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Tepache Ale


This is my take on tepache, a traditional Mexican fermented beverage that is made with pineapples, sugar, and a variety of other ingredients depending on locale. Some people add some commercial beer, but I will instead be incorporating a beer component into the recipe itself.

Traditionally, tepache is fermented using only the yeast/bacteria on the pineapple, but most sources I've seen online indicate that it will pretty quickly turn to vinegar using that method, resulting in minimal shelf life. This leads me to believe that the microbial flora on pineapples might be heavy on the acetobacter side. Therefore, this batch will be pasteurized and fermented using a commercial yeast strain.

Batch size: ~1 gal finished product

1 pineapple
1/4 tsp pectin enzyme (pectinase)
1 cinnamon stick, broken a bit with mortar & pestle
4 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries
zest and juice of 2 Mexican limes (green variety of key limes)
2 lb dark brown sugar
2 lb brewer's malt (2-row)
3/8 oz "aged" Czech Saaz hops (2+ years old, not properly stored)
WLP575 Belgian Style Ale Blend (second generation, original ratio surely lost)

(1) Wash pineapple, but do not scrub too thoroughly.  Remove top and bottom, do not peel, 
    and cut into about 2-inch cubes.  Pound with potato masher or similar implement 
    until cubes are smashed and covered in juice.  Stir in pectin enzyme, cover, and set 
    aside until beer portion is ready.
(2) Mash 2-row at 155°F for 45 minutes, sparge, and bring to a boil.
(3) Add hops, boil down to a volume of about 5 quarts.
(4) Add remaining ingredients at flameout, and allow to sit, covered, for 15 minutes to 
(5) Chill, then pour into fermentation vessel.
(6) Aerate and pitch yeast.
(7) After fermentation has completed, rack liquid into secondary fermentation vessel (for 
    me, a 1 gallon glass jug), leaving behind trub and fruit.  Some form of straining 
    would likely be beneficial at this point as well.
(8) Age for awhile.  Bottle (with or without priming sugar), age some more.  Drink.

Brewer's log (view full log)
As noted in a separate post, the half-gallon portion has been added to the Sour Ale. The full gallon portion still shows some activity, and I'm still hoping I . . . . . [view full post]
There's definitely still some activity in both halves, so I wonder how low this one will go. No sign of anything abnormal in the half-gallon (with the dregs). . . . . . [view full post]
I transferred the Tepache Ale off the fruit today, since the fermentation seemed to have essentially finished (based on airlock activity). Sure enough, it was . . . . . [view full post]
After a slow start, the tepache was fermenting vigorously this afternoon. And smells wonderful! . . . . . [view full post]
Got this brew started tonight. Didn't take an OG measurement of the wort before adding the fruit and sugar, so I'll never know what the efficiency was. Even i. . . . . [view full post]


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