How to Make Lacto-Fermented Tepache

In this post we will be sharing how to make lacto-fermented Tepache. This is by far one of the easiest and most delicious drink we make! And it is absolutely wonderful for your gut health as well. What’s not to like? Give it a try and you’re sure to fall in love with this delicious, summer-time favorite!

What is Tepache?

Tepache has a long history in Mexico, where it is originally from. It is a lacto-fermented beverage made from the skins of a pineapple. Tepache is known as a wild fermentation beverage, because it uses the wild yeast and bacteria found on the outside of the pineapple fruit. It would probably be helpful when making your pineapple tepache to make it with an organic pineapple, but to be honest, I just used a pineapple I could easily get from my local grocery store.

pineapple tepache life full and frugal cover

What is Lacto-Fermentation?

Lacto-fermentation is a process by which bacteria and yeast break down sugars to form small amounts of alcohol, enzymes, and lactic acid. Consuming beverages made by lacto-fermentation helps the body by supplying mineral ions that are used when you exert your body, and helps you to digest your food through the work of the yeast and lactobacillus, that produce the enzymes, acetic acid, and lactic acid. Lacto-fermented foods and drinks help to make your gut a place of life-giving health. To try another lacto-fermented drink, click here.

What You’ll Need to Make Lacto-Fermented Tepache

Pineapples are a wonderful source of a natural occurring enzyme called bromelain, and iodine. So one of the many benefits of drinking lacto-fermented tepache is the potential to feed your thyroid, and helping your gut through the enzyme bromelain, along with the probiotics made during the fermentation process.

What you will need to get started

1. The skin from one pineapple that has been washed, and set aside to dry.
2. One gallon or 2 half gallon Mason jars.
3. 2 cups raw cane sugar, or Mexican panela if you want more of a dark molasses flavor and color
4. Well water or filtered water
5. **Optional: 5 to 6 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, or 2 teaspoons natural coconut extract
6.  A small piece of fabric or a clean dishcloth
7. A rubber band
8. A post-it note or scraps of paper, and tape, for labelling
9. A cutting board
10. A sharp knife
11. A funnel
12. Clean swing-top bottles (mine are from Ikea)
13. A sauce pan
14. A strainer
15. A pitcher
a bag of domino sugar life full and frugal

How to Make Lacto-Fermented Tepache

1.Take your washed and dried pineapple, and set it on a cutting board to cut the skin off. You can also use the core of the pineapple. Do not worry about some of the fruit being on the skins. That is perfectly fine.
2. In clean gallon glass jar, place 4 or 5 cups of cold water. Now add the pineapple skins to the jar.
3. In a sauce pan, place 3 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar, and bring to a gentle simmer to melt the sugar. Do not boil. All you are doing is allowing the sugar to melt.
4. Add the liquid sugar mixture to your jar. After that, fill the jar with cold water until it is about 3/4 of the way full. Stir everything together vigorously, and then top it off with water to make a full gallon. Cover the gallon jar with a towel or clean washcloth, and secure the fabric with a rubber-band.
5. Place the jar in a warm place in your kitchen out of direct sunlight. If the temperature is warm you will need to check it every twelve hours for active signs of fermentation. The signs will be tiny bubbles coming up to the surface. Stir the pineapple tepache everytime you check it. You will have pineapple tepache usually within 24 to 48 hours, depending on the temperature of your home. When there are bubbles at the top, it is ready to be bottled.
a jar of tepache fermenting life full and frugal

How to Bottle Lacto-Fermented Tepache

1. To bottle you will need to discard the pineapple skins and core to the compost. Then you will need to strain your pineapple tepache liquid into a pitcher.
2. Next you will need to put your funnel into one of the swing top bottles and pour in your pineapple tepache. You will need to make sure you leave some head space at the top of the bottle (about 2 inches) to allow for fermentation to take place in the bottle. This allows for carbonation to build up.
pouring up pineapple tepache life full and frugal
3. Next you will need to wipe off the tops of the bottles with a damp clean dishcloth, and secure the swing top. After that you will need to label and date each bottle of Tepache.
4. Be sure to burp each bottle at least twice a day. Burping the bottles releases pressure so they do not explode. The Tepache should be ready to serve after 3 or 4 days sitting on the kitchen counter. When it’s ready, you will need to refrigerate it until it is completely cold and then you can drink the lacto-fermented Tepache.

Lacto-Fermented Tepache Variations

There are several variations of Tepache. We have made Tepache with Mexican panela sugar instead of regular cain sugar. You can add ginger, coconut, or coconut extract to your Tepache. Recently we fermented our Tepache with some clove and cinnamon as well. We’ve even heard of adding habanero peppers to the mix! When I make my tepache I love to add coconut, as it makes it taste even more tropical. Don’t afraid to add other flavors!

bottles of pineapple tepache life full and frugal

How I Like to Serve Tepache

Tepache is wonderful drink to make into a mocktail. Mocktails are for adults who are trying to avoid alcohol or for children. It makes a fun treat for the kiddos! I like to take a wine glass and add ice, tepache, a squeeze of fresh lime, a real Italian Amarena cherry, and a super kitsch umbrella. It feels like you are on vacation. It’s really nice with a splash of lime sparking water as well. This is a very fun and frugal drink to serve for a summer party.

a glass of lacto fermented tepache life full and frugal

Other Lacto-Fermentation Resources

My favorite book on lacto-fermented drinks is “Fermented Probiotic Drinks At Home” by Felicity Evans. This book is beautifully and simply written. The recipes are out of this world delicious, frugal, and utterly approachable. The second book I highly recommend is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. It is the bible for food and drinks for the Weston A. Price Foundation. The third book I really enjoyed is “The Big Book Of Kombucha” by Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory. You will learn all you need to know about Kombucha from this awesome book. My fourth and final book is “Artisan Drinks” by Lindy Wildsmith. This is a book that is full of old-fashioned, old-world traditional lacto-fermented drinks from England and Europe.

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  1. Serena Holbrook

    I have personally had Starlas pineapple Tepache! Sunshine in a cup is what it tastes like! Yummy!!!

    • Starla

      Thank you so much, Serena! Sunshine in a cup is the perfect way to describe it! 🙂

  2. chey

    I love the idea of fermentation and it’s benefits, and Tepache sounds both nutritious and delicious! Will definitely be giving it a try!

    • Starla

      Yes, it is so much fun! And it really is so refreshing and delicious. Please let us know if you try it and how it turns out!:)

  3. Abbey

    I love fermenting but haven’t ever tried making tepache. I’ll definitely be trying your recipe!

    • Starla

      Thank you so much for checking it out, Abbey! Besides being delicious, it is so simple to make! Let us know how it turns out!:)

  4. Kayly

    So glad I found this! I have never heard of it, but it looks delicious and I love fermenting!

    • Starla

      Oh I am so happy you found it, too! And it’s so simple! Let us know if you try it!:)

  5. Diane Gail

    This is the first I’ve heard of tepache. Sounds lovely! I’m planning on getting into some serious lacto-fermentation this summer. Tepache is now on my list 😉 Thank you!

    • Starla

      YAAAY! I love hearing that someone is getting into lacto-fermentation!:) Please let us know how it turns out. You’re gonna love it!


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