I recently purchased Mary Izett’s Speed Brewing book and I am enjoying trying out a few of her 1 gallon recipes. This one is based on a Mexican pineapple beverage called “Tepache.” If you live anywhere near Mexican markets you have seen huge jugs of this sold as a refreshing non-alcoholic drink. It never occurred to me to turn this into booze, but it’s a brilliant idea since most of the ingredients are already present in the mixture.
She doesn’t call this one “beer” probably because there are no malts or hops added. Nevertheless less it is fizzy and strong so in my book it’s a “beer.”
I made the recipe exactly as written. It’s pure genius that Mexicans created this concoction simply using pineapple rinds. I love when every bit of a product or animal is used rather than tossed. After all, pineapple rinds smell heavenly and there are still bits of the fruit attached to the rinds so why not use them?
One thing that I didn’t realize is that the rinds contained Brettanomyces yeast. I should’ve guessed since there are so many nooks and crannies for the yeast to attach to even after you wash them. “Brett” is often added to brews to give them an unexpected, funky flavor. That’s what happened here. Despite using Champagne yeast the Brett really took over and left a nice, funky sour beer. I know some people will be put off by it, but I love it. Here’s a link to a New York Times article on how craft breweries are using Brett.
Anyway, here is a link to the Speed Brewing book if you want to test it out. Or simply find a 1 gallon recipe for Tepache and add yeast to it, or just let it ferment with the yeast from the pineapple rind. It’s funkadelic!