Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Homemade Tepache (Fermented Pineapple Drink)

I have to admit, I do miss some things about Florida, especially since I know my citrus trees are in full fruit and we cannot enjoy them.  And, we have gotten more snow here in the past week than I've seen in the past 20 years of my life!  Our friends down south have been enjoying 70-80 degree weather... Winter is definitely the time to visit south Florida, and I am coming to understand why all those snow birds travel so far!

But, I was so excited when I saw that another of my favorite tropical treats was on sale at my local King Soopers:  pineapples!  Right now, they are $1 apiece!   So, I am going to make a tropical drink called tepache that reminds me of warmer climates :) 

What you'll need for homemade tepache:

2 pineapple skins and cores, washed 
filtered, non-chlorinated water
1-2 cups sugar (depending on taste)
1 T powdered cinnamon (you could also add cloves)

Although pineapples are not one of the "dirty dozen" fruits, I am not taking any chances- I gave these babies a nice bath in water and white vinegar to rinse off any residual pesticides.  I will be using the skin to ferment this drink, much like homemade ACV.

Once the pineapples are washed thoroughly, I cut off the skin (and about 1/4-1/2" fruit).  Save the interior fruit for eating!

Put the skins (and cores) into a two-gallon fermenting crock or glass jar.  Just cover the skins with filtered, non-chlorinated water that has been sweetened with 1-2 cups sugar.  I also added a couple tablespoons ground cinnamon and 1/4 c whey.  Stir until everything is combined, then cover with a secured towel.

On day 3 (it will be a shorter period for warmer climates), you will notice a layer of bubbly scum on the surface of your brew.  Just skim this off and re-cover the fermentation vessel! You will need to check for scum on day 4 and 5, and skim off whatever comes to the surface...

Day 5:  Bottling Day!

Since I am in a colder climate, I let my tepache ferment for 5 days.  Bottle yours any time between the 3 and 5-day mark.  The earlier you bottle, the sweeter it will be.  I like tart drinks :)  If you bottle earlier, you will have a better chance at putting it away while still bubbly, although mine was still bubbly on day 5! 

I made just enough tepache to fill a one-gallon re-purposed cider jug.  It is still a touch sweet, so I am leaving mine out on the counter overnight.  This will help the good bacteria consume the remaining sugar.  

If you've never had tepache, it is very pineapple-y.  It is a tropical thirst-quencher and a bubbly treat (even on a cold winter day!).  

So, enjoy this tropical treat and think of warmer days to come!  
To view the the original, inspiring post on Cultures for Health, click here.

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