We utilize tepache in our drink for episode 22, the Bali Pimm’s. Tepache is a Mexican fermented pineapple beverage. It is sweetened with either piloncillo or brown sugar. This is a great way to dip your toes in the warm, funky waters of fermentation. It was super easy to do and is pretty delicious. It is traditionally served over ice or mixed with beer.
These are merely suggestions. A tepache really only need sugar and pineapple. The rest is up to you!
1 large cone a piloncillo (about 1 lb., or 1 lb. brown sugar)
1 whole ripe fresh pineapple
1 cinnamon stick
2 in. chuck ginger
1. Heat water in a large pot until it boils. Take off the heat and add the sugar. Stir until dissolved.
2. Prep the pineapple. Cut the crown off and discard. Gently wash the outside of the pineapple to remove any dirt our bugs. If possible, get an organic pineapple and only briefly rinse off. There are good bacteria on the outside that will help with the fermentation, so we don’t want to wash all the off.
3. Cut the pineapple into chunks, with the peel on. Discard the core as it can make your tepache bitter.
4. Transfer the sugar water and all your ingredients into whatever vessel you will be doing the fermentation in. Stir to combine. Cover the container with a dishtowel, cheesecloth, loose lid, or fermentation lid. You want to protect it from anything getting in it, but you also want it to breath.
5. Wait 24 to 36 hours, and check. If you see frothy white foam on the surface of the liquid then you have fermentation! You can drink it as is or let it ferment another day or two. If you don’t see any white foam, cover it and leave for another 24 hours. The fermentation will vary based on a lot of different factors like sugar content, how ripe the pineapple was, temperature, and others.
6. Once you have reached your preferred level of fermentation, strain out the solids and transfer the liquid to its final receptacle and refrigerate.
Refrigerate tepache will keep for up to a month, and slowly continue to ferment. How long it keeps is really based on how funky you can handle your beverages. You can also bottle it in carbonation safe bottles and leave it at room temp to continue fermenting and get bubbly.
Before serving, take a test drink. Add more water or sugar to taste. Serve over ice, in beer, or in our case, a Bali Pimm’s cocktail!