|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 17g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
In addition to its delicious flavor, tepache is efficient, too, as it uses the center part of the pineapple: You’ll love being able to take advantage of parts of the fruit that we usually just throw away or compost. It also requires an ingredient you may or may not have come into contact with before: piloncillo, a raw form of pure cane sugar that's boiled down into a cone-shaped mold and commonly used in Mexican cooking. If you live near a Mexican grocer on your supermarket has a well-stocked section of foods from around the world, you may be able to find this ingredient. If not, brown sugar will do; it's not exactly the same, but it's a close second.
It's a faster fermentation process than, say, making kombucha, but the process isn't completely different. The tepache needs to sit for a couple of days at room temperature, so if you are making this very Mexican drink for a special occasion, plan ahead of time.
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the water in a large pot until it starts to boil. Take the pot off the stove, and add the piloncillo or brown sugar so it will dissolve while you are working with the pineapple. (If you are using piloncillo, it will take longer to dissolve; stir the water occasionally with a wooden spoon and break the piloncillo up as it softens to help.)
Cut the crown off the pineapple and discard. Wash the outside of the pineapple with water, making sure to get rid of any dirt particles or potential bugs.
Peel your pineapple on a cutting board set into the sink to reduce mess. Cut a slice off the top of the fruit, another slice off the bottom, and then slice the peel off in strips—but use your favorite method, as long as you end up with a peeled pineapple.
Once the sugar or piloncillo has dissolved into the hot water, place the pieces of peel into the pot. Add the stick of cinnamon.
Cut the fruit of the pineapple into slices or chunks, reserving the fibrous core. Store the fruit for another use.
Add the core, whole or in chunks, to the pot and stir.
Cover the pot with a dish towel, and set it on the kitchen counter or another place (at room temperature) where it is easily accessible but out of the way. The towel will keep out any foreign matter while allowing air to reach the mixture, allowing for successful fermentation.
After 24 to 36 hours, check your tepache. If you see a bit of frothy white foam on the surface of the water, it’s fermenting. You can drink it as is, or let it continue to brew another day or so. If you do not see any white froth, cover the pot again and check it after another 24 hours; the time necessary for fermentation will vary according to the room temperature, ripeness of the pineapple, and other factors.
Once your tepache has reached the desired level of fermentation, strain out, and discard all the solids.
Transfer the liquid to a pitcher and refrigerate.
Before serving, take a test drink. Add more water or sugar to taste; it's not uncommon to dilute with more water.
Serve over ice, if desired. Enjoy.
Why Is My Tepache Not Fermenting?
When things go wrong with fermenting a beverage, very often it's related to temperature. It's possible that the sugar-water base did not cool completely before you added the pineapple pieces. It's also possible the ambient temperature of the room in which it was fermenting was too low. You may find it useful to look at information about kombucha brewing if you need to do some troubleshooting; the processes are similar.
Is Tepache the Same as Kombucha?
Although they are both fermented, fruity beverages, tepache and kombucha are not the same. Kombucha is a fermented tea whose process is aided by a scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Tepache just requires sugar, water, and the pineapple core and skins. Kombucha undergoes a secondary fermentation process whereby other flavors and fruits are added; tepache typically does not.
How to Store Pineapple Tepache
Once it's fermented, tepache should be stored in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week, very slowly continuing the fermentation process. It will gradually start to smell more like vinegar the longer it keeps.
- Add a bit of fresh-squeezed lime juice to the final product (either to the pitcher or in individual glasses) to give it an extra-refreshing punch.
- Add a few whole cloves in addition to the cinnamon to the mixture in the pot for an additional bit of spice.
- Add chopped fruit (pineapple, apples, etc.) to the pitcher of tepache before drinking—similar to what is done with sangria—for added fun and flavor. Serve with a straw and a spoon.