Let's Make Some Pineapple Beer!

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Introduction: Let's Make Some Pineapple Beer!

I've been making pineapple beer from a young age. Whenever I managed to salvage some pineapple peels before it went to the compost heap, I would drop it in a bowl with some water and sugar and let it stand. A few days later I had some sweet, pineapple flavoured water with a few bubbles. Delicious.

Forward a few years and things got a bit more precise. I started to experiment with quantities and different flavours to get the recipe just right — not only flavour and taste wise, but also to get a bit of buzz from the brew.

In the past I've used an enamel bucket my mother bought years ago for brewing ginger beer. It has a lid with a dome for ventilation and I got about 6 liters of brew from it. But for this Instructable I'm going to upscale everything and go for around 25 liters.

So let's begin...

Step 1: What We Need

Ingredients

4 Pineapples (about 600g each). Make sure they are nice and ripe. Remove the crown and any loose leaves, but do not peel!

1 cup of sugar per liter of water, about 22 cups or 4kg

22 liters of very hot water

2 x 20g packets of granulated yeast (Brewer's yeast)


Equipment

25 liter container/fermentation tank

Blender (sort of optional)

Measuring cup and funnel

Cutting board and knife

Enough 2 liter plastic softdrink bottles to bottle your brew. I never fill my bottles to the top, so keep that in mind. (I do not recommend glass bottles. They can explode.)

Hydrometer (optional)

Step 2: Before We Start...

Clean everything.

Use hot water and soap and clean everything. Your work area, your cutting board, knife and especially your fermentation tank, blender and bottles. Make sure no soap remains in the tank and bottles. Wash the pineapples under running water too.

We do not want unnecessary things to grow in our brew that can alter the flavour or even destroy the brew.

All set? Let's go!

Step 3: Prepare the Pineapple Base

Note: using a blender is optional. I like to get as much flavour and juice out of the fruit. If you do not have access to a blender, just finely chop up the pineapple and collect as much juice from the cutting board.

Chop up a pineapple and put the pieces in the blender. Add 500ml boiling water and, starting with the Pulse function, blend into a smoothie. Pour into the fermentation tank. Repeat the process until all the pineapples are pulped and in the container. Now boil another liter of water and "wash" the blender to get every last bit of pineapple into your tank.

By now we have used 3 liters of water (4 x 500ml + 1 liter). That means we need to add 3 cups of sugar to the tank (since we use 1 cup of sugar per liter of water).

Step 4: Filling the Tank

Now we can start adding the sugar and water. I start by adding 10 cups of sugar to the tank, followed by 10 liters of very hot water. *The water from your hot water tap is fine (if you can drink your tap water of course). The reason we use very hot water is that all chlorine has been evaporated (chlorine can kill the yeast). It also helps the sugar to dissolve.

Continue adding water and sugar until you reach the desired level in your tank. Do not overfill, when the brew starts to ferment, the gasses need to go somewhere.

Before we can add the yeast, the mixture needs to cool down.

* EDIT 2016/07/25: Online forums are divided whether you can use hot water from a tap or whether you should boil the water. I asked a homebrewer I know and he says boil. I've never had any problems with very hot tap water. So... up to you.

Step 5: Adding the Yeast

When the temperature of the mixture reaches about 25-26°C you can add the yeast. If the mixture is too hot it can kill the yeast, too cold and it will not activate.

Put the cap loosely back on the tank. Do not tighten it — the gasses need to escape somewhere. An alternative is to put a clean dishcloth over the opening and keep it in place with a rubber band.

Optional: if you are using a hydrometer you need to take an Original Gravity reading after cooldown but before adding the yeast. (For interest sake, my brew's OG was 1.040.)

Step 6: Ferment

Find a nice warm space for your fermentation tank. Leave it there for at least 7 days.

Step 7: Bottling

After 7 days your brew should be ready for bottling. Take a bucket or any other container and cover it with a cheese cloth or clean dishcloth. I discovered something called mutton cloth and it works really well. Securely fasten the cloth with string. Put the bucket under your fermentation tank and drain your brew through the cloth.

If the bucket becomes full, transfer the liquid to the plastic bottles using a funnel. I use 2 liter bottles and fill it to where the neck part starts. After bottling, fermentation continues. If you want to vent the bottles from time to time or open a bottle to drink, this space will allow you some time to control the venting. Otherwise the brew will just explode out like a geyser.

After bottling, screw on the caps tightly. I leave the bottles outside for another few days to continue fermenting and only put it in the fridge before drinking.

Step 8: Enjoy!

Put your brew in the fridge to cool down. Remember to take your time opening a new bottle. It needs to vent very slowly. Please take my word on this — I've spent too much time cleaning the floor, the roof, myself after rushing the opening. (Those "flowers" you can see on the photo means a lot of fermentation happened after bottling).

Enjoy!

Step 9: One Last Note...

I'm adding an air lock (for venting) and a temperature strip to my fermentation tank. I've ordered it, but it has not arrived in time.

Since you've read this far, here's a bonus: you can use this recipe for ginger and apple beer as well. Substitute the pineapples for 750g fresh ginger or 2,5kg red apples (I haven't tried green apples yet). When making ginger beer, add 2 or 3 chillies to the mix. Well worth it.

I'm waiting for the mango season, because I really want to try mango beer...

Homebrew Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
Homebrew Contest 2016

21 People Made This Project!

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301 Discussions

5
JacoG1
JacoG1

4 years ago

Hi everyone, just a quick update. Today is Day 4 so we are halfway through the fermentation phase. Things are merrily bubbling away and it smells awesome. I am a bit concerned about the temperature, after all it is winter down here in South Africa. But as long as the yeast don't go into hibernation I'm happy.

0
dylanvanderwalt75
dylanvanderwalt75

Reply 5 months ago

Hello Jaco .
Thank you so much for the receipt .

If i left my fermentation only for 4 days and then drink the beer will it work ?

0
JacoG1
JacoG1

Reply 5 months ago

Yes, but the longer you let it stand, the more kick you'll get.

1
geraldinecb78
geraldinecb78

Reply 6 months ago

An old thread I know but my best friend said I should put brew in sun for a bit with a towel over it! Started bubbling more aggressively. We are going into winter now so brought them inside after sunset.

8
JacoG1
JacoG1

4 years ago

Update #3. I won a runner-up prize in the Homebrew 2016 competition with this Instructable! Thanks for all the views, the comments and everybody who voted!

1
JacoG1
JacoG1

4 years ago

Hi everyone, quick update #2. Yesterday was (a very messy) bottling day. I updated the relevant step with photos. The spigot eventually clogged up, but I got a siphon just in case. Everything look and taste really good.

0
Dabshepherd
Dabshepherd

Question 5 months ago on Step 9

Hey man, I'm really keen to try this out it looks great, would it be possible to make this with oranges instead of pineapple? If so would it be the same process?

0
JacoG1
JacoG1

Answer 5 months ago

Somebody here made it with lemons which apparently turned out great. I've always wondered about oranges.

0
quintinvanschalkwyk
quintinvanschalkwyk

Reply 5 months ago

Well Im now making mine with naartjies (Mandarin). Used 3L of water, 2 1/2 cups sugar and yeast. Smells good just have to see how it turns out. Wednesday (20/05/2020) it will be 5 days. Wonder if I should bottle it on day 5 in 2l bottles and leave them to go till Friday day 7 and then put them in fridge and drink?

0
22caseydn22
22caseydn22

Reply 7 weeks ago

How did it turn out?

0
djinniusdjinni
djinniusdjinni

Question 5 months ago

How do I make it less sickly sweet? (other than making a reverse shandy using Bavaria non-alcoholic beer - which tastes great btw)

0
atlindsay75
atlindsay75

Answer 3 months ago

There's 2 ways, use less sugar or a higher alcohol tolerance yeast. Personally I'd go for less sugar, let it run dry and back sweeten to taste.

0
Janine Scheltens
Janine Scheltens

Question 3 months ago

Hi there.
We made a batch a while ago, bottled and left them to ferment on the countertop for probably about near 2 months now...it's a gorgeous clear yellow colour and smells lovely...but do you think safe to drink still?

IMG-20200715-WA0040.jpg
0
Lee-Anne10
Lee-Anne10

4 months ago

We made this but with less yeast and with bakers yeast as we could get brewers yeast. Still tasted great but barely had any gas? Is it suppose be like that? How can I get it to be more bubbly?

0
AngryAustrian76
AngryAustrian76

5 months ago

Thanks, I gave the first batch 4 days, I assume it will still keep fermenting once bottled? The other questions I have is how long does can you store if for if bottled and refrigerated and; can you re-use the solids and 10% to start a new batch by just adding sugar and water or should you start new?


0
djinniusdjinni
djinniusdjinni

Reply 5 months ago

I have a bottle that was bottled on the 15th, left outside the fridge for 3 days to ferment some more, then moved to the fridge, and its still good (today is the 21st.) The yeast somehow hasnt quite died off in the fridge so I still need to air it every day, and its getting hallova strong! Im mixing it with alcohol free beer for a more malty and less sweet taste. Total win!

0
JacoG1
JacoG1

Reply 5 months ago

Normally it keeps fermenting, unless you put it in the fridge. You can store it for a while, I don't know how long because I normally polish it quite quickly.

Start fresh and compost everything left after bottling.

0
Tonyoca
Tonyoca

5 months ago

Hi Jaco
I made the ginger beer and the Pineapple cider. Both gave me an instant headache after 1 glass. What am I doing wrong. Help 🙈

0
JacoG1
JacoG1

Reply 5 months ago

No idea. If it doesn't taste right or you have any doubts, toss it. It normally takes quite a few glasses to give me a headache.

0
Tonyoca
Tonyoca

Reply 5 months ago

Hi Jaco
My Cider has been fermenting for 7 days now. Can I leave it for longer. Or is it better to strain it and decant it now and let it continue fermenting in smaller bottles. Thanks.