You’ve probably heard of Kombucha, a fermented tea that’s everywhere on shelves these days. At least here in California. But have you heard of Tepache? It’s a fermented drink made with pineapple. It’s fizzy, a little sweet, a little stanky and really good for gut health.
It can also be made at home! I’ve been making tepache every few weeks for the last couple of years. I’ve perfected my recipe and finally have nailed down what I think is THE BEST homemade tepache. It’s sweet, fizzy and hits the spot on a sunny afternoon.
Note: this homemade Tepache recipe was originally published on our sister blog, Whimsy Soul.
Pineapple is my wife Kara’s favorite fruit. A few years ago while buying not one, not two, but three pineapples at Trader Joe the cashier assumed she must be making a big batch of Tepache. He explained that Tepache is a fermented pineapple drink sort of like kombucha and easy enough to make at home.
Sounded like the perfect kitchen challenge for me. Especailly since we love kombucha, but don’t like the $4-5 price tag per bottle.
Best part about this homemade pineapple drink? It’s brewed with pineapple peels/rinds, so Kara could eat her pineapple and drink it too. What a cool way to use all of the fruit and reduce food waste!
What Is Tepache Anyway?
Pineapple tepache is like kombucha as it’s made via a fermentation process. To me, it tastes like a sweet, fizzy pineapple vinegar soda, or perhaps a pineapple ginger beer. If you love kombucha, you’ll love tepache (and best part is that this recipe is easy and cheap to make at home!)
The tepache drink dates back to Pre-Columbian Mexico, though it’s thought the original recipe used corn instead of fresh pineapple. These days, it’s a popular Mexican food that is drunk all over the world, and is especially found in the kitchens of foodies.
Tepache vs Kombucha
Kombucha is super similar but uses yeast, sugar, tea and tap water. For tepache, we swap the tea with pineapple. And it’s more like a super low alcohol beer with pineapple that also packs tons of health benefits.
Pineapple Beer Benefits
Just like kombucha, pineapple beer is great for your gut! Whenever we can sense that our gut needs a reset (especially after the holidays when we are absolutely drinking too much wine and messing up our gut probiotics.)
- High in Vitamin A, B and minerals like magnesium
- Fights intestinal parasite
- Restores intestinal flora (good for gut health!)
- It’s a diuretic
Does Tepache Have Alcohol?
It’s a fermented drink, so that means it also has an alcohol content. We don’t have anything to measure alcohol with but it’s not too crazy high. Each batch varies slightly, but it ranges from super mild like a traditional kombucha fermented tea to strong enough as a single pale ale if you let it ferment too long.
I usually only drink tepache in the afternoon or when I know I don’t have to drive anywhere, just in case it’s a batch of high alcohol pineapple beer. In general, it’s nothing more than a regular batch of kombucha and we can still function perfectly fine after drinking it.
Pineapple Beer Recipe: How To Make Tepache At Home
There are a few various recipes but I’ve tested this one over months and tons of different batches. Kara was the official taste tester and cheerleader, and she says that this recipe I’m sharing is the best of the best.
It’s easy — you’ll need a glass container or glass bottles, like a glass jug or growler. Ensure it’s really clean before you make the tepache to prevent mold from growing in the jar. I always wash it twice and it air dry in a clean spot on the counter.
First, make sure the pineapple you are using is ripe. We live in San Francisco so we buy our pineapples from the grocery store, though if you are lucky and have a pineapple tree available to you to harvest fresh, that’s even better.
Start by cutting up your fresh, ripe pineapple as your normally would by separating the fruit from the core and peels.Toss the head in the compost, store the fruit to eat, and keep the core and pineapple peel to use in your tepache!
Remember to cut the slices of pineapple thin enough so they fit through the top of your container. We once made this mistake and it was super hard to get the pieces back out after making our batch of fermented pineapple beer homebrew.
Ok, so you cut the fruit. Before you put the pineapple in the bottle, mix the brown sugar with 8 cups of water directly into the container. Go by 1/2 a cup at a time so the sugar mixes in with the water well (shake it a little if needed!) Sometimes I instead prefer to mix the sugar and water in a pyrex glass and then pour into the jar.
Once that is mixed, simply add the remaining ingredients into the jug and top it off with 8 more cups of water. Instead of screwing the lid back on, cover it with a cheesecloth and let sit for 3 days. Then, bottle it for 2 days before putting it in the fridge, or opening to drink.
How Long To Ferment Tepache?
You’ll know it’s fermenting when white bubbles start to gather on the top, but keep your patience. I tested all sorts of combos of time and nailed down that 3 days fermenting and then 2 days getting carbonated makes the best pineapple beer.
Prepping Tepache Bottle
- Clean your glass jug thoroughly
- Let air dry
Brewing Tepache Pineapple Beer
- Thinly slice the pineapple rinds/peel and fresh ginger so they are small enough to fit through the opening of your glass jug. Set aside.
- Mix the sugar with 8 cups of water directly into the container.
- Go by 1/2 a cup at a time so the sugar mixes in with the water well (shake it a little if needed!)
- Add the pineapple, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves into the jar.
- Top with 8 cups water.
- Cover with cheesecloth.
- Set jug covered in cheesecloth for 3 days on a shelf out of direct sunlight.
- After 3 days, put the plastic lid back on the jug and let sit for another 2 days.
- When those 2 days are up, remove the fruit from the jug and re-cap
- BOOM - your homemade tepache is ready to drink!
- Keep it chilled in the fridge.
Make a tepache cocktail by mixing pouring 1oz of botanical gin over ice and topping off with your homemade tepache mix.