last couple months?!

My neighbor Lisa sent me a video a couple days ago that got me inspired to try a new fermenting project. I wanted to share it with you because it looks so good, and it’s not a fermented beverage that I had ever heard of before. If you know me at all, you know I like to try new things.

Here’s the video Lisa sent me if you would like to watch it too. This guy, Brad Leone, makes lots of videos on fermentation for bon appétit magazine.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 hot pepper (I used habanero)
  • 2” piece fresh ginger
  • Several cinnamon sticks
  • About 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Water
  • Muddling stick (I used a wooden spoon)
  • Large knife and cutting board
  • Fermentation jar

* Try not to wash ingredients if possible to preserve naturally occurring yeasts on peels. Be sure to buy organic!

Use a large knife to smash your ginger and release the juices. Slice open your pepper and toss it in whole as well.

To cut up your pineapple, cut off the leafy part and the base. Then cut it into quarters long ways. Trim off just the smallest bit of core in the middle then slice it into about half-inch pieces. Add in a handful of slices to the jar.

Dump in your brown sugar then add enough water to cover the ginger, pepper and pineapple. Stir to dissolve the brown sugar. Add your cinnamon sticks too. Then continue adding pineapple.

Once you’ve cut up all your pineapple and put it in the jar, fill it to close to the top with water. Use your muddling stick to bruise the pineapple and release the juices. Make sure everything is mixed well.

Are used my Kilner fermentation jar to make mine which has these nice discs that hold everything under the water and an airlock on top to prevent explosions.

In his video, Brad used a jar with a spring top and a “patented rubber band closure” to self burp and prevent explosions. Any kind of jar that closes but not super tight will let out little bits of gas that need to escape to prevent your jar blowing up. I’ve even used a little crock and just covered it with a linen cloth tied around the top.

Now we wait. Sounds like it takes several days of primary fermentation. Then we strain it into bottles to build carbonation during a second fermentation. To see more about this process check out the video I linked at the top. I’ll try to remember to post to follow up when mine’s done!

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