Tepache (Pineapple) Brandy

Published on 24-07-2013

Tepache Brandy

Pineapple brandy has its origins from Tepache - the very popular pineapple beer from Mexico.

Using only pineapple in a beer is great, however, during distillation, a number of "dark" and "dull" aromas with a hint of "decay" tends to overpower the sweet lighter pineapple aromas. To enhance this we use a bit of cinamon and cloves to spice it up and small amounts of orange rind may further brighten up the pineapple brandy to enhance the freshness of the aroma bouquet.

Makes 20 litres mash


  • 12 kg pineapples (skinned - the pineapple rind on itself also makes a lovely beer but should be removed for fermentation for distilling to reduce congeners). The pineapples should be over ripe (start going brownish on the inside) and sweet. (these pineapples will contain about 1.2kg fermentable sugars) i.e. 10%)
  • 3kg brown sugar (for 12% wine alcohol) (or you may choose the amount of sugar - add only 1kg of sugar to achieve a 6.5% alcohol wine, or 5kg of sugar for a maximum of 18% alcohol wine. With no sugar added you will only get a 3.5% alcohol wine)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 cloves
  • The rind of half an orange
  • 20g distiller's yeast
  • 20g yeast nutrients
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 10-50g potassium carbonate
  • French oak chips
  • Caramel

Fermentation method:

  • Chop pineapples finely or liquidise in food processor.
  • Add pinepple mash and sugar into pot
  • Add lemon juice
  • Add about 5 litres of water and bring to boil
  • Let boil for at least 10 minutes while stirring continuously to dissolve all sugars and liquify the pineapple completely.
  • Top up to 20 litres with cold water
  • Let cool down to about 40 degrees C
  • Add yeast nutrients and stir well.
  • Pour into fermentation container and aerate well (use an egg wisk or egg beater for at last 5 minutes).
  • Innoculate with rehydrated yeast.
  • Record pH and SG
  • Keep fermenting bucket open to air for 48 hours.
  • After 48 hours - adjust pH to between 3.5 and 4 (with potassium Carbonate if necessary)
  • Close fermentation bucket lid and let ferment dry until SG is 1.000 or less.
  • Strain the pineapple wine through cotton cloth to remove solids.
  • Let stand for 24 hours and rack every 24 hours until fairly clear (or use finings for quicker results).

Distilling method:

Stripping run (First distillation):

  • Do a pot still (no reflux) stripping run until the distillate reaches about 20% alcohol (do not discard heads)
  • Infuse cinnamon, cloves and orange rind into alcohol for at least 24 hours or even more to enhance cinnamon and clove extracts.
  • Dilute with distiled water to about 35% abv.

Rectification run (Second distillation):

  • Distill slowly in pot still
  • Discard heads
  • Collect hearts
  • Collect tails in small quantities (i.e. in 100ml bottles) until alcohol level reaches about 20% abv.
  • Identify tail fractions with your preferred aromas and blend back into hearts.
  • Definately discard the tail fractions that smells "dull" or "decay". Definately retain fractions that contains citrus, pineapple, is sweet and fruity.
  • You should end-up with a raw pineapple brandy between 50 and 65% alcohol strenght (cask strength)

Aging method:

  • Infuse Freanch oak chips into raw brandy until the woody character are to your taste. (i.e. 1-8 weeks) - the woody character should be fairly strong as we are going to dilute the raw cask strength brandy now.
  • Dilute brandy with distilled water to a final strength of between 30 and 45% alcohol.
  • Add caramel to desired colour.
  • Bottle and age for at least 4 weeks.
  • Enjoy your pineapple brandy at room temperature