Tepache

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Laripu
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Tepache

Post by Laripu » Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:03 pm

Tepache is a Mexican fermented beverage. It is low in alcohol, and the homemade versions are often still fermenting when drunk, hence slightly sweet. I call that the granny version.

Tepache uses piloncillo as the main fermentable. That's an unrefined sugar also called panela or chancaca, depending on which country: Mexico or a Central American or South American country. Also rapadura. It's the same thing as jaggery, which I'm certain many people in the UK know. See panela/piloncillo.

For flavour, tepache uses pineapple peels, and a few spices like cinnamon and cloves.

During the holiday season, I made a 5 litre batch according to unsophisticated internet recipes. I did that because we have some friends, a pair of sisters, the older of which grew up in Mexico. I wanted to see whether the recipe would seem "auténtico" to her. It did. She smelled it first and her face broke into a big smile. She tasted it and agreed that it was exactly what she remembered.

It had to be a 1-gallon batch, because I bottled it still fermenting, granny-style, and refrigerated it immediately so bottles wouldn't explode. There's only so much fridge space for bottles.

The posts that follows are my recipes for the 1 gallon granny version and a proposed 11-litre version using homebrew techniques.
Last edited by Laripu on Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bulk aging:
tart cherry melomel, ~11% abv
"X", Canadian-style blond ale. 5.7%, 28 BU
Peach melomel ~9.5%
Drinking:
1. "Old 11-ish", ginger braggot. ~11% abv
2. "Khamsa", ancient ale. Barley malt, wheat malt, kamut, dates, and honey. 1.064-1.010, 7.1%, 27 BU

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Laripu
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Re: Tepache

Post by Laripu » Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:18 pm

Recipe for about 5 litres of granny-style tepache:

Water
1 pound (454g) piloncillo or jaggery
peel of 1 pineapple, leaving a centimeter or so of pineapple on
Pineapple core
1 stick of cinnamon
4 cloves
3 allspice berries
yeast (any; I used a small pack of Lalvin K1-1116)

Ideally, use organic pineapple. Wash it carefully, and even more carefully is it isn't organic.

Boil the water with the sugar and spices for a few minutes. Make sure the cake of sugar is completely dissolved. There should be around 4 or 5 litres when done. Cool to under 25°C. Pitch yeast directly into the pot.

Slice the peels off the pineapple; discard the leaves on top and the bit in the bottom. Slice the pineapple off the core.

Add pineapple peels and core to the pot. Cover with the lid, and leave to ferment for 3 days.

Remove solids, possibly by passing through a sieve. Bottle and refrigerate.

Serve cold, after some of the yeast has settled.
Last edited by Laripu on Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bulk aging:
tart cherry melomel, ~11% abv
"X", Canadian-style blond ale. 5.7%, 28 BU
Peach melomel ~9.5%
Drinking:
1. "Old 11-ish", ginger braggot. ~11% abv
2. "Khamsa", ancient ale. Barley malt, wheat malt, kamut, dates, and honey. 1.064-1.010, 7.1%, 27 BU

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Laripu
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Re: Tepache

Post by Laripu » Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:28 pm

Recipe for about 11 litres of homebrew tepache:

Water (a little more than 7 litres)
1 pound (454g) piloncillo or jaggery
4 litres of canned pineapple juice
3 stick of cinnamon
12 cloves
9 allspice berries
yeast
2 g pure stevia

Boil water, sugar, spices. Cool to under 25°C. Pour into a FV with all the spices, and add the pineapple juice. Pitch yeast.

Ferment to completion, then siphon to a secondary FV to allow it to settle for 2 weeks.

Batch prime with priming sugar, and stevia to sweeten. Bottle and allow to carbonate. Serve cold.

The 4 litres of pineapple juice has about 500g of fermentable sugar, so I expect this to be around 4% abv, stronger than granny style tepache.
Bulk aging:
tart cherry melomel, ~11% abv
"X", Canadian-style blond ale. 5.7%, 28 BU
Peach melomel ~9.5%
Drinking:
1. "Old 11-ish", ginger braggot. ~11% abv
2. "Khamsa", ancient ale. Barley malt, wheat malt, kamut, dates, and honey. 1.064-1.010, 7.1%, 27 BU

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Re: Tepache

Post by f00b4r » Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:09 pm

How was the original batch, did you make any tasting notes?

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Laripu
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Re: Tepache

Post by Laripu » Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:36 am

f00b4r wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:09 pm
How was the original batch, did you make any tasting notes?
Yes. I apologize for not posting that.

The granny batch is lightly carbonated. (The next one will be more carbonated because it will be more controlled, fermented out and primed.)

Light flavour of pineapple. Actually, everyone except me said the pineapple was very obvious. I didn't notice it as much.

It was slightly sweet. Spices were evident and pleasant, cinnamon and cloves, but not overbearing. It seemed to be around 2 or 2.5% abv. A 340 ml bottle produced no inebriation. (The next batch will be around 4%, owing to the use of pineapple juice.)

All in all, it was pleasant and thirst quenching. That's probably what it was designed for, a way for poor Mexicans to use inedible parts of a pineapple to make a cold drink for their hot climate. (Not a bad thing here in Florida either.)

I have a few bottles left. As it changes, if it changes, I'll report back. Also when the next batch is made.
Bulk aging:
tart cherry melomel, ~11% abv
"X", Canadian-style blond ale. 5.7%, 28 BU
Peach melomel ~9.5%
Drinking:
1. "Old 11-ish", ginger braggot. ~11% abv
2. "Khamsa", ancient ale. Barley malt, wheat malt, kamut, dates, and honey. 1.064-1.010, 7.1%, 27 BU

f00b4r
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Re: Tepache

Post by f00b4r » Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:40 am

Thanks, an interesting experiment and pretty quick to make. Very tempted to try this for the summer.

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Re: Tepache

Post by Jocky » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:06 am

I keep meaning to make Tepache (and figure out whether I can make a hybrid beer too...)

Recipes I normally see don't use any yeast - I presume there is plenty on the pineapple skin (which I can completely believe given how easily pineapple seems to ferment just left out). Have you done any experimentation that lead you to use brewing yeast?
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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Laripu
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Re: Tepache

Post by Laripu » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:01 pm

Jocky wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:06 am
Have you done any experimentation that lead you to use brewing yeast?
I haven't.

When I went to the grocery, they were out of organic pineapple, so I just got a regular one. On the one hand, I imagine much of the yeast on the surface would have come from the grocery, not the field. On the other hand, I scrubbed thoroughly to get rid of any pesticides that may have remained.

There was probably lactobacillus in the rind, and I hope it doesn't go to sour. But it is refrigerated.

One on line recipe I've seen says you can add a small quantity of beer and the tepache will be stronger. I'm assuming that the original reason for that was to get the active yeast that most beer had in the past; but that the original reason was lost and people kept robotically adding pasteurized beer without knowing why.
Bulk aging:
tart cherry melomel, ~11% abv
"X", Canadian-style blond ale. 5.7%, 28 BU
Peach melomel ~9.5%
Drinking:
1. "Old 11-ish", ginger braggot. ~11% abv
2. "Khamsa", ancient ale. Barley malt, wheat malt, kamut, dates, and honey. 1.064-1.010, 7.1%, 27 BU

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Jocky
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Re: Tepache

Post by Jocky » Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:32 pm

Good point - by the time anything reaches me who knows what would be on the surface of the pineapple.

I look forward to your future attempts. In the mean time maybe I’ll give it a go too. I even have some yeast recovered from cacao trees I could use.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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Laripu
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Re: Tepache

Post by Laripu » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:42 pm

I've got two bottles left, one is 750 ml, and the other is 250 ml.

Every day I've had it, it got drier and more carbonated. Also the flavours of cinnamon and cloves diminished.

I'll make it stronger in every way next time, a non-traditional super-tepache.

But first, there's some mead and beer to bottle. I need the space.
Bulk aging:
tart cherry melomel, ~11% abv
"X", Canadian-style blond ale. 5.7%, 28 BU
Peach melomel ~9.5%
Drinking:
1. "Old 11-ish", ginger braggot. ~11% abv
2. "Khamsa", ancient ale. Barley malt, wheat malt, kamut, dates, and honey. 1.064-1.010, 7.1%, 27 BU

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