Pineapple Tepache

Tepache is a fermented beverage that is made using pineapple rind, sugar, and water. Often spices like Cinnamon and Chili Flakes are added for flavor! “Tepache dates from Pre-Columbian Mexico, as a popular drink among the Nahua people of central Mexico; in the Nahuatl (also known as Aztec) language, the word tepiātl means “drink made from corn”. Originally, corn (maize) was the base of tepache, but the contemporary recipe for tepache uses pineapple rinds as the foodstuff fermented to produce the tart drink that is tepache. Some varieties of tepache, known as tepache de tibicos, are fermented using symbiotic cultures of tibicos.” -Wikipedia

To begin, rinse your whole pineapple under cold water to remove any dirt or bugs. Do not use soap, vinegar or hot water as this will kill the necessary yeast and bacteria! Cut up your pineapple, saving the all of the rind and core. Making Tepache is a GREAT way to minimize food waste! Add the rind and core to a large bowl, crock or jar and cover with filtered water (anything non-chlorinated). The amount of water will be about 3 quarts, but it does not need to be exact.

Pineapple rind and water

The next step is adding the sugar. Any sugar can be used, but Piloncillo or a dark brown sugar is the traditional method and gives a very nice flavor. Whichever sugar you choose, you need about 1-2 cups depending on the water amount you have. The water should taste sweet but not syrupy. In 3 quarts of water, you will use about a 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Dissolve the sugar by boiling, cooling, and adding, or by stirring until it is dissolved. At this point you can add a cinnamon stick if you’d like!

Tepache after 48 hours

When you have everything in your vessel, weight the pineapple rind under the water using a plate, jar, small bowl, or anything non-porous. This will help prevent the growth of kahm yeast, which is not harmful, but changes the flavor of the Tepache. Cover your vessel with a towel, plate, or lid, and place in a dark corner of your kitchen. No sunlight, please! Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, the Tepache will need about 48 hours to get a nice flavor. Continue to taste as it sits! It will get a bit tangy as the sugars are converted, and it will develop lots of bubbles! There should still be a bit of sweetness in the final product.

Bottling Tepache to create carbonation!

When the Tepache is finished on the counter, strain out the solids. (They are great for compost!) You can transfer the Tepache to the fridge, pour over ice, and enjoy! Or you can transfer the Tepache to swing-top or Grolsch bottles to create carbonation. Fill the bottle to the shoulder for optimal carbonation. Place filled and capped bottles back in the dark corner of your kitchen for 12-48 hours. ***IMPORTANT*** Depending on the batch, every batch varies, the Tepache can become extremely carbonated! Take great care in opening the bottle! Check the Tepache after 12 hours for bubbles. When you are satisfied, transfer the bottles to the fridge and enjoy!

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