Friday, October 26, 2012

Tips on Surviving the Season

How to Make Banana Beer



Technical Brief

Banana beer is made from bananas, mixed with a cereal flour (often sorghum flour) and fermented to an orange, alcoholic beverage. It is sweet and slightly hazy with a shelf life of several days under correct storage conditions. There are many variations in how the beer is made. For instance, Urwaga banana beer in Kenya is made from bananas and sorghum or millet and Lubisi is made from bananas and sorghum.

Raw material preparation

Ripe bananas (Musa spp.) are selected. In the rainy season unripe bananas can be left to finish ripening laid on a hurdle over the fire where the cooking is done. During the dry season bananas can be ripened by making a pit in the ground, covering the sides of the pit with green banana leaves, packing the bananas in to the pit and then covering them with banana leaves and earth. On one side of the pit a little ditch should be dug for a fire so that warmth and smoke can enter the pit. This takes about six days. The bananas should then be peeled. If the peels cannot be removed by hand then the bananas are not sufficiently ripe.


The first step is the preparation of the banana juice. The extraction of a high yield of banana juice without excessive browning or contamination by spoilage micro-organisms and proper filtration to produce a clear product is of great importance. Grass can be used to squeeze the banana so that only a clear juice is obtained. The residue will remain in the grass.
One volume of water should be added to every three volumes of banana juice. This makes the total soluble solids low enough for the yeast to act. Cereals are ground and roasted and added to improve the colour and flavour of the final product. The mixture is placed in a container, which is covered in polythene to ferment for 18 to 24 hours. The raw materials are not sterilised by boiling and therefore provide an excellent substrate for microbial growth. It is essential that proper hygienic procedures are followed and that all equipment is thoroughly sterilised to prevent contaminating bacteria from competing with the yeast and producing acid instead of alcohol. This can be done by cleaning with boiling water or with chlorine solution. Care is necessary to wash the equipment free of residual chlorine, as this would interfere with the actions of the yeast. Strict personal hygiene is also essential. For many traditional fermented products, the microorganisms responsible for the fermentation are unknown to scientists. However, there has been research to identify the micro-organisms involved in banana beer production. The main micro-organism is Saccharomyces cerevisiae which is the same organism that is involved in the production of grape wine. However, many other microorganisms were identified. These varied according to the region of production. After fermentation the product is filtered through cotton cloth.
Flow diagram
Raw materials
Ripe bananas
Peel by hand
Remove residue
Use grass to knead or squeeze out the juice. The residue will remain in the grass.
Mix with clean water
The water: banana juice ratio should be 1:3
Mix with cereal flour
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

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 sunlight.

References and further reading

Grape Wine, Practical Action Technical Brief
Banana Chips, Practical Action Technical Brief
Traditional Foods: Processing for Profit, Edited by Pete Fellows, ITDG Publications 1997
Useful organisations and contacts
P.O. Box 380
6700 AJ Wageningen
The Netherlands
Telephone: +31 (0) 317 467100
Fax: +31 317 460 067

Useful internet sites
Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Perdue University 

Oh, and the Lions might beat the Seahawks.  Or they might not.  Either way, let's all just get drunk. 


Anonymous said...

Banana beer? You are one sick motherfucker.

Neil said...

Maybe so, Lord Anonymous, but I am a man of earthly delights who believes in preserving his Ugandan heritage. You see, not many know this but I was found in a basket by Kamala the Ugandan Giant, who raised me with the help of his handler, Kim-Chee. He taught me to brew banana beer in the fields outside of his hut. He wouldn't speak of it but I'm fairly certain both me and the banana beer were his only solace after his wife was hacked to death by a machete wielding Idi Amin. I tried to get Forrest Whitaker to apologize to my adopted father, the noble Kamala, but he refused and so Kamala slapped his belly and bulged his eyes, a sure sign that the madness was taking him and then he stabbed Forrest Whitaker in the head with a fork and splashed his prone body. I dragged my adopted father away from the carnage before the police could arrive and calmed him with the very same banana beer he taught me to make. You may say this makes me a savage, or "one sick motherfucker", and perhaps you are right, but all I know is that Kamala loved me when no one else would, and that's worth all the abuse you can hurl my way.

Raven Mack said...

This makes me so happy that perhaps I will not stab people today.

Bubbalouuey said...

My God Neil is farther over the edge than I thought and it looks like Raven Mack has been imbibing the same stuff......god help us....or TGWY

David Tokarz said...

Pineapple tequila might also do the trick.

Raven Mack said...

At one point me and Neil had some theories we shared with each other regarding banana beer and the quest for immortality. I am glad to see Neil is putting it to practice, as we are after all scientists, and a scientific website.

Raven Mack said...

Pineapple tequila? Might as well do amyl nitrates at dance night. Not that there's anything wrong with that, especially if the end result is a wine enema.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Jesus....... enema's and banana did i get in here ?

Neil said...

You were transported here by Degei, the snake god, who was worried about your immortal soul.

Neil said...

Also, TGWY invented banana beer during a brief stay in Africa in 10,000 BC. This is also when he had the Pyramids built in order to commemorate astral precession.

Neil said...

Also, also, David... what do you think fuels the hobo army?

Marc said...

Come back Neil....

*takes a few shots a brew....*

We're not yet dead....there is still Life....

*takes a few more shots a brew....*

Raven Mack said...

did you guys know TGWY was Dr. Yacub's uncle? Yacub grafted the devil from the original asiatic man as an attempt to create a being able to counter the powers of his uncle. This is also why so many black men are in jail in America.

Raven Mack said...

I mean really, do you think it's coincidence TGWY would play football in the same city that Master Fard Muhammad first delivered the 120 lessons? Come on people, open your pineal gland the fuck up.

Anonymous said...

Us white devils want watermelon beer, and monkey

Neil said...

I had to fight a monkey for the bananas. It was brutal. He scratched me, bit me and flung his shit at me and as a consequence I now have AIDS. But, on a brighter note, I eventually subdued him and strangled him. I watch as the light died in his eyes and the great Monkey God took him into His embrace. I then chopped the monkey up and buried his various body parts in several unmarked graves and splashed holy water on them because I don't need some terrible zombie monkey coming back after me because I stole his bananas. Frankly, I feel a little ashamed, like I pillaged that monkey's culture, robbed him of his natural resources and then slaughtered him and subjugated his people but what the hell, it's the American way. I comforted myself by sprinkling bits of his blood in the banana beer to add flavor and I've gotta say, that just spiced that recipe right the fuck up. Mmmmmmmmhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

I prefer peyote myself, less shit and native american

Anonymous said...

And no Fing monkey