Tepache is one of the best fermented drinks you can make at home: it’s very affordable and easy as fuck. It has all the benefits from a probiotic drink and all the vitamins from the pineapple; because unlike other Tepache recipes, we are using the whole fruit, not just the rind and the core. So, if you want to learn how to make Tepache, carry on reading.
I’m using white sugar to get a light yellow colour that reflects the presence of pineapple. However, I know the amount and kind of sugar used for this recipe can be a concern but scare not: sugar is the food that will feed the wild yeasts and bacteria, which will turn it into healthy acids, CO2 and a little alcohol. By the end of a 5 days fermentation, a big part of the sugar is gone. The longer you will leave your Tepache to ferment, the less sugar it will have and the sourer it will be.
This is a trial and error process where you will need to adjust the sugar to your liking and the period of time you are going to drink your Tepache. I’m using this amount because I ferment mine for 5 days. After that time, I bottle it to give it some effervescence and keep it in the fridge, as it will take me at least two weeks to drink the 8 bottles I get in every batch.
Anyway, I’m not qualified to give any nutritious or healthy habits advice but having a sweet treat from time to time is not going to hurt you, especially if you are a physically active person who has a balanced diet. However, if you don’t move too much and your diet is kinda wrong, maybe you should consider eating lighter for dinner, going for a walk everyday and replenish yourself with a little glass of sweet, tangy and refreshing Tepache.
How to make Tepache
- 1 pineapple
- 15 cardamom pods
- 500 gr white sugar
- 5 litres of water
- 5 litre food grade or fermentation plastic bucket or a 5 litre glass jar
- Let’s start by washing your bucket or jar thoroughly. You don’t need to sanitize your containers or equipment, just wash your stuff nicely and please, please, please, rinse it good!
- Take the seeds from the cardamom pods and give them a good grind with two or three tbsp of sugar using a pestle and mortar. Add this to a saucepan with 1 litre of water and the rest of the sugar.
- Dissolve the sugar in some warm water and put it in your container. Add some extra water to cool it down as quickly as possible. You want this to have a room temperature to make your microbes comfortable.
- Rinse the pineapple lightly under the tap to remove any insect or debris from the rind. Then, cut the leaves and the bottom and discard them.
- Cut the pineapple in quarters, remove the rind and the core, and set them aside. Chop the pineapple flesh and blend it with some water to break the fibers and extract as much juice as possible. Add this juice -pulp included- to the bucket. You will sieve everything at the end of the fermentation.
- Top the bucket with some fresh water, leaving a good 5 cm to the top. Give this liquid a good stirl. Close the bucket with the lid, leaving it loose to let the gases escape and not build up pressure that will cause a mess.
- Place the bucket in a warm spot of your kitchen. Depending on the temperature, the fermentation will start after 2 or 3 days. The Tepache will be ready in 5-7 days. After that time, your Tepache is ready to drink.
- If you are not planning to drink it in one go, I strongly suggest you bottle it and keep it in the fridge.
- Stir your Tepache almost every day to ensure a good distribution of microbes in the liquid.
- Taste your drink after day 5, to check how the taste and sugar levels change. The warmer the spot is, the quicker the fermentation will be and the faster the sweetness will disappear.
- To sieve your Tepache, use a clean kitchen towel. Remove the big pieces, place your kitchen towel in a big container and carefully pour the liquid. This will leave all the bits behind and your drink will be nicer to drink. If you want an extra layer of food safety, boil your kitchen towel for 15-20 minutes and leave it to cool down to room temperature before straining.
- To give your Tepache effervescence, leave the bottles at room temperature for one or two days. Keep them in the fridge after that time.
- Drink your Tepache in the next 10-14 days. The longer you will leave it, the sourer and less sweet it will taste. The temperature in the fridge slows the yeast, but they carry on eating the sugar and turning it into CO2.
- For that reason, if you leave your Tepache for long in the fridge, be careful when you open the bottles, as they can have lots of pressure inside and will make a serious mess in your kitchen.