Banana Beer Preparation
Rwanda ranked 4th in 2015 among Africa’s biggest Alcohol drinking countries by 9.10 liters/year Just 8% of alcohol consumption comes from beer in Rwanda, despite the popular Turbo King, Primus, and Amstel brands being widely available. The other 92 percent is largely from homemade drinks such as the banana beer(urwagwa), and the fermented honey drink, ubuki. Ikigage, made from dry sorghum, is also common in Rwanda.
In Kenya, banana beer is known as urwaga, in RD Congo as Kasiksi, in Uganda as lubisi, in Rwanda and Burundi as urwagwa. Banana beer is sometimes consumed during rituals and ceremonies. A similar product called mwenge is made in Uganda with only bananas and sorghum. It can also be found under the names kasiksi, nokrars, rwabitoke, urwedensiya, urwarimu and milinda kaki.
After filtering, the beer is packaged in glass or plastic bottles. In commercial production, the beer may first be pasteurized before packaging to stop fermentation and extend shelf life.
Banana beer is made from fermentation of mashed bananas and fermented to alcoholic beverage. In the last years no man could gathered the men without a drink like banana beer, in Rwanda all conversations of men accompanied by banana beer, and it is consumed during rituals and ceremonies. For this moment, banana beer is replaced by industries beer made from brewery. In nowadays, banana beer is not still consumed by many people and is in the way of disappearance completely.
This kind of Rwanda culture’s drink has not fixed alcoholic percentage. It could be up or less depending on the quality and quantity of the bananas. But comparing with other sorts of drinks we have in Rwanda, banana beer is always the best even if it is not allowed to prepare it. It begins to be historic to the new generation and no hope again to allow every inhabitant to prepare it as in the last years, so it will remain history to the next generation of Rwanda.
BANANA BEER PREPARATION (KWENGA URWAGWA)
1. A ripe stalk of banana is cut.
2. The stalk is covered in banana leaves and left to ripen for two or three days in the enclosure near the home.
3. The pit that will be used for fermenting is cleaned.
4. Covered with trunks of banana trees
5. On which the bananas are laid.
6. These are wrapped in fresh banana leaves before covering with a layer of dirt.
7. A fire is lit under them and left for three days.
8. The fruit is peeled and crushed, and the juice is diluted with a little water.
9. The pulp is pressed, and the juice is filtered.
10. A little sorghum is ground.
11. The sorghum flour is added to the juice which is poured into a large vat over the hearth. It’s left to ferment for three days.
12. The drink is ready.
A ripe stalk of banana is cut.
The stalk is covered in banana leaves and left to ripen for two or three days in the enclosure near the home.
A fire is lit under them and left for three days
The fruit is peeled and crushed, and the juice is diluted with a little water.
The pulp is pressed, and the juice is filtered
The drink is ready.
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Photo Credit: Bizimana Jean