Watch the recipe video here:
What is tepache?
Tepache! Pronounced teh-PAH-chay. A delicious pineapple drink that originates from Mexico and is the best way to reuse pineapple skins (peels/rinds) I’ve found. So far.
Sometimes tepache is called “pineapple beer” or “pineapple brew.” But similar to ginger beer, this isn’t actually beer. However, there is some alcohol in the final product, I’ll write more about that below. And beer, by definition, is a drink made from yeast-fermented malt flavored with hops. There’s no malt or hops in this drink, and the yeast we will use is naturally occurring on the pineapple skin.
There are actually a few similarities between making tepache and ginger beer. Both recipes call for using the skin of the plant, which then ferments in sugar and water, the byproduct being carbonation and a low amount of alcohol.
Except unlike ginger beer, tepache isn’t carbonated — you only seal the bottle with a cheesecloth, so the bubbles escape. And also unlike ginger beer, tepache isn’t spicy. At all.
Tepache is mildly sweet, slightly tangy, and pineapple-y. Like a light pineapple juice.
Time until finished:
From start to finish, tepache is ready to drink in less than 2 days. Usually about 36 hours.
One last very important note:
if you are in any way confused about which type of alcohol is safe to drink, please read the “Common sense warning” at the bottom of this page. Never add methanol, isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, methanol, glycerol, ethylene glycol or propylene glycol to anything a human or animal is going to consume (eat or drink). These are cleaning solvents, anti-freeze, and other absolutely toxic substances that will kill you.
How is this a low-waste recipe?
- 1 64oz mason jar
- Cheese cloth
- The skin of one pineapple
- 3/4 cup of brown sugar, sugar, or maple syrup
- 6 cups of water
- 3 cloves (optional)
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- Select a ripe pineapple (not too green, not too orange) it should smell like a pineapple when you sniff the fruit.
- Rinse off the pineapple. If you’re planning on regrowing the pineapple, try to keep the leaves dry. (For tips on how to regrow your pineapple, click here before continuing to the next step).
- With a sharp knife, carefully slice off the top and bottom of the fruit, about 1/2 inch thick, and compost. I find these areas harbor a lot of mold so I generally don’t use them in my tepache.
- Remove the skin from the pineapple. (You can cut up the fruit and serve immediately or store it in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for years. I love frozen pineapple in my smoothies!)
- Stuff the skin in the mason jar, add the sugar, and fill 1/2 inch from the top with water – approximately 6 cups worth.
- Seal the mason jar with a cheese cloth and set on a counter for 12-24 hours.
That’s pretty much the whole recipe. Depending on how warm your kitchen is, the fermentation can take anywhere from 12-24 hours. And again, because this isn’t sealed tightly, this drink isn’t going to be fizzy like the ginger beer. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from sealing it to make a carbonated drink, just make sure you’re burping it regularly. so the glass doesn’t explode.
After 24 Hours:
After 24 hours, you will notice a white foam on the surface of the drink. That’s totally normal! Just skim it off and discard. Your tepache is totally drinkable at this stage, but if you wait an extra 12-24 hours, the alcohol content should increase by about 1%.
DON’T GO LONGER THAN 48 HOURS!
Unlike ginger beer which gets stronger with age, tepache will actually turn into a not-very-palatable pineapple vinegar. Not super refreshing. But PERFECT for pickling peppers, so don’t toss it if you forget about it! You can even cook with it.
When you’re ready to drink it, strain out the solids – toss them into your compost – and pop that delicious pineapple drink into the fridge to chill and serve. You can pop a little cinnamon stick in there for garnish if that makes you happy.
It doesn’t make me happy, personally. It just hits me in the face when I try to drink it. I don’t need that kind of abuse in my life…. not from a piece of bark.
Store any leftover tepache in the fridge for about a day. This stuff doesn’t really stay fresh too long. So if you don’t drink it quickly, you might end up with vinegar. You can freeze this as well, but it might not taste quite as fresh when it thaws.
How To Regrow a Pineapple:
How does fermentation create ethanol?
When yeast feeds on sugar during the fermentation process, the byproduct is carbon dioxide (fizziness) and ethanol (alcohol).
So basically, yeast eats sugar then farts out C02 and ethanol, and boom there’s ya booze.
COMMON SENSE WARNING:
NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER ADD METHANOL, ISOPROPYL (RUBBING) ALCOHOL, GLYCEROL, ETHYLENE GLYCOL, OR PROPYLENE GLYCOL INTO ANYTHING YOU ARE GOING TO CONSUMER. EVER.
Caps lock= super serious.
In fact, unless the item has nutritional information listed on the package, don’t eat it. It’s probably not food. That’s a pretty good rule of thumb.
Because you will die in a painful and awful way.
Fermentation creates ETHANOL – a form of alcohol that is much less deadly.
But let’s be real: no alcohol is truly “safe” to drink. Everything is toxic – it just depends on the dose (yes, that includes water and oxygen). But comparing ethanol to methanol or rubbing alcohol or, shoot, anti-freeze…. ethanol is certainly much less toxic and in moderate amounts is generally okay, like drinking the occasional beer or glass of wine. But it’s obviously not ideal to chug a gallon of vodka, that would probably kill you, too.
METHANOL OR ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL SHOULD NEVER BE CONSUMED AND A TINY AMOUNT WILL KILL YOU. Sorry, had to say it again.
****Always consumer alcohol responsibly when you are of legal age.****