Pineapple Tepache

3-4 L glass jar

1 Large ripe pineapple

1 Ceylon cinnamon stick (5- inch)

2 L Purified water

3-6 Small piloncillo cones

3 - 4 whole cloves, 2-3 allspice berries or 1 star anise

A reminder before starting: Since we are dealing with bacteria and wild yeast(s), it is crucial that we keep everything as clean and as sterile as possible to avoid any cross-contami-nation with unwanted or bad bacteria. When it comes to fermen-tation, you always want to treat it as if you were preparing a bottle for a baby.

Gently rinse the pineapple using a soft- bristled brush under running warm water.

Twist off the pineapple top and discard. Cut off and reserve both ends of the pineapple, cut the pineapple crosswise, and then cut the rind into medium-sized squares. In this recipe we aren’t going to be using the actual fruit, so you can eat it or save it for something else. This is optional, but you can also remove and use the pineapple core.

Place the pineapple ends, rind and optional core along with the rest of the ingredients into a large 3-4 liter glass jar and fill with the water.

Give this a good stir, cover loosely with a lid or cheesecloth, and let it sit at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Let this ferment any- where from 2-4 days depending on your taste; the longer it sits, the stronger the flavor. There will be bubbles and a layer of foam that forms on top of the tepache; this is completely normal and is encouraged as this is a sign of proper fermen-tation. Stir and taste every 12-24 hours. I usually let mine sit out for 4 days.

Once the tepache has reached your desired taste level, strain into a large glass pitcher and serve immediately with ice. To store, pour into a glass bottle that has a bottle cap, refrigerate, and consume within 2 days.

The tepache will continue to ferment even when in the refrigerator. You can store the drink in one of two ways: with the cap loosely fitted — this will result in little to no carbonation or with the cap tightly sealed resulting in more carbonation. If you choose to store it with the cap tightly sealed, the excess carbonation might cause a mess when you open it up, so it’s recommended that you open the bottle over a kitchen sink.