This fermented drink contains some alcohol. But the level of alcohol is quite low, though it can make me feel light headed if I drink it on an empty stomach.
But seasoned drinkers probably won't feel a thing. I don't tolerate alcohol too well. There was time when I could down 3 cans of beer and a glass or two of red wine and remain unfazed. Now after half a can of beer, I am tipsy and sleepy. Bah!
After enjoying the process of making water kefir, I discovered (on Youtube) that you can make a very nice mildly alcoholic beverage using just pineapple, sugar and water - Tepache. It is a traditional Mexican fermented beverage which apparently is good for you because it is probiotic.
You start with this.
A ripe ong lai (pineapple), two 1.5 liter glass bottles, two liters water and one cup sugar.
Give your pineapple a wash to remove dirt and stuff. Then cut off the top and bottom (discard) and simply peel and slice.
I cut the pineapple into quarters (remove the core) and I used only 3/4 of it (the other 1/4 I simply makan). Some recipes only use the peel and the core.
Put them into the two bottles and I used a wooden spatula to sort of crush them up a little bit to release some juices.
After that dissolve 1/2 cup sugar with 1 liter water (I used mineral water). I have to do this two times, once for each bottle.
Then simply pour the sugar water into the jars. I added a little bit more water so that the pineapple chunks/peel are submerged.
Cover the tops with a clean cloth and secure with rubber band.
The next day, after about 24 hours, check.
This is Day 1 and some activity is detected. The water is a little bit murky and there are some bubbles on the surface.
At this point you can smell the pineapple.
This is Day 2. I gave it a bit of a stir.
The water is very murky and there are more bubbles.
From past experience, I know that I must bottle the liquid (for secondary fermentation) on Day 2 because if I wait another day, the beverage will be too sour after the secondary fermentation.
The fermentation this time is quite subtle because the ambient temperature is lower due to the frequent rain.
Just for reference, let me show you how the ferment looked like just on Day 1 when the temperature was very hot.
Now back to this current batch for bottling.
There you have it, all bottled and these will stand at room temperature for one more day. There is still a little bit of sugar in the liquid. By letting it stand for another day, we are giving the bacteria/yeasts another chance at eating the remaining sugars (so that the Tepache is not so sweet) and mainly to carbonate the liquid.
For best results in carbonation, choose bottles with long narrow necks (or those flip top bottles) because it concentrates and pressurizes the gasses. And of course the bottle caps must be airtight to seal in the carbon dioxide.
Be careful when opening the bottles especially after it has been standing for more than 12 hours because the liquid will simply shoot out like champagne.
There are no hard and fast rules as to the number of days you have to ferment the liquid. The best way to determine when it is ready, is to taste.
After day two, taste the liquid. If it is still too sweet, let it ferment for another day and taste again. For me, the taste should be slightly tangy and still a little sweet before I bottle the liquid.
Some recipes say to ferment for one or two weeks but these are possibly people who live in much cooler climates where the fermentation process will take much longer.