MAKE YOUR OWN PINEAPPLE BEER UNDER LOCKDOWN

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Homemade pineapple beer is a refreshing drink and is non-alcoholic if consumed relatively soon after making, but can pack a punch if left to ferment longer.

Many of us have enjoyed this drink during our childhood and its rather similar to traditional ginger beer.

The best news is not so much the alcohol levels (we’ll leave that up to you…), but the ease with which the drink can be made. And, its delicious, especially in these times when the same old water, coffee, tea and sugary soft drinks are all we can legally enjoy.

One online source recommends that if you want it alcoholic, to let it ferment for up to a week, or a bit more. Taste it every day and when you notice it is much less sweet than before, add a cup of sugar and let it ferment another day or two. The more sugar, the more alcohol.

Preparation: 15 minutes.

Fermenting: 3 days on average, longer if you want a bit of a kick.

Ingredients

2 Pineapples. Remove the leaves and clean it as best you can.

24 cups lukewarm water (6 litres).

5 cups white sugar or about 5½ if you’re using brown sugar, which imparts a lovely flavour.

1 cup raisins, slightly bruised.

2 ½ teaspoons instant dry yeast. You can brew without the yeast, but it will take a bit longer. There are natural yeasts on raisins and that’s all you need to get your ‘beer’ going.

A stick or two of cinnamon, or a teaspoon or so of powdered cinnamon and 5 cloves will impart a lovely flavour and is traditional in Mexican Tepache. Or, for an Asian twist, you can add ginger (fresh or dried) and some lemongrass if you have.

Instructions

Chop the pineapples, peel and all, roughly in about 2cm squares.

Place all the ingredients, except the yeast, in a large plastic container – a great idea is to buy water in 5-litre containers and use those.

Sprinkle the yeast over – leave a minute and then give the mixture a good stir.

Use a piece fabric (or dish cloth) to close over the top of the container and secure with a rubber band. You don’t want ants or fruit flies getting in there! DO NOT CLOSE WITH A LID – the mixture will be fermenting and all that gas needs to escape.

Leave for 72 hours – stirring twice a day.

Strain and bottle the beer, but only put the caps on after 12 hours – keep chilled and serve as is with ice.

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