What does tepache mold look like?

Answered by Paul Bowser

As an expert sommelier and brewer, I've had my fair share of experiences with fermentation and mold. When it comes to tepache, a traditional Mexican fermented drink made from pineapple, it's important to keep an eye out for any signs of mold during the fermentation process.

Typically, during the fermentation of tepache, a white scum or film may form on the surface of the liquid. This is completely normal and is often referred to as the “bloom.” It is essentially a collection of and bacteria that are actively fermenting the sugars in the pineapple and other ingredients. This bloom is usually harmless and can be skimmed off if desired, though it is often left undisturbed.

However, there are instances when mold can develop on the surface of the tepache. Mold will typically appear as fuzzy greenish-white growths on top of the liquid, and it can be quite distinct from the normal bloom. If you spot mold, it is important to take immediate action to prevent it from spreading and potentially ruining your batch of tepache.

In my personal experience, I once encountered mold on a batch of tepache that I had left unattended for too long. The mold had a greenish hue and had a fuzzy texture. It had a distinctive odor that was unpleasant and indicative of spoilage. It was clear that the batch was no longer safe to consume and had to be discarded.

To avoid mold growth in your tepache, it is crucial to maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness throughout the fermentation process. Ensure that all the equipment and containers you use are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before use. Additionally, keep the fermentation vessel covered with a breathable cloth or lid to prevent any foreign contaminants from entering.

If you do happen to spot mold on your tepache, it is best to discard the entire batch. Mold can produce harmful toxins, and consuming tainted tepache can lead to gastrointestinal issues or other health problems. It's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to mold growth.

While a formation of white scum or film on top of tepache is normal during fermentation, mold will appear as fuzzy greenish-white growths. It is essential to differentiate between the harmless bloom and mold, as mold can be harmful if consumed. By maintaining proper hygiene and cleanliness during the fermentation process, you can minimize the risk of mold and ensure a successful batch of delicious tepache.