Carribean Mavi (or Mauby)

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rocketman768

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So, I'm taking a vacation in Puerto Rico and came across a vendor on the side of the road selling Mavi for a buck. Everybody told me it was made by pressing sugar cane into a juice, but when I tasted it, it was obviously fermented and tasted strongly of yeast...in fact, it tasted fruity like US-05 smells when rehydrated. I found the wikipedia page as well as a couple of recipes here and here.

I was just wondering if anyone has made any batches of it or has had any luck finding mavi bark in the contiguous US.
 

RRCos

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Hello Rocketman and all

First.. I wrote one of the 2 recipes you posted here.. I looked at the second recipe (the one in English) and I can assure you.. that is not how it's made in Puerto Rico.

During my last trip to Puerto Rico.. I bought 2 pounds of bark at a farmer's market in the city of Cayey.. for only 8 dollars. That's enough for many galons of Mavi.. which by the way.. is indeed a fermented, slighly alcoholic brew.

I will translate my recipe and post it here if you like. As far as finding the bark, here in the states.. I don't know.. but they do harvest some of the bark in Florida.. but I don't know who sells it.
 

RRCos

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1 ounce of mavi tree bark
1/2 ounce of fresh ginger, sliced thin
1 stick whole cinnamon
1 1/2 cups of water
12 ½ cups of water
2 ½ cups of granulated sugar
2 ½ cups of dark brown sugar
2 cups of previously made mavi ***

Directions:
Place 1 and 1/2 cups of water in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the Mavi bark, ginger, whole cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, remove from heat and strain into a clean bowl. Discard the solids. Allow liquid to cool.

In a large bowl.. mix 12 1/2cups of water, granulated sugar, brown sugar and mix well, until the sugars are dissolved. Add the mavi liquid and the previosly prepared mavi and mix well. The mixture will begin to foam.

Pour the mavi into the gallon bottle and cap loosely, with cloth or the cap with a hole cut into it. Do not plug it too tightly. The fermentation will create pressure.

Place the bottle in direct sunlight for 5 to 8 days. If the sun isn’t out that much.. let it ferment for another 2 or 3 days.

NOTE: When previously prepared mavi is not available.. others have added a bit of active dry wine yeast after the maví has been prepared. I have never made this with the yeast, so if you do.. follow the directions that come with the wine yeast.
 
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rocketman768

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RRCos,

Thanks for the recipe! I have a question: how do make sure the end product is sweet? Usually, I'd think the yeast (especially wine yeast) would consume all the sugar, but the stuff I tasted was pretty sweet almost like iced tea.
 

RRCos

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My recipe contains no yeast.. and I beleive that the natural fermantation comes from boiling the bark. I only pointed out the wine yeast because someone else said that they had used it successfully. I have always prepared it without yeast.
 

alhiem

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In any case, it seems that the whole thing attracts wild yeast, as all sweet worts will do. If you have no leftover mavi, you can try to ferment your own, lambic style. The cloth cork is just to keep the bigger nasties away and let the carbon dioxide escape.
As you can surmise, open fermentation with wild yeast may also contain wild bacteria, thus the lambic reference. It will ferment on its own. The sun part of the ritual is to add heat and make it confortable to the yeast and friendly bacteria. It also, undoubtly affects taste much as sun affects the taste (In the yummy kind of way) of them Mexican cervezas if you expose them for 5-10 minutes previous to serving. Something that ultraviolet does to the whole concoction.
If you prefer a more beer like drink, add yeast, low attenuation for more sweetness and the classic low alcohol levels. If you prefer dryer and stronger drink, shoot in some champagne yeast in.
I've been researching this for a while cuz I intend to do Belgian style blended beer and one of the layers will be mavi. I'll post my findings later.
By the way, anywhere you find long established colonies of Caribbean people you will find fresh markets and sure as the sun rises, someone imported some bark. I can try to find a supplier locally here in Puerto Rico and ask a friend of mines to post it as a specialty spice on his website. It doesn't hurt to ask. :)

Here is the website of a comercial version sold in the Dominican republic. They list it as non-alcoholic, so i gues it is just the juice without the fermentation and force carbonation. http://www.grupotaino.com/products.html
Some dude from St. Thomas (they call it mauby there) has this recipe:

... First, I simmered the following for about 10 minutes:

4-5 pieces mauby bark
2 sticks cinnamon (short)
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
2 tsp. dried marjoram
2 pods star anise
3 cloves
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
3 cups water
at the end of which, it had reduced quite a bit. I strained it — saving back the mauby bark — into a 3 gallon carboy, dropping the bark in as well. The mauby bark, incidentally, was $2.50/oz. from a local Caribbean grocery. It’s Bedessee brand. Next, I heated

2 cups brown cane sugar
2 cups white cane sugar
10 cups water
until the sugar dissolved, and allowed it to cool. This was added to the carboy, and shaken well. Finally, I pitched half an expired packet of Lalvin D47 yeast I found in the back of a drawer, figuring it couldn’t hurt, and just might help. Didn’t bother to proof it. To keep the nasties out, and just in case the yeast did decide to kick off an active fermentation, I affixed a waterlock, set it in a warm spot and waited.

It never really developed much of a head… oh, there was a layer of foam on top, and the waterlock was definitely working some, so there was CO2 being produced, but it was nothing like a rolling, active fermentation. I doubt that the D47 had much to do with it. A slight cap persisted for 5 days, at the end of which I decanted it into a pitcher for refrigeration, to halt any further yeast activity.

The verdict: DELICIOUS. Scrumptuously bitter, with lovely herbal and yuletide spice notes. Sweet enough to complement the bitterness — it didn’t even begin to ferment to dryness — without the syrupy heaviness of mauby made from concentrate. It also seems to lack the long, medicinal finish that I noted in the concentrate...
 
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rocketman768

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Alhiem,

Thanks for all the good info. I live in Chicago, which has the second largest Puerto-Rican population next to New York, so I'm sure I could find the bark if I looked hard enough. I ended up buying a few pounds of the bark in Puerto Rico before I left, and it's still in my freezer waiting to be used. I think maybe I'll make a gallon test batch with some US-05 and see how it comes out. Let me know how your Belgian ends up.
 

alhiem

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Will keep you posted. I Intend to do this (the Belgian beer) now in the winter holidays and of course i will try the St. Thomas version too, since it has a certain allure in the mix. I don't know, i may end up liking it more than the traditional brew found here.
 
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rocketman768

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Making myself a 1 gal batch of this right now. I am mainly going off of your recipe alhiem, but I subbed a few items.

First, I decided 20g of bark since the first recipe calls for 1 oz (28 g), but yours only calls for a few pieces. Second, I used 1/2 tsp dried Mediterranean oregano instead of marjoram, and 1/4 tsp of tarragon instead of star anise. I backed off on these two because I know oregano is much more pungent than marjoram, and for the star anise, I really dislike the licorice flavor, so I backed that off quite a bit.

I also used 260g of each of the brown and cane sugars to be more precise than the volumetric measurements. The liquid reads 16.4 Plato, which comes to 1.067 specific gravity. I'll add a teaspoon or two of US-05 yeast when it cools down enough, and see what happens.
 

alhiem

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Sounds about right. that, if it ferments to a decent fg, somewhere around 1.010-1.018 it should put out a decent alcoholic beer. Im going to do a batch tonight and will rack it as a beer with a bit of additional sugar to get some carbonation going before i drink it :D
 

RRCos

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Hello Rocketman and all..

Someone stopped by my blog and left a link, where mauby bark can be purchased by the pound. I found their price to be right around what I paid in Puerto Rico.

This is the website.. http://www.angelbrand.com/
 

alhiem

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That is nice. I got a pound a buck but then again it was at the local freshmarket from the harvester himself. He didn't have much and i bought the two pounds he had. This is not too hard to find here in Puerto Rico but it is not as common as it used to. Having an online source is super.
 

sloppytortus

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I recently returned from a trip to Barbados with a 1 liter bottle of Mauby syrup (concentrate). Rather than produce a fermented version of Mauby as described in this thread, I'm thinking of using this ingredient as a primary flavoring/adjunct in an ale of some kind. The instructions on the bottle say dilute 1 part syrup with 4 parts water. Any suggestions?? Has anyone done this before?
 

bmason1623

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a friend of mine has a large amount of mavi bark that we're going to use in the world famous Centennial Blonde recipe. I am not familiar with mavi so we're going to experiment. I'll try to update as time allows.
 
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rocketman768

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So, my version came out fairly well. I let it ferment for a week, capped and let it ferment more in the bottle for a week (to carbonate), then pasteurized in the bottle to kill the yeast. I was a little afraid of the bitterness when I first brewed it, but it settled down. I wish I would have let it ferment a touch more, because it is still very sweet.
 

GrayStone

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I am looking for a Dominican or Puerto Rican Mavi recipe....I saw this post from 201?0 and was wondering how did it go and where to buy the bark....also what yeast would give the Caribbean taste?
Any help is very much appreciated
G
 
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rocketman768

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I am looking for a Dominican or Puerto Rican Mavi recipe....I saw this post from 201?0 and was wondering how did it go and where to buy the bark....also what yeast would give the Caribbean taste?
Any help is very much appreciated
G
It went fairly well. The one I ended up making was based on RRCos' recipe above. I used US-05, but I think those street vendors are probably just using bread yeast. I have since found mavi bark at a local hispanic supermarket. Their spice section contains a lot of hispanic spices in 1 oz plastic bags, and they have 2 different brands of mavi bark.
 

GrayStone

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BTW, someplace in the post I saw a mention of the sugar cane drink from the caribbean...In Puerto Rico its called "melao de can~a" or "guarapo" anyway, its the pure extract of pressed sugar cane with ice and a bit of water depending on taste....in a glass with ice it looks like Mavi too...but of course its very sweet.
G
 
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rocketman768

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BTW, someplace in the post I saw a mention of the sugar cane drink from the caribbean...In Puerto Rico its called "melao de can~a" or "guarapo" anyway, its the pure extract of pressed sugar cane with ice and a bit of water depending on taste....in a glass with ice it looks like Mavi too...but of course its very sweet.
G
Yeah, pretty cool how they press the cane right there on the spot, but way too sweet IMHO.
 

sarakali

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The bark for the Mavi tree is readily available in Florida. If you try any outdoor market in Miami, or even in a Spanish Grocery store (Bodega), or the outdoor markets of Hialeah (Florida), you will find it. Also, it is sold in New York.
Mavi is indeed a fermented (non-alcoholic) drink and is delicious ! I learned to make it from my Aunt. She would start with a base of the drink itself (referred to as the 'pie') Pronounced not 'pie', but rather, pee-yé. You must have the Mavi drink itself, as a base, to make it. After she cooked the Mavi bark and sugar, and added the Mavi base, she would let it cool, and funnel into bottles. Then, she would put them out in the Sun, to ferment. I would look out the window, and when I saw the foam had stopped coming out of the bottle, I knew it was ready ! Everytone should try Mavi, at least once in their lifetime. Elena
 

sarakali

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' Mavi' doesn't have any of these in it:
cinnamon
bay leaves
fresh rosemary
dried marjoram
star anise
cloves
nutmeg

I've seen it made hundreds of times, since I was a child, and it doesn't contain any of the above.. I don't know what that recipe is for...
 

BenFranklinHead

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' Mavi' doesn't have any of these in it:
cinnamon
bay leaves
fresh rosemary
dried marjoram
star anise
cloves
nutmeg

I've seen it made hundreds of times, since I was a child, and it doesn't contain any of the above.. I don't know what that recipe is for...
sarakali, what is the recipe you know?
 

virlusun

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I learn to make Mavi rootbeer when I was in my teenage years in PR assisting a friend who use to make it for her husband to sell it on the streets. I just wanted to put my cents info to this old forum since I've been searching for Mauby bark in USA for 25 years and my quest is over. I live in TX, so we don't have that many Caribbean markets but do have other ethnic markets. I have to adapt some ingredients. You will find it in African markets because of Puerto Rico's origins came from Nothern Africa. I do use champagne yeast because of the famous Mavi Champagne from Juana Diaz, PR. Just less than pinch just like if you where making homemade rootbeer. I also add orange zest, few rasings, in addition to the cinnamon stick and of course Mauby and fresh ginger. For sugar, I used pilloncillo, it is a cone of sugarcane that you can find at Hispanic markets. I got this idea from a Mexican friend that made Tepache, which is a fermented drink from Pineapple similar to Mavi and she uses pilloncillo which has that carateristic Mavi amber color & taste. I do not use white sugar, pilloncillo is sufficient. If you live in a State where is cold or run air conditioner like we do in TX, you way want to place your Mavi bat on a lizard pad to keep it warm. Thanks for your interest in Mavi. :)
 

jmfromohio

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Hello, I know this is late but I made some Mavi and when I went to taste it, its very bitter, more than the usual, did I do something wrong? Is there a way to try to fix it? I have 4 gallons of it, thank you for all your help.
 

BenFranklinHead

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Hello, I know this is late but I made some Mavi and when I went to taste it, its very bitter, more than the usual, did I do something wrong? Is there a way to try to fix it? I have 4 gallons of it, thank you for all your help.
You can always back sweetened with lactose sugar, or you could kill the yeast (with those chemicals people use for that) and then add more fermentable sugars.
 

BenFranklinHead

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I learn to make Mavi rootbeer when I was in my teenage years in PR assisting a friend who use to make it for her husband to sell it on the streets. I just wanted to put my cents info to this old forum since I've been searching for Mauby bark in USA for 25 years and my quest is over. I live in TX, so we don't have that many Caribbean markets but do have other ethnic markets. I have to adapt some ingredients. You will find it in African markets because of Puerto Rico's origins came from Nothern Africa. I do use champagne yeast because of the famous Mavi Champagne from Juana Diaz, PR. Just less than pinch just like if you where making homemade rootbeer. I also add orange zest, few rasings, in addition to the cinnamon stick and of course Mauby and fresh ginger. For sugar, I used pilloncillo, it is a cone of sugarcane that you can find at Hispanic markets. I got this idea from a Mexican friend that made Tepache, which is a fermented drink from Pineapple similar to Mavi and she uses pilloncillo which has that carateristic Mavi amber color & taste. I do not use white sugar, pilloncillo is sufficient. If you live in a State where is cold or run air conditioner like we do in TX, you way want to place your Mavi bat on a lizard pad to keep it warm. Thanks for your interest in Mavi. :)
How much piloncillo did you use, how much Mavi, what size batch did you make, and for those of use that have never made rootbeer, how much yeast did you pitch?
 

jmfromohio

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Thanks so much, do they sell lactose sugar in the supermarkets? I'm going to check online to see if they sell it on amazon.
 

jmfromohio

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You can always back sweetened with lactose sugar, or you could kill the yeast (with those chemicals people use for that) and then add more fermentable sugars.
Thanks so much, do they sell lactose sugar in the supermarkets? I'm going to check online to see if they sell it on amazon.
 

Amy1022

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Hi there. My parents were from Puerto Rico (I am first generation born here) and I am very familiar with the drink Mavi! I remember my mother brewing it and letting it ferment by our window sills in NYC. I loved the taste then, and it just so happens that since my brother loved the drink so much in PR he was coined with the name "El Mavi", I decided to try and make it as a surprise for his BBQ invite. I had a bit of trouble finding the bark, but I did at two places, both West Indian. Before that I tried looking for it in Spanish speaking grocery stores but where I am there is more of a South American influence, so I guess if I went to another city where the population is more Carribbean (and PR) I might find be able to find it there. But I did at these West-Indian stores, Trinidadian to be more specific. There they call it mauby. In one store it came with an anisette star, a whole cinammon stick, anise, etc. but I don't remember my mom making it with that. She might have used a cinnamon stick but my sister says no. We also don't make it with ginger, nor oregano (no!) or marjoram. My mother never used yeast. All I know is that she used what was called "el pied" or the base of another previously made mavi for her own drink. I made it with mavi bark, 1 ounce, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 1/2 cups dark brown and 2 cups white sugar (I thought it was enough) and 12 cups of water plus 1 cup of my previously made which was slightly bitter. It turned out better the 3rd time I made it--just like my mom's. The secret is not to allow the mavi bark to boil (in 1 1/2 cups water) too long--about 5 minutes. Otherwise the bitterness will settle in no matter how much sugar you add. Anyway, hope you were able to find the mavi bark.
 

gaspar

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1 ounce of mavi tree bark
1/2 ounce of fresh ginger, sliced thin
1 stick whole cinnamon
1 1/2 cups of water
12 ½ cups of water
2 ½ cups of granulated sugar
2 ½ cups of dark brown sugar
2 cups of previously made mavi ***

Directions:
Place 1 and 1/2 cups of water in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the Mavi bark, ginger, whole cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, remove from heat and strain into a clean bowl. Discard the solids. Allow liquid to cool.

In a large bowl.. mix 12 1/2cups of water, granulated sugar, brown sugar and mix well, until the sugars are dissolved. Add the mavi liquid and the previosly prepared mavi and mix well. The mixture will begin to foam.

Pour the mavi into the gallon bottle and cap loosely, with cloth or the cap with a hole cut into it. Do not plug it too tightly. The fermentation will create pressure.

Place the bottle in direct sunlight for 5 to 8 days. If the sun isn’t out that much.. let it ferment for another 2 or 3 days.

NOTE: When previously prepared mavi is not available.. others have added a bit of active dry wine yeast after the maví has been prepared. I have never made this with the yeast, so if you do.. follow the directions that come with the wine yeast.
Yes! This is THE recipe for Mavi Champan. I've been drinking this stuff since I was a baby :} 5 days and up is an excellent fermenting time as far as my taste buds are concern. I let it ferment for 5 days only. More days can translate into a gradually less sweet and more beer like brew and begins to part with the typical mavi taste that Puerto Ricans are familiar with; but I wouldn't knock it (I may experiment with a 6 or 7 day brew!).

Thanks for the recipe. God bless.

P.s Oh... if the "pie" is not available, I've produced a great "champan" starter with a teaspoon of BRY-97 American dry Ale yeast, and then using That "pie" for subsequent worts. The later the generation of the "pie" that you use, the better does the mavi taste.

Enjoy...buen provecho!
 

Ibbygirl

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Hello gaspar. Thank you for your post. I bought the yeast you recommended so I can make mabi without a pie, but I didn't know if I should still brew it in the sun? The yeast package says the temperature range is up to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. I live in South Florida though so it's in the 80's outside everyday. Sorry for the newb question, I've never brewed beer before and only found your post through a google search looking for a recipe for mabi. Thanks for your time. :)


Yes! This is THE recipe for Mavi Champan. I've been drinking this stuff since I was a baby :} 5 days and up is an excellent fermenting time as far as my taste buds are concern. I let it ferment for 5 days only. More days can translate into a gradually less sweet and more beer like brew and begins to part with the typical mavi taste that Puerto Ricans are familiar with; but I wouldn't knock it (I may experiment with a 6 or 7 day brew!).

Thanks for the recipe. God bless.

P.s Oh... if the "pie" is not available, I've produced a great "champan" starter with a teaspoon of BRY-97 American dry Ale yeast, and then using That "pie" for subsequent worts. The later the generation of the "pie" that you use, the better does the mavi taste.

Enjoy...buen provecho!
 

Ibbygirl

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I hope they will chime in too. I realize this is an old thread so maybe gaspar won't see it? I really want to start the mabi. My head tells me that I should heed the temperature range that is on the yeast package and brew it on the kitchen counter inside the house where it is cooler, but since I've never brewed anything before I don't know if it is essential to be in the sun. Thanks to all and any who reply. :) Buen provecho!
 

Amy1022

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The bark for the Mavi tree is readily available in Florida. If you try any outdoor market in Miami, or even in a Spanish Grocery store (Bodega), or the outdoor markets of Hialeah (Florida), you will find it. Also, it is sold in New York.
Mavi is indeed a fermented (non-alcoholic) drink and is delicious ! I learned to make it from my Aunt. She would start with a base of the drink itself (referred to as the 'pie') Pronounced not 'pie', but rather, pee-yé. You must have the Mavi drink itself, as a base, to make it. After she cooked the Mavi bark and sugar, and added the Mavi base, she would let it cool, and funnel into bottles. Then, she would put them out in the Sun, to ferment. I would look out the window, and when I saw the foam had stopped coming out of the bottle, I knew it was ready ! Everytone should try Mavi, at least once in their lifetime. Elena
My mom would make this drink as well while we were growing up in NYC. She also used a "pied" as you mentioned ( I think that's the spelling, same as "foot" but meaning base in this case). I do remember watching the mavi ferment in milk jugs on the window sills, but was more interested in those tiny moving bubbles caused by the fermentation process!
Here in NJ I began making this drink to kind of carry on the tradition. I bought the bark at a Trinidadian store. The bark is bitter, so you cant let it boil very long. I had no "pied". After about 3 tries, I got to make the drink taste like my mom's. I really love the drink.
 

gaspar

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Hi Ibbygirl

I live in NYC and I start making my mabi when the temperature outside starts getting warmer, around late May. YOu're in South Florida so Lucky You since you can make mabi all-year round. I have No 'pie' now, so I'll start my first brew with a heaping teaspoon or so of the BRY-97 dry Ale yeast (or a LALVIN EC-1118 champaign type yeast) which I let set in a half a cup of water FIRST until the yeast is aroused (perhaps a few hours). This liquid is my first 'pie', let's say, which I then add to my prepared mort in the recipe above.

I let my gallon ferment while sitting on the window sill. You know that in Puerto Rico, the people let it out in the sun, so you shouldn't worry about doing the same.

After about 5 days, it turns into a batch of some of the best mabi that I've ever tasted... and I've tasted plenty of great mabi. Everyone of my family here in the states love it and ask for more.

Enjoy...and buen provecho.
 

Ibbygirl

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Gaspar muchisimas gracias por su respuesta! :) I'm so excited to make this. We love mabi in our house too! My husband is Domincan (I'm Spanish/Cuban) and he keeps asking me to figure out how to make it. I just needed some guidance to get it right. Thanks so much for your help. I'm excited to get started on it. I hope it turns out well. :mug:

Hi Ibbygirl

I live in NYC and I start making my mabi when the temperature outside starts getting warmer, around late May. YOu're in South Florida so Lucky You since you can make mabi all-year round. I have No 'pie' now, so I'll start my first brew with a heaping teaspoon or so of the BRY-97 dry Ale yeast (or a LALVIN EC-1118 champaign type yeast) which I let set in a half a cup of water FIRST until the yeast is aroused (perhaps a few hours). This liquid is my first 'pie', let's say, which I then add to my prepared mort in the recipe above.

I let my gallon ferment while sitting on the window sill. You know that in Puerto Rico, the people let it out in the sun, so you shouldn't worry about doing the same.

After about 5 days, it turns into a batch of some of the best mabi that I've ever tasted... and I've tasted plenty of great mabi. Everyone of my family here in the states love it and ask for more.

Enjoy...and buen provecho.
 
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