Tepache is a traditional Latin American fermented pineapple drink. This is a very refreshing light tangy drink. This Instructable will cover; what occurs during the lacto fermentation process, bottle conditioning, and of course... How to make tepache!
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Step 1: WHAT YOU WILL NEED
Ingredients List. I do not have exact measurements as this is an exact science...
- 2 Pineapples (Organic is better because any pesticide could be harmful to the beneficial bacteria)
- Ginger (Fresh root is better)
- Cinnamon stick
- Piloncillo (I used brown sugar)
- Distilled water (Tap water contains chlorine that inhibits bacteria growth. I used tap and it worked find)
- brewing bottles (make sure they are brewing bottles to ensure they can withstand the pressure)
- cutting board
- fermenting jar (anything with a lid could work)
- bottle capper
- PH meter
Make sure to sanitize all equipment. you will be creating the ideal environment for bacteria.
Step 2: PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS
Do not wash the pineapple as the skin contains many different bacteria and yeast that make tepache.. tepache!
Remove the woody core of the pineapple and dispose. Cut the remaining pineapple into half inch thick pieces. Add 1 cup of brown sugar and cloves into the fermenting jug. Pour some water in the jug and shake to get the brown sugar mixed in. Add the pineapple cloves and cinnamon sticks. Add more water until the level is a few inches below the the top.
Step 3: LACTO FERMENTATION
Lacto fermentation is what gives tepache its distinct tangy taste.
Lacto refers to a species of bacteria, most important is Lactobacillus bacteria. This is a bacteria that converts sugars into carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Carbon dioxide and lactic acid are two ways to preserve food and to keep harmful bacteria at bay. The carbon dioxide helps create an anaerobic environment which will keep molds and bad bacteria smothers while the good bacteria has the perfect conditions to multiply.
to ensure that no oxygen is touching the pineapple I like to put a ziplock bag filled with water on top of everything.
I store everything in the fermenting jug which allows excess gasses to bubble out. If you are using a regular jug with a closing lid, make sure to burp the jar daily. This will release the extra pressure so as not to explode wonderful tepache and not wonderful shards of glass everywhere.
Let the fermenting jar sit in a warm room undisturbed for 4-5 days.
Step 4: SCOBY
After your tepache has sat for a few days you will notice a SCOBY on top of the tepache. SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. This is the good stuff that is turning the sugars in the pineapple and brown sugar into delicious tangy flavors.
Step 5: BOTTLE CONDITIONING
At this point the tepache has developed its distinct flavor and is ready to drink. However, I like my tepache carbonated.
I like to check the PH of the tepache. Botulism spores cannot reproduce in acidic environments. Lacto fermentation produces acid, but I like to check anyways so I don't kill myself or my family. Anything below PH 4.6 is safe.
Carbon dioxide has a unique ability to dissolve into water to equalize the pressure. Most beers and sodas are produced by adding CO2 in a pressurized container where it will soak into the liquid. Being DIYers we do not have the ability to pressurize any container with CO2, so we have to bottle condition them.
Begin by filtering out the juice only. the bacteria is still very alive and active in the juice and there is still sugars to be eaten. pour juice in the bottles leaving some head space. Cap the bottle.
the bacteria will produce CO2 and it will build up in the bottle. The CO2 will build up and dissolve into the tepache, pressurizing and carbonating the bottle.
Let the bottles sit for another day or two to build up pressure. I let the bottles sit in a sink so if the cap pops off there is an easy mess to clean up.
Step 6: ENJOY
After a day or two of bottle conditioning your tepache is carbonated and ready to enjoy!
Pop the bottle into the fridge to stop(Slow down drastically) the fermentation process.
I like my tepache with a nice mexican style lager or 2:1 with some nice spiced rum.
I hope you enjoyed my first Instructable! All and any feedback is welcome!