- ripened bananas
- wooden barrel
- powder of sprouted
- bark from the quinine tree
Making mbege is a labor-intensive process that is traditionally reserved for women. These brewers first mash and boil ripened bananas, then leave the mixture to ferment in a wooden barrel until white bubbles appear on the surface. Once the bananas have fermented, they add a powder of sprouted, sun-dried finger millet along with bark from the quinine tree (msesewe).
The final flavor is pretty sweet, from all the bananas, with a slight bitter aftertaste from the quinine. The drink is often likened to something in between a wine and a beer.