Sometimes we get warm winds from Hawaii, loaded with rain. The weather folks refer to them as a Pineapple Express…I can't help thinking it would be a good time for one. Yes, we’re in the midst of a heat wave on the Sunshine Coast of BC, and absolutely no rain in sight. Wildfires all around us in BC at this time, and the vegetation is extremely dry - perfect for lightning strikes to do widespread damage.
It’s at times like this I get a hankering for some good old South African pineapple beer, the kind we used to make when I grew up. Last year I even managed to grow a pineapple that I could use for it. This year, alas, it’ll be straight from the supermarket.
Don't waste that pineapple peel!
Coca Cola was pretty well unknown there -- I would have been in my teens before I tasted and heartily disliked it.
We used to have a ready supply of pineapples, and rather than wasting the skin when they were peeled, we would make pineapple beer. It really is beer, and quite delicious. As younger children we were allowed to make it, and to drink it before it actually started to get too alcoholic!
Sometimes it’s sort of challenging to figure out whether pineapples are ripe. The way you can tell is to take one of the leaves at the centre, and give a very gentle tug. If it comes away easily that fruit is ripe!
Pineapple beer tastes unique. It’s a wonderful cooling drink for children when not fermented. A big glassful, straight from the fridge, and of course with ice cubes, just can't be beat!
Warning - it's potent stuff!
I've been surprised to know that some folks have never bought a pineapple because they don't know how to peel them. This is how you do it!
- Cut the spiny top off, and stand the flat surface on a cutting board
- With a large kitchen knife, cut straight down the peel. You may find you have some brown little spots all over it. That's fine.
- In the centre of the fruit you'll notice the lighter-coloured core. Cut straight down 4 times from top to bottom, and you'll be left with the skin, the core and the delicious fruit.
- The fruit can be enjoyed after it is cut into chunks.
- The peel, without the top, core and bottom, is used for the beer
Here's the very simple recipe!
You're Gonna Need . . .
Skins from two large pineapples, rinsed with clean water
450 g white sugar
8 litres water
7.5g 1pkg dry yeast
This is what you do. . .
Chop the skins roughly, and put them into a clean bucket, only food grade plastic or stainless steel.
Add the water, sugar and raisins.
Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Sprinkle the dried yeast over the mixture.
Allow the yeast to activate for 30 minutes, then stir everything well.
Cover and leave in a cool place for 24 hours.
Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth, and leave for 12 hours. (This is when the children can drink it)!
Fill the glass bottles, cap, refrigerate and use within 2 days! Or keep refrigerated, and check the bottles and contents as I described above.
Hope you'll enjoy this motivational video! You'll never think about pineapples in the same way again!