How to make Tepache more Alcoholic

How to make Tepache more Alcoholic

How to make Tepache more Alcoholic?

  • Use an airlock in the brewing stage. Alcoholic fermentation is most efficient in the absence of oxygen.
  • Add some commercial yeast (brewer’s or baker’s yeast).
  • Add sugar (brown or white cane sugar). Yeast feeds on sugars to produce alcohol.
  • Maintain a consistent optimal brewing time and temperature.
  • Add Vodka or Rum (the lazy short cut)

In this article we will discuss all the necessary perquisites to give your fermented pineapple brew a bigger kick (up the alcohol level).

How to make Tepache more Alcoholic?

Firstly let’s look at how the forming of alcohol happens in a fermentation process.

In baking, yeast produces CO2 which makes the dough rise. In brewing fermentation the yeast feeds on sugars in the mix (cane sugar, sugars of fruits etc.) and then produces CO2 and alcohol. Alcoholic fermentation is most efficient in the absence of oxygen.

My explanation is aimed to be as simple as possible, cause not all of us are chemists. For a deeper look into the alcoholic fermentation process go to https://www.ck12.org/

1. Use an Airlock

The airlock allows the CO2 gas (Carbon dioxide) generated by the fermentation to escape without letting in any new air from the outside.

So why do we need to use and airlock when brewing Tepache or in any kind of brewing? Well the use of an airlock aids in upping the alcohol level.

Airlock for brewing Tepache

Should the emitted CO2 not be able to escape, the build up will cause the fermentation process to slow down and even stop, as CO2 saturates inside the brewing liquid.

To get maximum alcohol per volume in your brew it is thus of cardinal importance to enable the CO2 gas to escape without introducing contaminants from the outside air into the brew mixture. Alcoholic fermentation is most efficient in the absence of oxygen.

2. Add Yeast

Many Tepache and pineapple brewing recipes make use of the wild yeast naturally coming from the pineapple (in the pineapple skin as well as from matured pineapple). But this yeast only yields low percentages of alcohol.

When you add some bakers or brewers yeast, be it the dry or wet kind, you have stronger or more efficient yeast in the mix. This yields higher alcohol volume. But parallel to the added yeast you will need to add some cane sugar to the mix as well.

3. Add Cane Sugar

Okay so basically put, yeast feeds on sugars to produce alcohol (in a brewing process anyway). So in Tepache we have pineapple which contains it’s own sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose). But cane sugar is a stronger and more pure in sugars (mostly sucrose). Thus adding cane sugar (white or brown) will give the yeast more to feed on and subsequently a higher alcohol volume can be produced.

Don’t add too much sugar though as this will bring about a foul taste which can only be counter acted via activated carbon filtration after brewing. And filtering Tepache this way will filter out most of the taste we aim for in the first place and it will end up more like Vodka.

4. Add Vodka/Rum in How to make Tepache more Alcoholic

By far the fastest way to make your pineapple brew more alcoholic is to simply add alcohol to it. And the most convenient most compatible alcohol would be Vodka as it blends very well with all fruit flavors.

Don’t add too much though, as then you will obliterate the whole taste. And I mean drink responsibly as every says.

Rum will also blend well with Tepache.

So here is a Simple Tepache and Vodka mix base, from where you can experiment further. Add flavorants to your liking:

How to make Tepache more Alcoholic add Vodka

5. Tepache and Vodka mix base

For Shooters

25 ml Vodka of your choice
25 ml Tepache
5 ml  Fresh lime juice (optional for more zest and flavor balance)

For Cocktail Mixing

25 ml Vodka of your choice
50 ml Tepache
5 ml  Fresh lime juice (optional for more zest and flavor balance)
50 ml Sweet vermouth wine or any sweet fortified wine

How to make Tepache more Alcoholic add Rum

6. Tepache and Rum mix base

For Shooters

25 ml Rum (white or gold)
25 ml Tepache
5 ml  Fresh lime juice (optional for more zest and flavor balance)

For Cocktail Mixing

25 ml Rum (white or gold)
25 ml Tepache
10 ml  Fresh lime juice (optional for more zest and flavor balance)
15 ml Honey
30 ml Fresh cream

Drops of Bitters also blends well with Tepache and makes for a very interesting subtle flavor.

Brewing Time in How to make Tepache more Alcoholic?

So looking at all the above mentioned information it would be easy to think “hey the longer I leave it to brew, the more alcohol I will get”. But sadly this is not the case.

The process of fermentation reaches a state of saturation. This happens when the yeast runs out of sugar to feed on. Time to reach this saturation point differs in the type of brewing mix, sugar content, type of yeast as well as the temperature of brewing.

In Tepache recipes using added sugar as well as recipes without added sugar, the saturation point of the yeast is approximately 2 days. Brewing more than 2 days will turn the Tepache into vinegar.

Brewing Temperature in How to make Tepache more Alcoholic?

Tepache ferments between 60-85°F (16-29°C), though for the most delicious tepache, aim for a temperature range between 75-80°F (24-26°C).

Lower temperature will slow the fermentation as the yeast acts slower at low temperature. Higher temperature will impose strain on the yeast and the yeast will die prematurely.

Alcohol Volume Approximations

To really know the alcohol volume in your pineapple brew, you will have to perform a test with a hygrometer.

  • Subtract the Original Gravity from the Final Gravity
  • Multiply this number by 131.25
  • The resulting number is your alcohol percent, or ABV%

Below is the figures you would be able to achieve in Tepache:

Without added sugar : 2 % per volume

With added sugar : 3.2 % per volume

Pineapple Tepache Recipe (With Variations)