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Pineapple Beer Recipe
DISCLAIMER: Distillique does not believe in providing and selling recipes, as this goes against the Craft of producing your own products. The recipes we share have been sourced from clients and other sources, and as such, Distillique takes no responsibility and makes no guarantees regarding the quality, accuracy or safety of these recipes. Recipes are used at own risk, and are for the purpose of experimentation, inspiration and guidance.
Why Pineapple Beer?
As with the first Alcohol Ban during COVID-19 Lockdown, South Africans are again turning to Pineapple “Beer” to quence their thirst. The problem, however, is that most of these recipes they are using either creates a bad product, or they sit with an upset stomach, or the yield is not that great.
With this recipe we are hoping to guide people along the right path, and let us start with the name …
PLEASE NOTE: The word “Beer” refers to starch-based fermentations, traditionally grain-based fermentations. A fruit fermentation is referred too as a “Wine” – regardless of the type of fruit. Other special categories exist, like Cider for Apples and Perrier for Pears. Under South African Law, the commercial naming of Wine is limited to Grape based products.
But to avoid confusion, let us stick to Pineapple “Beer” for now.
What are Common Mistakes when making Pineapple “Beer”?
The biggest mistakes people are making are:
- They are not making Pineapple “Beer” or Wine, they are making Pineapple flavoured sugar water fermentations, as they are not fermenting the Pineapple Juice, but sugar water with Pineapple pieces.
- They are not sterilizing their fermentations, which leads to bacterial infections and wild yeast fermentations.
- They choose yeasts that will just get the job done or is easily available (like bread yeast), and not yeasts that give proper flavour and maximum alcohol yield, hence the product does not taste nice, and they waste sugar and money.
- They do not clarify the fermentation and siphon off from the yeast bed, hence they consume the dead (or sometimes live) yeast, which leads to Gastro Intestinal Problems.
Following this recipe should solve all of these problems, and if you want to know why certain things are done, feel free to browse around our website articles, or even the product descriptions for more information.
What is a good Recipe for Pineapple Beer?
This recipe is enough to make approximately 4 lt of Pineapple “Beer”.
- Pineapples: 10 kg (or 4lt of store-bought preservative free Pineapple Juice)
- Sodium Metabisulphite: 100 grams
- Yeast (Wine yeast – ideally Rhone 4600 or another yeast that creates Sub-Tropical Fruit Flavours): 5 grams
- Yeast Nutrients: 5 grams
- Acid Mix: 4 - 6 grams (or according to taste)
- Tannin Mix: According to taste / 1 cup of strong tea (such as 5 roses).
- Maltodextrin: 120 grams
- Granulated sugar: 40 grams
- Kitchen grater / Fruit Juicer (ideally the type that separates liquids and solids)
- Large glass bowl
- Straining cloth
- Kitchen sieve
- 5 litre fermentation bottle
- Fermentation lock with bung (if available)
- Drinking Straw
- Syphoning tube
- Beer bottles and caps / swing top bottles.
1. Prepare a sterilisation solution. Dissolve 16 grams of Sodium Metabisulphite powder per one litre of water (make about 5 - 6 litres).
2. Sterilise all your equipment and set aside.
3. Wash pineapples with the Sodium Metabisulphite solution (this will kill any bacteria and wild yeast present on the surface of the pineapples).
4. Remove the pineapple peel and grate the pineapples into a fine pulp (the finer the pulp, the more juice can be extracted). If you have a Fruit Juicer, cut the pineapples into strips after they have been peeled and put through the juicer. If using purchased preservative free juice, skip to Step 6.
5. Place your sieve over a clean bowl, and line it with your straining cloth. Put a couple heaping handfuls of pulp in the straining cloth and gather the edges and twist to wring out as much of the juice as possible. Repeat until all the pulp has been processed and all juice has been extracted.
6. Pour the juice into your 5 L fermentation bottle.
7. Add the nutrients and yeast and shake well.
8. Close your bottle with the screw cap containing the fermentation lock (bubbler). Remove the red cap on the bubbler and fill the bubbler with water to the indicated mark. Replace the red cap onto the bubbler. If you do not have a bubbler, make a small hole inside the lid of the bottle to allow the CO2 formed during fermentation to escape. Some people make a slightly bigger hole and attach a clear plastic tube which they run into a bottle of water. It does not really matter what method you choose, as long as the CO2 is allowed to escape, and no bugs are allowed into the fermentation.
9. Place the fermentation bottle in a comfortable (21-25 °C) room, out of direct sunlight. The darker, the better – especially if the fermentation bottle is clear plastic.
Your fermentation will start in the next two days. You would notice bubbles of CO2 gas escaping from the “bubbler” if you have one, or through the plastic tube in the water, these are signs that the fermentation is working. If you only have a hole in the lid, place a balloon over the hole and see if it inflates.
10. Allow the juice to ferment for at least 8 - 10 days.
11. After the fermentation period, taste it and see how it is doing. Take a sample without disturbing the bottle by putting a drinking straw into the fermentation, place your finger over the top, and take out a sample. If it is still relatively sweet, allow it to ferment for another couple of days, until it is completely dry (all sugar fermented).
12. Rack your “Beer”:
- If the fermentation is done, place the bottle in a Fridge for 48 hours. The cold will cause all the dead yeast and sediment to settle to the bottom. This is called “Cold Crashing”.
- Remove the fermentation bottle cap (with bubbler) and insert the siphoning tube gently into the wine without it touching or disturbing the sediment at the bottom of the fermentation bottle.
- Suck on the open end of the tube until the wine almost reaches your mouth. Then pinch the tube closed and lower it into a clean bottle (lower than the fermentation bottle) to start the syphon.
- Keep on siphoning until the wine level in the fermentation bottle almost reaches the sediment at the bottom of the fermentation bottle. The syphoned wine will now be much clearer.
13. Adjust the taste of your “Beer” (OPTIONAL):
- Add maltodextrin, acid and tannin.
- Make sure these substances are dissolved thoroughly.
- Add the sugar (40 grams is enough for 4 litres)
14. Bottle Carbonation (OPTIONAL if you want a “Fizzy” Pineapple “Beer”)
- Do not add more sugar than indicated since it might cause an explosion due to pressure build-up during the bottle carbonation process.
- Make sure the sugar is dissolved well before transferring the “Beer” to the smaller bottles.
- Transfer the “Beer” into smaller beer bottles and seal using a bottle capper. If you do not have the equipment, you can use swing-top bottles – “Grolsch” bottles, sometimes also used for Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.
- Allow to bottle ferment for 3-5 days.
15. After the second fermentation, place your ciders in die fridge and enjoy
NOTE: This is only a basic recipe. Producing wine and ciders has even more detailed steps not discussed or mentioned in the above recipe. If you would like to learn more on processing fruit, important analysis and additions and even enhancing the flavour before bottling, you can join our Fruit Winemaking Practical Workshop.