Tepache recipe: how to turn pineapple skins into a delicious probiotic drink (2024)

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This simple tepache recipe uses pineapple skins that you might otherwise compost or throw in the trash. Best of all, it produces a delicious fermented probiotic beverage that tastes like pineapple kombucha.

We live at the base of the Appalachian Mountain in Ag Zone 7b. That means we get about four months of fairly cold weather and plenty of deep freezes.

Nevertheless, given our love of tropical fruits and obsession with gardening/farming, we’ve figured out how to grow things like citrus and bananas that would not normally grow in our climate zone.

Another tropical we’ve grown for the better part of a decade: pineapples.

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It’s so rewarding to watch a pineapple top you planted and nurtured for two years produce its first fruit.

Once you’ve had a pineapple that’s fully ripened to golden perfection on the plant, it’s hard to go back to the grocery store version. With a perfectly ripe pineapple, the flavor is far sweeter, more nuanced, and more intense than the store bought alternative.

10 Easy Steps: How to Grow Your Own Pineapples

Growing pineapples via “crown propagation” is pretty darn easy. Here’s how:

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You can use all parts of your pineapple fruit. Eat the fruit, use our tepache recipe to make a delicious probiotic drink with the skins, and use the top to grow another pineapple plant.

Step 1. Cut the top off of a mature pineapple fruit, leaving about 1/4 – 1/2″ of the top attached.

Step 2. Fill a 2-3 gallon pot to 1″ below the top with organic POTTING soil (FoxFarm is our favorite potting soil.) Do NOT use regular garden soil or compost or it will become compacted in the pot, making it difficult for the pineapple’s roots to grow.

Step 3. Make sure your potting soil is nice and moist — like a wrung-out sponge, not soup.

Step 4. Place your pineapple top firmly in the pot and press it down in the soil so the stump is slightly buried.

Step 5. Keep your pineapple pot in a warm, sunny spot — indoors or outdoors — and water as frequently as necessary to ensure that the soil stays moist but not sopping wet. Your aim is to stimulate root growth, not cause the pineapple base to rot.

Our pineapples live outdoors in the warm months (March – mid-October) and we bring them indoors when temps dip below 40 degrees.

Step 6.The pineapple top will begin putting down roots within a few weeks, after which it will start to put on growth.

Step 7. Keep the pineapple plant happy. That means: water regularly, keep in a warm and sunny location, and apply anorganic slow-release fertilizer every few months.

As the plant gets larger, you’ll either want to pot it up to a 5 gallon pot or grow bag.

Step 8. *Helpful tip: On pineapple plants we have indoors or need to move frequently, we cut the sharp, spiny tips off of the leaves so they don’t spear us!

Step 9. After 18-24 months, your large, beautiful pineapple plant will be mature enough to fruit. If you don’t see a small flower beginning to form in the center of the plant, you can induce pineapple fruit production by placing an apple near the plant.

The ethylene gas released by the apple triggers the pineapple to produce a fruit.

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Hello beautiful! At this stage in development, you can see that pineapple fruit is actually individual berries that coalesce to form a compound fruit when ripe.

Step 10. Once you’ve harvested the fruit, you can use the top of the fruit to start a new pineapple plant.

Keep the old “mother plant” going as well. She’ll live for many years, continuing to produce new fruit, plus suckers and slips you can also use to start new pineapple plants.

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See that little spiky nub forming below the pineapple fruit? That’s a pineapple “slip,” which can be planted and used to grow a new pineapple fruit. So from a single pineapple top, you can eventually grow a whole pineapple farm!

In addition to better flavor, another benefit of growing your own pineapples isyou don’t have to use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. That means: 1) better flavor, and 2) you don’t have to worry about pesticide contamination on your fruit or the pineapple skins you’ll be using to make tepache.

Finding a Fermented Tepache Recipe

We also eat and drink a lot of home-grown, homemade probiotics:milk kefir, sauerkraut, elderflower and wild black cherry cordials – just to name a few.

A few years ago, when eating our homegrown pineapples, we wondered if there was something we could do with the pineapple skins other than using them in compost. A quick google search helped us find a great answer: tepache.

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There’s lots of ways to make tepache. Use our tepache recipe as a starting point for your own tepache-making experiments.

Tepache is a fermented pineapple beverage originating in Mexico. It’s impossible to know exactly when it first originated, but tepache pre-dates European contact.

What Does Tepache Taste Like?

There are dozens of different tepache recipes, varying in ingredients and ratios of ingredients. We’ve tried quite a few tepache recipes and found all of them to be delightful.

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Mmm, pineapple tepache and a new pineapple fruit maturing in the background.

The nice thing about making your own tepache is you can customize it to your taste preferences. Want a sweeter tepache? Use more honey or brown sugar. Want a more sour/tangier tepache? Let it ferment longer.

Tepache can be customized to taste exactly like you want it, but it generally tastes like sweet pineapple juice combined with tangy kombucha.

Tyrant Farms Tepache Recipe

One thing that’s unique about the Tyrant Farms’ tepache recipe is that it ONLY uses pineapple skins, not the actual fruit.

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Tepache being made using only pineapple skins inside a Weck jar covered with cheesecloth.

Since we grow our own pineapples, the fruit is a rare treat for us, and we’re dang sure going to eat every bit of it. For us, tepache is a way to reduce food waste, get a second delicious product out of a single pineapple fruit, and get a nice health-boosting probiotic.

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We only use pineapple skins in our tepache recipe, because we love eating our garden-fresh pineapples. Once we finish making tepache, the skins go into the compost to make more soil to grow more food (including pineapples).

However, if you’d prefer, you can use pineapple skins, fruit, and the core when making your own tepache.

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Course:Health Drink / Syrup


Keyword:tepache recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 24 servings

Author: Aaron von Frank

A delicious fermented Mexican beverage made with pineapples, tepache is a healthy probiotic that can be consumed cold or at room temperature.


  • 1cuppineapple skins, chopped
  • 4star anise
  • 1cuporganic brown sugar
  • 1/2cuphoney
  • 6 cupswater(preferably un-chlorinated)


  1. Put water, sugar, and honey in a bowl and whisk until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.

  2. Chop pineapple skins into 1" chunks. Add pineapple skins and star anise to the sugar-water bowl. Stir with a spoon.

  3. Pour all ingredients into a large jar. Why not leave the mixture in the bowl? Because you only want a small percent of the surface area exposed to air. Cover the jar with a breathable cloth (such as cheesecloth or linen) and secure with a rubber band.

  4. Store the jar indoors out of direct sunlight. Mix vigorously twice per day, once in the morning, once at night. Taste a small amount each day to see how it's evolving.

  5. After 7-14 days, the tepache should be developed enough to be finished. It's up to your taste preferences to decide when it's done. Note that it will continue to develop (albeit much more slowly) in the fridge, becoming dryer and less sweet over time. When your tepache is fermented enough for your tastes, strain it and pour into sealed bottles (we love these reusable kombucha bottles) or jars. Refrigerate your tepache until you're ready to use it.

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We hope you enjoy this pineapple tepache recipe and take a shot at growing your own pineapples!


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Get a taste of other articles you’ll love:

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  • Fermented wild black cherry (Prunus serotina) cordial
  • Sparkling fermented lemonade with honey
  • Honey-fermented kumquats
  • Easiest turmeric and ginger bug recipe
  • Wisteria, mimosa, and other wild flower cordials
  • Chickweed wine recipe
  • Fermented chicha morada – purple corn beer

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pineapple drinkspineapple fermentationpineapple recipesprobiotictepachetepache recipe

Tepache recipe: how to turn pineapple skins into a delicious probiotic drink (14)

Aaron von Frank

Food explorer, seed & soil geek, duck evangelist, writer, health nut, and entrepreneur. In addition to their collaboration on Tyrant Farms, Aaron and his wife, Susan (aka "The Tyrant"), are cofounders of GrowJourney.com, which focuses on providing free educational resources for gardeners and small farmers interested in no-till organic food production. Aaron is the former farm manager at Oak Hill Cafe & Farm, a no-till, permaculture, farm-to-table restaurant & farm located right down the street from his alma mater, Furman University, in Greenville, SC. He also serves on the board of the Diversified Agriculture Committee for the South Carolina Farm Bureau.

Tepache recipe: how to turn pineapple skins into a delicious probiotic drink (2024)


How do you ferment pineapple peels? ›

Mix pineapple peels, sugar, and water in a jar. Let it ferment for a few days, stirring daily. Bottle and enjoy!

What can you do with pineapple rinds? ›

Making pineapple skin tea is a simple and flavorful way to utilize the health benefits of pineapple rinds. You can also boil pineapple rinds to create a mild tea or incorporate them into various recipes, like chutneys, sauces, or preserves.

What are the benefits of drinking fermented pineapple? ›

As a fermented beverage, tepache contains some probiotics, which help keep the good bacteria in your gut healthy, help with digestion and support your immune system. The fermentation process also boosts the vitamin content of tepache, so it offers more nutritional benefits than just eating a ripe pineapple.

How do I know if my tepache is bad? ›

If you see mold growing, discard the tepache and start again. Make sure it is mold though. Mold is dry, fuzzy, and always sits on the surface. It is normal for a layer of white film or bubbles to appear.

What does boiled pineapple peel do to the body? ›

Boiled pineapple peel contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps reduce inflammation and blood clotting, thus improving heart health and lowering the risk of heart disease.

Can you juice entire pineapple skin? ›

Pineapple skin is too tough to juice, and you don't want to waste all its fantastic flavor, vitamins, and nutrients. Boiling the peels and the core with added sugar and ginger for some extra zing is the traditional Caribbean way to make the best pineapple juice you have ever tried.

Can you boil pineapple skin and drink it? ›

Once boiled, the pineapple skin can be strained and the liquid can be consumed as a tea or used as a base for soups, stews, or sauces.

Does boiling pineapple skin destroy bromelain? ›

Yes, boiling pineapple deactivates bromelain as it follows first-order kinetics and isothermal rate constants vary with temperature. Yes, boiling pineapple at 80°C for 8 minutes almost completely deactivates bromelain.

Can you eat pineapple skin and core? ›

"From pineapple cores to banana peels, it makes a lot of sense nutritionally to consume these foods because they are made up of the same nutrients as the flesh, and in some cases, like the skin, antioxidants are highly concentrated." (Here are a few more ways to easily reduce your food waste at home.)

What bacteria is in tepache? ›

Tepache is a traditional Mexican fermented drink made from pineapple. It is valued for its unique taste and aroma, and because it is easy and quick to make. Strains of bacteria, such as Lactobacillus pentosus, L. paracasei, L.

How long is tepache good for? ›

2 weeks

Is fermented pineapple a probiotic? ›

A pineapple probiotic fermented drink is characterized by taking pineapple juice as a culture medium, fermenting and culturing such probiotics as bifidobacterium, lactobacillus bulgaricus, streptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus under certain temperature and time, then inactivating the fermented probiotic liquid ...

Can tepache have botulism? ›

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when making tepache. The first is to make sure the work surface is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. This step is crucial to prevent unwanted microbes from going into the fermentation jar, which could result in unwanted mould growth and the risk of contracting botulism.

Can botulism grow in tepache? ›

I like to check the PH of the tepache. Botulism spores cannot reproduce in acidic environments. Lacto fermentation produces acid, but I like to check anyways so I don't kill myself or my family. Anything below PH 4.6 is safe.

Why does my tepache taste like vinegar? ›

So the Tepache ended up tasting like vinegar. The trick is, right after you pour the beer, don't let it sit for more than 12 to 15 hours. After that time, strain it and either drink it or place it in a big pitcher in the refrigerator.

How do you ferment fruit peels? ›

Each of fruit peel is added with brown sugar and water. Prepare four plastic containers as a place for the fermentation process of each fruit peel waste. In each container, put 600 gr of fruit peel waste, 200 gr of brown sugar, and 2.000 mL of water. Keep in a closed container for 3 months.

Is fermented pineapple safe to eat? ›

Yes, fermented fruits are safe to eat. Several foods and beverages are made from fermented fruits. For example, tepache, a traditional Mexican beverage, is made from fermented pineapple rinds.

Is it safe to ferment pineapple? ›

But have you heard of Tepache? It's a fermented drink made with pineapple. It's fizzy, a little sweet, a little stanky and really good for gut health. It can also be made at home!

What happens if you ferment pineapple? ›

After 1-2 days it should taste a little sour a little sweet and fermented (you might also see some bubbling in the jar or even some foam to the top, all of those things are ok and means that it's fermenting!), at this point you can bottle it and put into the fridge OR go under a second fermentation.

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