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What to do with leftover pineapple rinds? Tepache

Tepache... what is it? Its a traditional Mexican beverage particularly common on the Central West Coast (Nayarit, Colima, Jalisco) as well as in Mexico City (where there are immigrants from all over), that is made by fermenting pineapple leftovers (rind, core etc.,).

I just tasted my first homemade batch & it is delicious. Its lightly fizzy like a spritzer, refreshing with hints of alcohol, pineapple & woodsy flavors.

It is a brilliant way to get full use of all the fruit, & it poses endless chowish possibilities... from a refreshing & exotic beverage, to a cool cocktail mixer, to a Gelatine ingredient (in the same vein as the Sherry Gelatines you find in Guadalajara), Sorbets, Coulis etc.,

The following link has the most widely available recipe:



> All the recipes in English call for using a whole pineapple. But the ones from Mexico tend to call only for the rind. I am pretty happy with the rind only results... very reminicent to what I used to have in Mexico.

> Most recipes call for only 48 hours of fermentation & they suggest adding a beer. My guess is that this is a modern commercial innovation designed to speed up the process & lower costs. However, Prehispanic peoples did not have the luxure of adding a beer so I am going to guess that they just let it ferment for a lot longer. I did 72 hours & I am very happy I did because all the Carbonation seem to have developed in the last 24 hours.

> This link is an abstract from Food Science and Technology International on a research study conducted in Mexico City that concluded consumers there preferred a Tepache that had undergone a secondary fermentation. http://fst.sagepub.com/cgi/content/ab...

> This link is on beer making & describes the secondary fermentation process. Based on this link I am going to guess that fermenting the Tepache for at least 1 week will provide the best results... particularly in eliminating some of the chemical like flavor notes that are produced in the primary fermentation. http://www.allaboutbeer.com/homebrew/...

> The receipes all tend to have a lot of water during the fermentation process... but if we reduce the quantity of water, we produce a more suitable anaerobic environment for the yeast to develop.

> Since it is November & we don't all have a consistely warm place in the sun to encourage the growth, I would suggest starting with lukewarm water & periodically microwaving your fermenting product just to get it up to about 100 degrees or so.

> The Cinammon & Cloves are too subtle in this recipe.. I would suggest crushing them just a little bit so that the flavor is a little bit more assertive.

> Finally, I used a Hawaiin pineapple instead of a Mexican... and it seemed to work just fine. Just make sure not to disenfect the rind in anyway or you will never get the yeast.

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  1. Great informative post. Did you use any ale? Are you planning to do further batches trying different methods? If so, I hope you will report back on the results.

    The only other way I knew of using pineapple rinds was the Peruvian drink chica morada. However I never saw the purple corn sold locally and I'm not all that much a chica morada fan though I understand that purple corn has lots of health benefits.

    I'll give tepache a try next time I buy a fresh pineapple.

    4 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      Hey Orange... didn't use any ale. Yes, I am planning for a secondary fermentation & crushing cinammon & cloves on the next batch. So far its been 2 hours since my last glass & I haven't gotten sick yet... I think its going to work!

      BTW, I witnessed chicha manufacturing in Ollantaytambo (Sacred Valley of the Inkas) & they did not use pineapple rind as a starter... they chew some corn masa & add it to the mixture instead.

      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        Did they use pineapple rind in the chicha at all? Don't know too much about it. The first taste I had was at El Chaldon in El Sobrante, CA. The owners are Peruvian and they were the ones who said they used pineapple rinds when I was asking about the drink.

        I forgot to ask. What is the Spanish name for Guadalajara Sherry Gelatines?

        1. re: rworange

          I can't say for all of Peruvian chichas but in the Cusco area (where it is most prevalent)... no pineapple anywhere to be seen.

          Sherry Gelatin is Jerez... it is usually a purpleish red, typically made with a very sweet, inexpensive Sherry branded as Tres Coronas which is available in California.

          BTW, if you purchase Tres Coronas it makes a great cocktail with Sangria Senorial + fresh lime juice.

          1. re: rworange

            Now that I think about it... they probably just use pineapple rind to get over the PR challenge of using human chewed ingredients.

      2. thanks for the info - i have been looking to make this for awhile and now I feel empowered.

        1. Let SIMMER for 48 hours?? That's a lot of simmering! Could that possibly be an error in translation?

          5 Replies
          1. re: ricepad

            They meant let it rest when you see the bubbling you will understand why somebody may have mistranslated... or tried to get cute with the wording.

            1. re: Eat_Nopal

              What about vinagre? Daisy Martinez made it on a recent show. Pineapple rinds, habaneros, onions, garlic, etc. I just checked and the recipe is on the net. If you search "pineapple vinagre" you'll get several more recipes. I'm making it this weekend.

              1. re: oakjoan

                Thanks for the major tip about vinegar. I love making condiments of all kinds, and I have four pineapples on my countertop waiting to be wrestled with. I'm so glad I won't be throwing so much away.

                1. re: oakjoan

                  Your da bomb! I have been looking for such a recipe & oddly had not found it.

                  What will you do with pineapple vinager? Ceviche without Lime Juice?

                2. re: Eat_Nopal

                  So, you don't simmer it on low for 48 hours, then? Could you please clarify? Thanks!

              2. I'm definately thinking of ceviche. It's also supposed to be great sprinkled over kebabs, beans like a condiment.

                She also made some pickle with onions, etc. that looked great. I gotta look that up.

                It's weird. I used to really dislike her cause of all her "cute" attitude, but now I even love that. She made a shrimp and bean fritter that looked great - I think vinagre was served along with.

                1 Reply
                1. re: oakjoan

                  i used to feel the same way about daisy! hated her show because she was TOO enthusiastic. but now her food has won me over. it looks soooo tasty. maybe she wasn't being overly enthusiastic but sincere.

                2. Sorry to necropost, but I’m trying to make tepache and this is by far the most in-depth set of instructions I’ve come across! Unfortunately my first batch went a little wrong, and I’m trying to figure out where I messed up. Maybe you can help me?

                  1. After the first 48 hours (I was shooting for 72), my curiosity got the better of me and I took the lid off for a second to take a look and a whiff. Everything was fine, but the next morning I discovered a mold that looked like white hairs growing on the top. In one set of directions, it said “no peeking”… Was that what ruined my tepache?

                  2. I should probably describe the environment I was using. I was making my tepache in a crock pot on my kitchen counter. It wasn’t exactly warm or cold… There was an air conditioner on a couple rooms over, but the temperature outside is that of a warm late August, and the sunlight from the kitchen window was directly shining on my crock pot. I only turned on the crock pot for a minute or two at the very beginning to warm up the water. If I had warmed it more often as your tips suggest, would that have kept the mold out?

                  3. Does it matter what type of cover you use? Can a clear, glass lid like the one I was using on my crock pot work, or must I use something completely opaque?

                  4. What is it that makes the tepache the deep red color I see in most pictures of it? Is it the dark brown sugar? I attempted to make a more “authentic” Pre-Columbian tepache by substituting agave nectar for the sugar (I also used white cinnamon native to the Caribbean instead of regular cinnamon, and ground allspice instead of cloves). Since agave nectar is very sweet, I only used ¼ the quantity that was suggested for the sugar. The bottle of agave nectar says to use only ¼ cup for every cup of sugar in recipes. The end result was the yellow color of pineapple juice.

                  Thank you for your time!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: pa_dutch

                    Well... every Tepache will have white foam growing near the top... that is absolutely fine (I imagine wine & beer and other spirits are similar until they are filtered).... but I guess its possible that stuff multiplied so fast you had a motherlode floating there (as far as I know that takes a week or so)... if that were the case then you were just on your way to make Pinapple Vinager (which can be life changing... sippable vinager!)

                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                      This wasn't exactly a foam so much as it looked like white hair... I should have taken a picture of it. There wasn't an abundance of it, it seemed to be growing only on the parts of the pineapple rinds that weren't submerged. It seemed to dissolve in the liquid. So this "mold" was normal?

                      Must brown sugar be used in the creation of tepache? From what I've read this is derived from a Pre-Columbian beverage, which wouldn't have included sugar. Can it be made unsweetened, or perhaps with honey or agave nectar as a substitute for the sugar?

                      1. re: pa_dutch

                        I think the white hair might be okay... it does sound like what I get... taste it.. won't hurt. You can absolutely make it with other sweeteners... the pre-colombian versions were made primarily with Aguamiel (agave nectar that is less refined than agave syrups on the market)... and I think Agave Syrup (if within your price range)...would be a perfectly good but different substitution.

                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                          Thank you for all your help! I had strained the first batch (the one with the white fuzz) twice through a cloth-lined colander, and sat it in a pitcher in my refrigerater until further notice. I tried it yesterday and it was delicious. It was just a little watery, so next time I will use your tip about cutting down the extra water.

                          1. re: pa_dutch

                            I only just came on this thread - but what you had was KAM yeast and is harmless. Just skim it off next time. Better is to weigh down the rinds so they're submerged in the liquid - then it won't form. Sit a dish or plate or a ziploc bag full of water on top if you can fit it in.

                  2. I've been told by folks in Lanai that lots of pesticides are often used on pineapples - by rind are you using the outermost skin?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: malabargold

                      Yes... the outermost skin. In Mexico, pineapples are a fairly low on pesticides... but that is its native terroir and they naturally do well there... what attacks Hawaiian pineapples?

                      1. re: Eat_Nopal

                        nematodes are a serious problem; insects not sooo much.

                    2. Since I'd have to eat a LOT of pineapple to get 3 lbs of rind, is it possible to freeze the rinds and use later when I've finally built up enough?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                        I am confused about the 3lbs of rind... but no you just need the rind from 1 pineapple to make about 2 liters of Tepache. I also recommend adding the Core & any "spikey" scraps you get (maybe not everyone is as spoiled as my girls who only get the "heart of the filet")

                      2. Here's an Ecuadorian version of a non-fermented 'chicha' using pineapple rinds (and core)


                        3 Replies
                        1. re: paulj

                          Seems like exactly the same thing to me... after visiting Peru... I am not surprised. Nationalist anthropologists aside.... its very clear that Northern Peruvian pre-inca cultures were deeply influenced by the Maya... likewise it is also true that the Purepecha & Zapotec peoples of Mexico were deeply influenced by later Peruvian civilizations in return... and Ecuador was in the middle of this cultural exchange.

                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                            This drink sounds like puerto rican mavi, only with pinapple. I'm going to attempt to make the tepache recipe from the essential cuisines of mexico by diana kennedy and it calls for a whole pineapple and beer. I'm not yet 21 so is it possible to create the same effect in a "legal" (i'm aware its fermented) version with no beer? Also, is the whole pineapple okay for the recipe? Here's a condensed version of the recipe- is it any good?:

                            1 very ripe pineapple (about 2 lbs), chopped with skin, stem and base removed
                            2 whole cloves
                            2 whole allspice
                            4 inch piece of canela, crushed
                            9.5 cups water
                            1 lb. piloncillo
                            1 cup light beer

                            Crush spices roughly, and place into a large preferably earthenware jug with about 8 cups of water and pineapple. Cover and set in the sun or in a warm place until it begins to ferment and become bubbly on top, depending on temperature. Put remaining 1.5 cups of water in a saucepan with the piloncillo and simmer until it has melted. Let cool. Add it along with the beer to pineapple infusion and stir well. Cover jug and leave in a warm place for 1-2 days longer, until it has fermented, strain and serve very cold or over ice.

                            This drink sounds like puerto rican mavi beer

                            1. re: kirinraj

                              I just finished fermenting the tepache and it tastes great. It tastes like fizzy apple juice, but a lot better. I fermented it with the pineapple peel and piloncillo for 2 days, strained it, and then fermented it for another twelve hours. After chilling, it's really appealing.

                        2. Well it is almost exactly one year after this posting. I am trying to make tepache right now with the rinds of two pineapples. I have read all your good advice, thank you. I can't believe how simple this seems but I'll let you know if it works!

                          1. I forgot to ask...I have the mixture in a large stock pot. Do I put the lid on? Also, I have taken your advice, Eat Nopal, and reduced the water to just enough to cover the rinds which is about 8 cups.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: sarah galvin

                              Yes... putting the lid on seems to encourage the development of the yeast & carbonation.

                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                I noticed someone else posted a concern about nematodes. Ick. Should I be concerned. Can I purify the mixture?

                              2. re: sarah galvin

                                You do need to cover it, also if you leave it for a month you end up with a drink that's really strong it maybe give it or take like 20% alcohol , my mom is from Jalisco she makes tepache all the time.

                              3. Has anyone tried to ferment their tapache in a closed system with regular beer yeast?

                                1. Coming late to the discussion...

                                  I just made tepache for the first time with great results. I followed Diana Kennedy's recipe (more or less) in her book, Mexican Regional Cooking. I used one pineapple (rind and flesh), 3 qts. water, 1 lb. piloncillo, and whole spices. I planned on making it without adding a beer, but realized it would not be ready before I left on a trip, so I added a bottle of beer on day 3. On day 5 it was bubbly, amber and delicious. It is so refreshing served ice cold. I want to make it again and not use beer this time to let it ferment naturally.