Chicha is a Latin American corn beer and has many methods of preparation. Often fruit or fruit juice is added and sometimes the fermenting brew is left exposed to the air so that it develops a sour flavor. 

Yeast can’t consume the starch in grains like corn so the starch needs to be broken down into sugars. The traditional way this is done is by chewing the corn until it tastes sweet, the enzymes in the saliva convert the starch to sugar, then taking the masticated glop out of your mouth, forming it into little balls and drying them to be used to brew the beer later. This method is called chicha de muko. The more common and less spit-intensive method is to sprout (or malt) the grain, then cook it (mash) using low heat to convert the sugars. This method is called chicha de jora. The recipe that follows includes a simple process for this. You can buy the corn in a grocery produce section, particularly in Mexican or Latin American stores. 


1 pound dried maize morrado (purple corn)

1 gallon water

1 pound sugar, piloncillo is best if you can find it

1 pound strawberries

1 packet yeast: ale

7 teaspoons corn sugar


There's a more traditional Peruvian chicha recipe at the end of this article.