Coconut Wine Making - How To Make Tuba and Bahalina

coconut plantation
coconut plantation | Source

How To Make Coconut Wine - A step by step guide to making Coconut Wine in the Philippines

Introduction:

Some coconut farmers in the Philippines not only use coconuts for making Copra (dried coconuts) but also for Coconut Wine making .This is also called Tuba.The process is easy. The one thing that is difficult is the climbing of coconut trees.

In Visayas Islands, Coconut Wine is called Tuba, Bahal or Bahalina. In Luzon it is mostly called Lambanog. The main difference is the mixture and color. Tuba or Lambanog in Luzon is the pure sap (no barok mix) almost colorless or milky white in color sometimes referred to as Coconut Vodka. In Visayas, particularly in Leyte, Tuba is the product of mixing Barok ( a reddish color bark of mangrove tree) with the coconut sap, which in turn make Tuba red in color and sometimes called theCoconut Red Wine.

Definitions:

  • Sap - The nectar that comes out when you cut an unopened coconut flower or inflorescence.
  • Barok - In Leyte, Barok is the bark of a tree that is reddish-tan in color. According to Wikipedia it comes from a red lauan tan bark tree, a kind of red mangrove tree. In other parts of Visayas they called it Tungog tree, a mangrove believed to be the best bark. Another is Bakhaw , also a mangrove tree. Barok is used for colorant and preservative as it offset fermentation.
  • Mananguete or Manananggot - Tuba gatherer, a person who prepares the collection of coconut sap and climbs the coconut tree to collect the sap.
  • Sanggot - the knife used by a mananguete to cut the coconut flower.

In Luzon, Tuba is produce without colorant, pure sap, which is usually consumed right after it is collected from the tree because it can go sour easily. They allow some of it to undergo fermentation and distillaton to form a harder drink known as Lambanog. It is often called the poor man's drink because of the inexpensive way of distillation process and is enjoyed by the local farmers after a hard days work. The local people also enjoy lambanog during festive occasions.

In Visayas Islands, particularly in Leyte Island, they call a coconut toddy or coconut wine as Tuba and when it is fermented and distilled for a few months they call it Bahal. Distilled longer for 1 year or more, it becomes Bahalina. Tuba in Leyte is also referred to as a poor man's drink because of its inexpensive distillation process and is a more accessible alcoholic drink that the local people enjoy. This doesn't mean that the Bahalina is a poor quality alcoholic drink because for me it is a high quality, organic alcoholic drink that has no chemicals added, just Barok, a mangrove bark which is known for its medicinal properties and coconut sap that also has high medicinal properties.


Mananguete
Mananguete | Source
coconut tree
coconut tree


Here are the Steps to Coconut Wine Making:

The Preparation and the Collection of Coconut Sap

  • The Tuba gatherer cuts and prepares bamboo to make into a container for the coconut sap. It should be about a foot long or a little bit longer to accommodate about 1 liter of liquid. Then he cuts a bigger bamboo section double in length to make another container for the sap to be transferred to. He will carry this bigger bamboo container on his shoulder when he climbs up the tree.
  • Then Barok is prepared by chopping it into small pieces and putting them in a small container that he attached to his waist when he climbs the tree.
  • The first climb- With his knife or sanggot attached to his waist the tuba gatherer climbs the coconut tree carrying the 1 foot bamboo container and looks for unopened flower. By cutting the tip of the flower it releases a sap. Then he attaches the bamboo container filled with a handful of Barok, to the flower to catch the juice. He secures it properly so it won't fall down.

Note: The quality of Tuba depends on the Tuba gatherer. He who knows how to mix the right amount of Barok to the coconut sap will produce a very good Coconut Wine. Each tree have different amount of liquid produced, if the Tuba gatherer can master the right mixture then he will be known as an excellent Tuba gatherer.

  • Every morning, carrying the bigger bamboo on his shoulder, he will go up the tree to collect the juice and clean the bamboo container. One tree can produce a liter of Tuba per day, sometimes more.
  • In the afternoon the Mananguete will go up the tree and cut the tip of the flower again and put some Barok into the bamboo container and attached it to the flower, fasten and secure it.


The Fermentation Sedimentation and Decantation Process of Coconut Wine (Tuba)(most folks refer the process as fermentation/distillation)

  • In the morning after all the coconut sap is collected, fermentation begins. First, transfer Tuba into a plastic or glass container. A glass container is preferable. No chemical like plastic will do. In olden days gallons made of glass were abundant. So you can see the sediments through glass. Now Tuba will release some bubbles. Leave it in the container until the bubbles subside and while forming sediments for about 3 to 4 days.

Note: You can drink Tuba in this stage or fresh from the tree. It has a kind of rough sweetness taste in it or mapakla .

  • After 3 or 4 days when bubbles subsided distillation rather decantation or filtration process begins. In this red coconut wine-making, distillation process isn't use although the term distill is often referred to in this process of sedimentation, decantation and filtration. You will notice that the container has sediment on the bottom about 1 inch thick. Carefully transfer the Tuba to another container by using a small hose, making sure not to move the container so the sediment will stay. After the Tuba is separated from the sediment you can throw the sediments away. Then it will take another 4 to 5 days for the next dacanting.

Note: After every decantation/filtration process, the amount of liquid will become less and less, so it is necessary to have a Tuba reserve in another glass bottle to be used in refilling the main container after the sediment is removed. Make sure the new container is full to the neck so the Tuba will not turn sour. Then cover it tightly.

  • After 4 or 5 days, transferring from one container to another, the sediment now is almost gone. At this point you can cover the container very tightly but always make sure it's full. Leave the container alone tightly covered. After a few weeks if you see some sediment you may separate liquid from sediment again. The Tuba that undergoes a long sedimentation process becomes more potent and higher alcohol content. This is called Bahalina. Leave the container for months before you repeat the process if you see a little sediment.


Note: The longer the sedimentation process, the darker red it will become and when you tap the glass container it will make a high pitch echoing sound which means it is now Bahalina. One year old coconut wine is already good, but those that are aged 3 to 5 years or more have much smoother taste. When you tap the glass at this stage, it will produce a much clearer, high pitch echoing sound.

Coconut Wine Making I would say is a good experience, watching Tuba turned into Bahalina in a few years and being able to taste a real Bahalina aged over 3 years. It left me wondering how Bahalina that is aged 5 years or more would taste.


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Comments 62 comments

Bhart1989 6 years ago

i like it. informative


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 6 years ago from USA Author

Thank you Bhart1989. This hub concentrates on how to make coconut red wine. The other kind- coconut vodka (lambanog)is already in the export market, and they add new flavors.


dpinoy13 profile image

dpinoy13 6 years ago from Antipolo, Philippines

hahaha... i love the philippines


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 6 years ago from USA Author

Me Too! Thanks for the comment dpinoy13. Let's make Tuba.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

How interesting, I've never heard of Tuba Coconut Wine Making, Cool!


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 6 years ago from USA Author

Hi Katiem, long time no see, thanks for the comment. Tuba is the Filipino word of Coconut wine, but I read somewhere, it is the same word they use in some other Asian country. Many people doesn't know about coconut red wine. The mature one aged for a long time, I called it coconut brandy.


toyboyclip profile image

toyboyclip 6 years ago from India

Coconut wine..

I dont Drink Wine HaHa..


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 6 years ago from USA Author

That's fine, don't forget to drink water though. Fresh young coconut water is good too. cheers


nongsky 5 years ago

great... im starting to gather sap and information to make bahalina. thanks for a very informative one.


Tuba_enthusiast profile image

Tuba_enthusiast 5 years ago

Lpeoney

Great work! I am very much interested in tapping (making) Tuba. Where are you located? I am in California. I am sure you know the whole process. I want to try it on a Date palm. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Please give me your feedback. Thank you.


funky23 5 years ago from Deutschland

that article is nice


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi nongsky thanks for the comment. are you climbing coconut? OMG! please be careful, really dangerous. Leave the climbing to the expert climber.


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 5 years ago from USA Author

I am from Illinois. I don't know anything about Date Palm. I only know Coconut Palm. And I don't know how it is done without the bark of tree mix with tuba. It is different without bark of tree (barok)because coconut sap will ferment easily without "barok". It will easily turn sour. I learned how to make the coconut red wine or coconut brandy but not the coconut vodka. In Luzon Island, they usually make the coconut Vodka or Lambanog. and they even make a Lambanog commercially and international sales. It is mixed with other ingredients like fruit flavors I think. Red tuba is the best in coconut wine and is yet to be develop into the Interantional market. Good luck with your Tuba plans

Hi funky23 thanks for the comment.


Junji 5 years ago

hey I'm writing a book(though I am not sure if it will be yet), which involves some information about Tuba, it seems there is a difference with one of your step that I know of. I don't think it was the coconut flower, my uncle never told me about it, so maybe it is possible also. What I was taught was to cut the palm leaf or rather the whole branch near or a foot or two from the branch's foot. Before doing that, it needs to be angled to a point that it will allow the sap to drop easily down to the container, I think they use a pea size pebble to use as a wedge on the branch until the desired angle is met. From that point, the branch can be cut off, the angle is also increased daily if I am not mistaken.

Great info though confirms most of what I know. A great and more convenient coconut is the dwarf coconut. I hope someday I will have one in front of my house.

Shalom!


cherryl 5 years ago

wow its nice to learn our own wine and im proud to be pinoy


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi Junji, it is the blossom(unopened flower) that sap is extracted from. I'm not sure any other way.


elme  5 years ago

hey...im from barugo leyte phillipines..i know how to make tuba wine....barugo bahalina is the best of all tuba maker.. that's why im proud to be one of them..thank you.


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi Elme you are correct. how was the Obtubafest over there in Leyte. I heard there was a big Tuba wine tasting and supposed to be the biggest. Did they get the Guiness world record for that?


jajha 5 years ago

its good ......... now i know that theres a coconut red wine... but i i thought that it is color white ahahah


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi jajha That would be coconut vodka or "Lambanog" you're talking about. They are both coconut wine of course but have different taste because of the "baruk"


gregmelep 5 years ago

17 containers of tuba was delivered to me yesterday which was already aged for several weeks. I want to know how the taste and smell can be improved. Today I added 4 spoonfull of dried raisins which I believe will improve the quality and smoothness of the bahalina. Likewise I was told also that the "barok" coming from Indonesia which was directly bartered by viajeros to Mindanao and Tacloban was superior in quality than our local ?barok".


edlozada 5 years ago

Note: After every distillation process, the amount of liquid will become less and less, so it is necessary to have a Tuba reserve... I think that what you mean here by "distillation" is "fermentation". Distillation is the process wherein the (mash, wine, beer or even tuba)is boiled and the vapors (condensate) is taken to make whiskey, brandy, rum or lambanog.

By the way, i think "grape tannin" can be a substitute for "barok" as the main component in "barok" is the tannin which inhibits the acetobacter that makes tuba sour. However, Grape tannin will not make the tuba red. Grape tannin can be bought in wine supply stores here in the internet.


edlozada 5 years ago

Ok, maybe "fermentation" is not exactly the right word, rather it is the "aging process" which starts after fermentation, in which you siphon it to a container - to the brim - and seal it tight, otherwise it will sour as there is still some fermentation going on during the aging process.


edlozada 5 years ago

hi gregmelep, in the years past barok here in Leyte was taken from the taken from San Juanico Strait (the strait between Samar and Leyte Islands) which was abundant of Mangrove. When the mangrove in there was used up barok was taken from the island of Palawan (in the Southwestern part of the Philippines. But when the harvesting of barok there was restricted, barok was taken from another country, particularly from Indonesia. However, there is a a reforestation of mangrove here in San Juanico Strait area and there is already barok that is harvented from Guiuan, in the southern part of Samar island and I am aware of a study that barok from that part is comparable to imported barok. Happy tuba making!!!


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi Edlozada, I'm sorry for the confusion. Yes I understand the distillation(in chemistry)involved heating or boiling but you know among many locals that I talked to, they often refer the process as distillation and fermentation which is true in Lambanog process. Although the tuba (red coconut wine) didn't really undergo distillation scientifically but "distill" is often the word used by locals including me. Wrong it maybe but often used. To clear the confusion, we can call the process of separating sediment as the following: Decant, Filtration, Sedimentation, Clarification, some call it Racking. But if you ask many locals how they make tuba, they will answer you, "You distill it" No offense it's just sometimes words are used in a different way. It is similar to saying, can you buy me Coke? and then turn around - I want pepsi. Or can you buy me Colgate? i want Crest. What they really mean is buy me a softdrink, I want Pepsi or buy me a toothpaste I want Crest.


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi Gegmelep, that's right barok from Mindanao is good quality, someone told me so I guess those barok came from Indonesia but I am not really sure of that. You could experiment how your bahalina will taste but a good bahalina starts with a good tuba gatherer. It's like cooking, some cook are super chef but some are not.


nosaut 5 years ago

I love Tuba, yummm...I grew up in Negros Occidental and I used to drink Tuba almost every morning coz it's still fresh and sweet. Then, I married a Zambaleno who just love Tuba as much as I do, but this time, it isn't from coconut but from Nipa Tree, Sasa in Zambal. It's as good as coconut tuba. I love to drink it chilled. Cheers!


sunshine 5 years ago

I love tuba and drink everyday.


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi nosaut, I didn't know about the nipa tree wine. The leaves is used for roofing materials and is a very good roof too. But never heard of wine until now. Thanks.


WillSteinmetz profile image

WillSteinmetz 5 years ago

WHat the good hub, great information about tuba.


Lhor 5 years ago

Whew!! great huh! i'm from leyte and we are producing coconut wine, i have some gallons of tuba at home older than a year!! would be nice if i find some buyer, and i will be the whole saler.. hehehee...somebody from abroad want to try to sell our tuba ther?? :)


claive alvin acedilla 5 years ago

please drink tuba

this is our culture

it is very healthy and refreshing especially fresh tuba from the coconut tree because it is sweet

i hope all filipinos are able to drink tuba and the whole world


from Leyte matalom 5 years ago

who wants to order tuba? we have many stock bahalina in Leyte matalom if u are interested to buy just text me this number; 09996173007 or u can email to order at.............honest_serious@yahoo.com


tuba-leyte6501 5 years ago

hello!!!! I have tuba here in our home, but it taste sour for how many weeks... is there a way to turn back the sour tuba to its original taste? please help me..!!!! thanks a lot... god bless......


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 5 years ago from USA Author

I don't think tuba can be reverse to it's original taste once it turns sour. In my knowledge it will just continue to be more potent sour. I could be wrong.


lulu 1998g 5 years ago

Omg's My grandpa luv;s it!!! it is part of his life. Now he is still drinking Tuba even his 80plus. He get's mad if he can't drink tuba with his amigo.lol!!!! I luv my Grandpa he makes me happy.


quintessa014 5 years ago

,,,tnx for the info...its always been so good here in the Philippines,,,


boholana 4 years ago

The "sour" you are tasting occurs when the alcohol in the Tuba has been oxidized by either air or certain bacteria. The alcohol is oxidized into vinegar, thus the sour taste. jpeoney is correct when stating that there is no way to reverse the souring (turning vinegar back into alcohol). Sorry but true. You can make the best of it and use the coconut vinegar in cooking or adding some chile peppers and garlic to it to make a spicy sauce for your scrambled eggs or anything. Commercially prepared spicy coconut vinegar is available in Filipino stores here in Hawaii.


Regie A. Cabaltera 4 years ago

Pnuto Mga guyz..........xD


PEDRO 4 years ago

TAGAY BAY!!! EXCELLENTE


kim mee 4 years ago

Philippines is the best........................


JANE 4 years ago

hi everyone, this s JANE from LEYTE.. LEYTE is one of the best supplier of TUBA (COCONUT WINE). we have this business of TUBA. We supply our product in different places here in the philippines. if you want to try our TUBA, please contact me in my email mcjm_018@yahoo.com.. :)


Caribe 4 years ago

Hello All you Great Filipino people..We are the same in culture from the Coconut wine to the food and fruits and its great....The exception is we never leave the wine overnight. We always use all we harvest the same day... But it will sure try the vinegar with chili recipe...

By the way I will be relocating to the Filipine shortly..


Stephen happiness 4 years ago

Tuba is niece,i like it and am embarking on it for my project practical in my school


shintaro sa-ato 4 years ago

this site is realy great..because of this, i finished my thesis chapters 1, 2 and 3..thanks a lot.. 2 thumbs up.


willy 4 years ago

helpful article - i have my bahalina after a year or two cause i have started fermenting bahal (last 07 May 12)


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 4 years ago from USA Author

Yes for fresh Lambanog(white tuba) they usually consume it the same day. But now there are commercially prepared and bottled Lambanog (white tuba) that is sold in the market.


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 4 years ago from USA Author

Goodluck Stephen!


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 4 years ago from USA Author

Oh thank you as well for reading the Hub.


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 4 years ago from USA Author

Some people reserve few gallons of tuba for special occasion. Mostly for fiesta, wedding or something like a family reunion.


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 4 years ago from USA Author

Oh wow your Grandpa must be in the Philippines. I wonder if Tuba have good effects on the body if taken moderately, you know like what they are saying about red wine.


Gargi 4 years ago

I'am from India, even in India specifically in Kerala, coconut wines are famous... as coconut trees are in plenty.....

& yes without a doubt it has good effects on our body when consumed in a moderate amount at a regular interval...

to be frank i never had it cz I'am born n brought up away from Kerala but have heard a lot about it from my parents as my grandfatrher was an Ayurvedic doctor... he knew the effects of wines on our body....

Also by myself, I have found out alot about coconut wines & I make coconut wines at home also tried changing the flovors....

coconut wines by all means are the best...

I miss the red ones..........


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 4 years ago from USA Author

In Visayas Island Philippines there are many red coconut wine (tuba). I have seen photograph of coconut plantation in India and many of these coconuts looks healthy and producing a lot more fruits than some that I have seen in the Philippines.


neknek_2004 4 years ago

tuba is good lalo na pag may pepsi and ice....:))))


FGG STORE 4 years ago

ALL THE PEOPLE OUT THERE IN ALL WOKS OF LIFE TUBA BAHALINA IN MAASIN CITY SOUTHERN LEYTE IS VERY SWEET AND TASTE LIKE RED WINE SO CAME AND VISIT MAASIN CITY

LAMI SI EH COME VISIT PHILIPINES. SIP AND DRINK TUBA BAHALINA .


justine 4 years ago

Hi, i just saw this article. very informative. I am looking for more details regarding the making of tuba, like the specific details such as how much grams of "barok" to put in a liters of tuba.

We have a family business selling what you call "barok" which we call it in Cebu "tungog" to make bahalina (aged tuba wine) and "bakaw" which i believe is also called barok for making tuba (for quick consumption).

We are the largest and direct supplier here in Cebu. And i want to expand our business not only supplying tungog and bakaw, but also go into Tuba or Bahalina making business.

please email and share your information of secret recipe making tuba.

Anyone can contact me in my email address:

jazzmotors@gmail.com

or

jlo_51387@yahoo.com


Ipeoney profile image

Ipeoney 4 years ago from USA Author

Good question! As I have said the taste of tuba usually depends on the technique of a tuba gatherer; some just know the right amount of barok to put. As to the exact amount, that I'm not sure. Remember they climb up to the tree and mix barok up there. The nectar volume fluctuates each harvest as well that means the tuba gatherer has to adjust the amount to put. Each tuba gatherer do their own estimation, the reason why tuba have different qualities, some are dark red, some are medium red and some are light red. If you meet a particular tuba gatherer you can ask his own estimate and comapred it with another estimate. I say estimate because I don't exactly know the amount of coconut nectar each harvest.


magzz123 3 years ago

Hilongos is the Tuba Capital of Leyte!!!!!


Tommy Aquino 3 years ago

PALO LEYTE is the Capital of Bahalina Tuba Saki


gepeTooRs 8 months ago

My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different page and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.


garney 6 weeks ago

this is a nice interactive page. I enjoyed reading and learned more about bahalina. I love its taste when mixed with cola and when chilled.


Waray ang tatay ko 3 weeks ago

Question. Ang bahalina ba ay clear na clear at hindi na dapat pula.

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