Tepache De Piña

5 from 17 votes
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How to make tepache de piña (pineapple tepache) – a refreshing, fizzy, sweet-tart Mexican fermented pineapple drink made with pineapple peels, sugar, cinnamon, and water!

A glass with tepache and a slice of pineapple stuck on it

Even though the weather here in the UK is more blustery winds and rain than warm sunny days, I’m really excited to share this method for refreshing, summery tepache de piña. Having recently posted my top methods for chopping/ coring and juicing pineapple, I was left with a BIG pile of pineapple skin, core, and other cut-offs. While part of that went towards a soothing warm pineapple skin tea, the remainder was used instead for this Mexican fermented pineapple drink.

Once prepared, this fermented pineapple juice is packed with probiotics to help promote a healthy gut and digestive system. More so, the pineapple skin helps to infuse it with several vitamins and minerals. Yet it’s also fairly versatile and can be flavored in several ways and/or even be used to make tepache cocktails. Now that’s a win-win!

A bottle of tepache next to a pineapple laying on a flat surface

What is Tepache?

Tepache is a popular Mexican fermented pineapple drink (also called pineapple beer). It’s made with the peel and rind (often the core, too) of pineapple, sweetened with unrefined cane sugar (or brown sugar), and left to ferment for several days until you’re ready to strain and serve it chilled.

The result is a very mildly alcoholic fermented drink that is sweet, refreshing, ever so slightly alcoholic, bubbly/fizzy, and a little “funky’ – somewhere between kombucha, soda, and something alcoholic like beer. It’s perfect for enjoying on warm summery days (or year-round, in my case).

In Mexico, tepache de piña is a popular street vendor option sold in plastic bags (with a straw) or clay mugs. However, the popularity of this tepache drink has now reached other parts of the world and is now sold in juice bars and made at home like this tepache recipe.

A pitcher with tepache

If you want to enjoy more pineapple drinks, you might enjoy this simple pineapple juice, pineapple lemonade, pineapple orange juice, or pineapple ginger juice!

The Ingredients

This pineapple tepache recipe only requires a few key ingredients, including:

Ingredients for pineapple tepache
  • Pineapple: this Mexican pineapple drink relies on the pineapple peel (and core) rather than the flesh. Use a ripe organic pineapple (organic will contain more natural yeast and is better for consuming without any “nasties”) and follow these steps for how to chop and core a pineapple.
  • Sugar: I like to use unrefined cane sugar (piloncillo is best, but jaggery or muscovado would also work). However, coconut sugar or brown sugar would also work. For a sugar-free version, use the sweetener of your choice (like erythritol/Swerve).
  • Ginger: to provide zing and also improve fermentation.
  • Cinnamon: it’s best to use a cinnamon stick rather than powder for infusion without grittiness.
  • Water: use filtered if preferred, but I often use tap water here in the UK.

You’ll also need a large pitcher, muslin cloth (or thin kitchen towel), and some string (or a large elastic band)!

Tools needed for tepache

Optional Add-ins

Here are just a few simple ways to adapt this tepache recipe with optional add-ins. Let me know in the comments what else you add.

  • Cloves/cardamom pods: add just a few whole cloves/ cardamom pods for extra spice.
  • Citrus juice: squeeze in some fresh lemon or lime juice for added zing after the fermentation period.
  • Chili: a small amount of chili will increase the “punch” of this pineapple fermented drink.
  • Other fruit: for extra flavor, you could add some apple slices, mango, or orange (with peel).
  • Coconut water: when serving, instead of diluting it (if you want to) with water, you can do so with coconut water.
  • Beer: adding 1/2-1 cup of beer in place of water can help adjust this to a more alcoholic pineapple beer.

How to Make Tepache de Piña?

Step 1: Prepare the Pineapple

If you haven’t already done so, first wash, peel, and core the pineapple.

You can use the pineapple flesh to turn into juice, make pineapple lemonade, add to this pineapple cucumber salad, and more!

Step 2: Combine the Ingredients

Add the water and sugar to your pitcher and stir well.

It will dissolve easiest in warm water, but if using that, it’s important to allow it to cool entirely before adding the pineapple rinds.

Then thinly slice the ginger and add it to the jug along with the cinnamon and pineapple peel, pressing it down beneath the water.

Steps for preparing tepache drink

Step 3: Leave to Ferment

Cover the pitcher with the muslin cloth (or thin kitchen towel/dish towel) and secure it with the string or elastic band.

This allows the fermented pineapple juice to breathe while keeping out any nasty critters that like to find their way into fermenting goods.

Steps for making tepache

Set the tepache drink aside for between 1-3 days, so it ferments lightly at room temperature.

The time needed for the fermentation will vary based on the temperature, climate, ripeness of the fruit, etc.
I recommend checking on it first at 12 hours (look to see if white foam has formed on top/if it’s bubbling), then again at 18 hours, 24hrs, etc. The longer it ferments, the more yeasty/vinegary and less sweet it will become.

When you check on the fermenting drink, remove any white foam from the top of the drink with a clean wooden spoon.

Finally, sieve the solids from the pineapple tepache, refrigerate, and enjoy! Serve it over ice, dilute it with additional water, or even add more sweetener if preferred. You can also make tepache cocktails by combining it with tequila, rum, vodka, etc.

Sieving tepache in a jug

OPTIONAL Second Fermentation

Like kombucha, after the initial fermentation, you can transfer the tepache to an airtight container (or multiple containers), which will seal in all the bubbles and make for a carbonated version of this tepache recipe.

Using a funnel, transfer the tepache to bottle/s, leaving 2-3 inches of headspace at the top of each bottle. Then set it aside once more, at room temperature, for 1-2 days.

Check on it at 12 hours, opening the lid to test the carbonation, then increase if needed.

If you live somewhere particularly warm, this stage will happen faster, so I recommend checking at the 6hr mark.

Once the tepache de piña has reached your desired level of carbonation, transfer it to the fridge to slow down the fermentation and enjoy!

During this time, the drink continues to ferment, but at a slower rate. For that reason, it’s strongly advised that you “burp” the container every day to release any excess air. Otherwise, the bottles can explode (as a kombucha maker, I know this from experience, unfortunately…).

Pouring tepache in a bottle

How to Store?

As soon as the fermentation period is over, transfer the tepache de piña (pineapple tepache) to the refrigerator and store it for between 7-10 days. It will continue to ferment during this time, so the flavor will change the longer it sits.

FAQs

Why isn’t my tepache bubbling?

This may be for several reasons. First, if the pineapple isn’t ripe enough, this will affect the amount of yeast. Also, if you ever submerged the pineapple in hot water, that would kill the natural yeast. If it hasn’t bubbled after 24 hours, leave it another 24 hours. If it still hasn’t after that, you may need to start from scratch.

What happens if you leave it to ferment for longer?

A few more days, and it will become pineapple vinegar.

Does tepache have alcohol and how much?

This will depend on the time you leave it to ferment. However, between 1-2% is the average amount.

Can I increase the alcohol content?

It’s possible to introduce beer into the recipe, which will improve the fermentation process (and increase the alcohol content levels). However, I haven’t tried this method, but I’d suggest using around ¼ cup of beer in place of the same amount of water and then experimenting from there.

Can you reuse the pineapple solids for a second batch?

I actually haven’t tried, though I think reusing them for 1-2 more batches immediately after removing them from the first lot SHOULD work.

A bottle with tepache on a counter with a pineapple

Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Use a sterilized container: make sure the jar/pitcher is thoroughly clean, or it can affect the fermentation.
  • Avoid reactive utensils/tools: it’s best to use glass/ceramic jars and wooden spoons and avoid metal and any reactive materials.
  • Cover the pitcher securely: I’ve found that several critters love to find their way into fermenting goodies, so make sure you securely secure the muslin/kitchen towel.
  • Don’t over ferment: as stated above, if the tepache drink is left to ferment for too long, it will become pineapple vinegar. However, if you accidentally leave it too long, then no worries as you can still use this vinegar for various uses, including pickling, etc.
  • Ensure the peels are fully submerged: if they rise above the liquid, there’s a chance for them to grow mold and ruin the entire batch. You could use something to help weigh them down if necessary (if you don’t have fermenting weights, a Ziplock filled with water could work in a pinch).
  • Adjust the amount of sugar: the longer it ferments, the sourer this Mexican pineapple drink becomes. So feel free to add extra sweetener when serving, if preferred.
  • Leave a “starter”: once you’ve made your first successful batch of this tepache recipe, save around 4 oz (½ cup) or slightly more to work as a “starter” to encourage the next batch to ferment quicker. You can continue to do this with each new batch.

More Refreshing Drinks

Or you might enjoy browsing through this list of 40+ delicious summer drink recipes!

If you try this tepache recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Tepache De Piña (Mexican Fermented Pineapple Drink)

5 from 17 votes
By: Samira
How to make tepache de piña (pineapple tepache) – a refreshing, fizzy, sweet-tart Mexican fermented pineapple drink made with pineapple peels, sugar, cinnamon, and water!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 5 minutes
Servings: 10 cups

Ingredients 
 

  • 1.76 lb pineapple peel peel from 2 pineapples
  • 8.8 oz unrefined cane sugar or brown sugar
  • 10 cups water filtered or tap
  • 0.6 oz ginger sliced or minced
  • 0.2 oz ground cinnamon powder 1 stick

Check the Recipe Notes below for optional add-ins!

    Instructions 

    Step 1: Prepare the Pineapple

    • If you haven’t already done so, first wash, peel, and core the pineapple. All you need is the rind and core for this recipe.

    Step 2: Combine the Ingredients

    • Add the water and sugar to your pitcher and stir well.
      It will dissolve easiest in warm water, but if using that, it’s important to allow it to cool entirely before adding the pineapple rinds.
    • Thinly slice the ginger and add it to the jug along with the cinnamon and pineapple peel, pressing it down beneath the water.

    Step 3: Leave to Ferment

    • Cover the pitcher with the muslin cloth (or thin kitchen towel/dish towel) and secure it with the string. This allows the fermented pineapple juice to breathe while keeping out any nasty critters that like to find their way into fermenting goods.
    • Set the tepache drink aside for between 1-3 days, so it ferments lightly at room temperature.
      The time needed for the fermentation will vary based on the temperature, climate, ripeness of the fruit, etc. I recommend checking on it first at 12 hours (look to see if white foam has formed on top/if it’s bubbling), then again at 18 hours, 24hrs, etc. The longer it ferments, the more yeasty/vinegary and less sweet it will become.
    • When you check on the fermenting drink, remove any white foam from the top of the drink with a clean wooden spoon.
    • Finally, sieve the solids from the pineapple tepache, refrigerate, and enjoy! Serve it over ice, dilute it with additional water, or even add more sweetener if preferred. You can also make tepache cocktails by combining it with tequila, rum, vodka, etc.

    OPTIONAL Second Fermentation

    • Like kombucha, after the initial fermentation, you can transfer the tepache to an airtight container (or multiple containers), which will seal in all the bubbles and make for a carbonated version of this tepache recipe.
    • Using a funnel, transfer the tepache to bottle/s, leaving 2-3 inches of headspace at the top of each bottle. Then set it aside once more, at room temperature, for 1-2 days.
    • Check on it at 12 hours, opening the lid to test the carbonation, then increase if needed.
      If you live somewhere particularly warm, this stage will happen faster, so I recommend checking at the 6hr mark.
    • Once the tepache de piña has reached your desired level of carbonation, transfer it to the fridge to slow down the fermentation and enjoy!
    • During this time, the drink continues to ferment, but at a slower rate. For that reason, it’s strongly advised that you "burp" the bottle/container every day to release any excess air. Otherwise, the bottles can explode.

    How to Store?

    • As soon as the fermentation period is over, transfer the tepache to the refrigerator and store it for between 7-10 days. It will continue to ferment during this time, so the flavor will change the longer it sits.

    Video

    Notes

    • Use a sterilized container: make sure the jar/pitcher is thoroughly clean, or it can affect the fermentation.
    • Avoid reactive utensils/tools: it’s best to use glass/ceramic jars and wooden spoons and avoid metal and any reactive materials.
    • Cover the pitcher securely: I’ve found that several critters love to find their way into fermenting goodies, so make sure you securely secure the muslin/kitchen towel.
    • Don’t over ferment: if the tepache drink is left to ferment for too long, it will become pineapple vinegar. However, if you accidentally leave it too long, then no worries as you can still use this vinegar for various uses, including pickling, etc.
    • Ensure the peels are fully submerged: if they rise above the liquid, there’s a chance for them to grow mold and ruin the entire batch. You could use something to help weigh them down if necessary (if you don’t have fermenting weights, a Ziplock bag filled with water or a small plate/saucer could work in a pinch).
    • Adjust the amount of sugar: the longer it ferments, the sourer this Mexican pineapple drink becomes. So feel free to add extra sweetener when serving, if preferred.
    • Leave a “starter”: once you’ve made your first successful batch of this tepache recipe, save around 4 oz (1/2 cup) or slightly more to work as a “starter” to encourage the next batch to ferment quicker. You can continue to do this with each new batch.
    Optional Add-Ins:
    • Cloves/cardamom pods: add just a few whole cloves/cardamom pods for extra warming spice.
    • Citrus juice: squeeze in some fresh lemon or lime juice for added zing after the fermentation period.
    • Chili: a small amount of chili will increase the “punch” of this fermented drink.
    • Other fruit: for extra flavor, you could add some apple slices, mango, or orange (with peel).
    • Coconut water: when serving, instead of diluting it (if you want to) with water, you can do so with coconut water.  
    • Beer: adding 1/2-1 cup of beer in place of water can help adjust this to a more alcoholic pineapple beer.
    Check the blog post for more tips and answers to top FAQs!
    Course: Drinks
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Shelf life: 7-10 Days

    Nutrition

    Calories: 139kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 13mg, Potassium: 97mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 33g, Vitamin A: 48IU, Vitamin C: 38mg, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 1mg

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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    Recipe Rating




    14 Comments

    1. Paula says:

      Can you reuse the pineapple rind for the next batch? Or do you need to start with a new batch of pineapple rind and core?

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi Paula,
        While making the Tepache, you’d extract all the flavor and benefits from the pineapple rind and core. So I recommend starting with a new batch of pineapple rind and core when you want to make more Tepache.

    2. Will says:

      5 stars
      It is a great recipe

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Glad you liked it, Will. Thank you!

    3. Babe McGowan says:

      5 stars
      Beautiful!!

      Followed recipe with 1 exception. Added half a cup of ginger bug. Nice an bubbly when I looked at 12 hours. Fabulous drink!

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    4. Fatcat says:

      5 stars
      I totally winged this because a) I don’t know what a lb or oz is n I don’t want to know and b) I made do with what I had. Tbh I did it for bit of a lark. I made it with pineapple, sugar (white) and water only. I did the double ferment and wow! so bubbly and delicious. I only made 1lt. I drank nearly half of it before I decided that I had put too much sugar in, so I topped it with water and put it back in the cupboard for a few more days. Didn’t get as many bubbles the 2nd time but it was really yummy. It’s a bit viscous (is it supposed to be?) but not in a slimy way. I’ll definitely make again but I’ll take it a bit more seriously next time. Thanks for the recipe.

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi there.
        I hope you give it another try. The ingredients are listed both in US and in the metric system – you just need to click on “Metric” and it will show you the measurements in grams and liters. I hope this helps.

    5. Fahmi says:

      How much water is needed for 10 cups?

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi,
        You need 10 cups of water to make about 10 cups of tea. Although there are other ingredients added, as we are simmering the tea, some of the water will evaporate. I hope this helps.

    6. Laura says:

      5 stars
      Delicious on my first try! Did it with one pineapple peel and core and worked fine.

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Laura!

    7. Joost says:

      You absolutely cannot use artificial sweetener as stated in the recipe. Yeast cannot feed on Stevia.

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Thank you for letting me know 🙂