Bananas are a rich source of fruit sugar (17-25%). In East Africa,
bananas are the main raw material for fermented beverages. All involve
squashing bananas to extract the juice. The bananas are usually cooked
in a pit or on a special platform. In the past bananas would normally
have been peeled after cooking, but now are usually trodden with the
feet. Considerable quantities of water are poured over the bananas as
they are crushed, to extract as much sugar as possible. The sweet
juice is strained (and in the case of 'mbege', cooked), and then
malted or unmalted grain is added. The mixture of banana juice and
grain is left to ferment, either in a gourd or in a wooden trough.
Bananas are used in fruit wines. See:
A standardised recipe for a banana mash could be:
2kg bananas (200g sugar content)
1kg sugar (or 1.5kg crushed malted grain)
juice 4 lemons (or 1tsp citric acid)
5 litres water
yeast and nutrient
Peel and chop bananas in their peels, place in a bag and tie close.
Place bag in a large pot with water and bring to boil, then gently
simmer for 30 minutes. Pour the hot liquor over sugar an lemon juice
in fermenter and stir to dissolve sugar. When cool enough to handle,
squeeze bag to extract as much liquid as possible and add to vessel.
When liquor cools to 22C add yeast and nutrient. Grain malt is added
to 75C liquor and mashed at 65C for an hour or so.
If you have a lot of bananas I suppose you could use your feet!