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< prev - next > Food processing Juices and drinks KnO 100180_Banana beer (Printable PDF)
Banana beer
Practical Action
Packaging and storage
Packaging is usually only required to keep the product for its relatively short shelf life. Clean glass
or plastic bottles should be used. The product should be kept in a cool place away from direct
Hygiene and quality assurance
Banana beer is made from raw material that does not undergo any heating or cooking at any stage of
the process. The banana pulp is an excellent substrate for microbial growth both of the desirable
yeasts and the non-desirable spoilage bacteria. The fermentation is brought about by natural yeasts
that are present on the banana. Heating or boiling the raw material would kill these natural yeasts
and spoil the traditional flavour of the beer. It is essential that strict attention is paid to cleanliness
of the equipment and processing area and to personal hygiene to avoid contamination of the beer
with other bacteria that may form acid rather than alcohol.
It is best to sterilise the equipment prior to use with boiling water. Chlorinated water can be used to
clean the equipment, but this is not recommended as the chlorine can affect the fermentation.
Flow diagram
Raw materials
Remove residue
Mix with water
Mix with cereal flour
Ripe bananas
Peel by hand
Use grass to knead or squeeze out the juice. The residue will remain
The water: banana juice ratio should be 1:3
Mix with ground and roasted cereals to local taste. For sorghum the
ratio should be 1:12
In plastic container. Leave to ferment for 18 to 24 hours.
Through cotton cloth
In one-litre plastic bottles with cork stoppers or equivalent
Improved method for banana beer
The process can be made more hygienic and the quality of product improved by following a typical
method for making a fermented beverage. This involves the preparation of a wort (which is a boiled
starter substrate), addition of a commercial source of yeast, fermentation under controlled
conditions (time and temperature) followed by pasteurisation to stop the fermentation. The product
made by this improved method will have a different taste and appearance to the ‘live’ beer produced
by the traditional method. The improved beer can be bottled and stored and will be consistent from
one batch to the next.
Equipment required
Beer making does not require any specialist equipment. All equipment used should be of food-grade
and should be thoroughly cleaned before use.
Filter bags (cotton cloth)
Fermentation vessel (plastic bucket)