Pakhala, Japanese Sake, rice wine, soy ferment. This koji (also known as Chinese yeast ball) can be used for a variety of Asian ferments.
The pack contains both koji (rhizopus oryzae mold) and yeast to make a mild alcoholic gruel or cloudy sake wine. The koji converts starch into sweet fermentable sugar. The yeast improves the taste by converting the sugars into alcohol.
Rice wine koji can be used in a variety of Asian and Northeast alcohol fermentation (rice beer). Koji can be used to ferment any grain-based substrate (rice, starch, lentils, soya-bean etc.) which is not malted and has no amylase enzymes. It will produce very exciting and different results. It is a must to have if you plan to experiment with Asian cuisine. You can make rice wine saki, miso, tempeh and most Asian ferments. Please choose between sweet aromatic sake and dry rice wine.
Rice wine koji is a perfect substitute for Chinese yeast ball. Unlike rice wine yeast balls, this koji was prepared in a lab under stringent hygienic conditions for consistent quality. You can use it in place of Chinese yeast balls as well for most probiotic rice preparations.
Even traditional Indian probiotic preparation like Pakhala, curd rice can be given the much-needed zing by using this yeast culture.
Comes in two variants Rice Leaven Flavor and Rice Leaven Sweet (dry is the picture on left and sweet is on right). If you want to increase the alcohol content, then we recommend you to add about 60gm sugar per liter and some regular wine yeast.
Umami: Soy sauce or Thai fish curry aromas and flavors. It primarily comes from amino acids released from the autolysis of yeast. Slight umami flavor is desirable in Sake and some aged beers but it is a difficult flavor to balance. The usual culprit is the beverage sitting over dead yeast (cake/ lees) for a few weeks. Some brewers have switched to lower protein malts & changes in mashing to reduce Umami. Conical fermenters where the yeast cake can be drained out is recommended to combat these notes.
Typically bottled home brew beer has a shelf life of 6 months. However, most home-brew beer is consumed within a week to a month of bottling or kegging. However, some people regularly store homebrew beer for up to 6 months successfully. Beyond this, the beer is still safe for consumption, just that it will not taste fresh. However, a couple of factors need to be taken into account to determine the shelf life.
Storage temperature: Beer is like wine, higher the temperature the faster is the degradation in flavors.
UV light: Even a couple of hours in direct sunlight can ruin a perfectly fresh beer
Packaging: Microbrewery Growlers don’t last 2 days because the beer was oxidized during filling. If you see packaging in proper crown sealed glass bottles or stainless steel kegs, 6-12 months life is easy
Oxidation: Once you open the bottle, drink within an hour.
Koji has its origin in Japan. It is used extensively in making Sake. After the fermentation is over, the Brewmaster would collect the rice inoculated with the yeast. He would dry and powder the spores for his next batch.
Chinese Rice Ball, as the name suggest has its origin in China. After the fermentation is over, the brewmaster would collect the residue. It would be dried and shaped into small balls (laddoo) which is then used for the next batch.
In terms of ability, both the strains can convert starch to simpler sugars and alcohol. Hence, for an amateur sake brewer, one could use the Koji to make Chinese rice wine. Also, similarly one could use Chinese rice yeast balls to make Koji.
One can unfortunately not use Baker’s yeast or wine yeast or beer yeast to make rice wine. The reason being that these yeast don’t have the Alpha amylase enzyme needed to convert starch into sugar.
There is a huge variety of rice wine and traditions. Some like it tart, some sweet. Some like it filtered while most like it milky white. Some like it plain, while some infuse spices and a lot of people infuse flowers (floral aromas). It is hard to generalize the taste and flavors of rice. However, in general, it is a slightly tart, mildly sweet, and alcoholic beverage.
Unfiltered Rice wine/Rice Beer is always turbid & milky white like milk. The ones served in restaurants are of often pale yellow (straw color) and clearer. When the filtered rice wine is stored for longer duration, they can deepen color even further to develop a tan like light brown color.
Most traditional recipes call for cloudy white slightly effervescent rice beer kept in ceramic jars, which is stirred before serving. However to pack in glass or store the rice beer for long duration aging, filtering it to make it clear is recommended
You can make rice beer/wine with any rice. However low aromatic oil rice is preferred (Dosa Rice gives better flavors than aromatic Basmati Rice). Milled/Polished Rice has lesser oil content than unpolished brown rice.
Wash 2 to 2.5 kg or rice and soak for an hour. Steam (not boil or Cook) it until soft but not gelatinous gooey.
Once cooked, spread the rice evenly on a clean and sanitized tray or plastic sheet and cool. This allows the koji a large surface to innoculate (spread) over the rice substrate.
Once it reaches 30°C sprinkle the koji evenly and mix properly with rice. You can use gloved hands or some clean and sanitized utensils.
Keep it moist for 24 hours for the koji to multiply fast.
Make balls of rice and fill it in your preferable fermenter. A wide-mouth jar (Glass, steel, or Plastic fermenter) is preferred as there will be heavy deposits from the leftover rice.
You can add some herbs and organic flowers as per your taste to make it more delicate and aromatic.
For the first three days, use a sanitized utensil to mix the content and push down if the rice starts floating.
The koji we sell has yeast in it. So need to add additional yeast.
On the fourth day. Mix the rice as usual and try tasting your fresh milky white sake. You can consume fresh or allow it for secondary fermentation.
Keep mixing and pushing the floaties for the remainder of 10 days.
Use a clean and sanitized brewbag or cheesecloth to filter out the liquid into a jar or fermenter with airlock.
Once you filter the rice wine, you will get a staw colored pale liquid that is clear (not cloudy/milky white as the fresh sake is)
Keep it in a small fermenter with an airlock (no chance of outside air to come in). If you don’t do that, the sake will become more tart (sour) and might even convert to rice vinegar (which is used for Asian Cooking Recipe)
Some amateur websites will recommend you adding glucose or sugar to your rice wine. Well, that is primarily because instead of selling Koji they are selling yeast they are selling saccharomyces cerevisiae with amylase sachets. THERE IS NO NEED TO ADD ANY SUGAR OR GLUCOSE. It will make your wine boozy, artificially sweet, and start tasting weird. Traditional recipes never use any artificial ingredients to boost alcohol.
Allow the fermentation to continue for another 3-4 weeks.
Cold crash for 24 hours to make it more clear and bottle it.
Storing & Enjoying
If you are serving it milky wide then use Sake Cups (they are Katori shaped/size ceramic bowls). You can serve directly from the fermenter.
If you are planning to age it, then store in flip-top bottles or crown cap beer bottles. Store the wine in a cool and dark place.
Over time rice alcohol becomes darker. (straw color yellow to light brown tan color)
Rice Wine is delicious at all stages of its production. Find which taste suits your taste-buds, cuisine, and party schedule. A bottle of seasoned rice wine is 1 month to 6 months old.
Rice Wine is best enjoyed at room temperature (sometimes even warmer) but NEVER chilled.
Rice Wines can be very alcoholic and tangy. So we suggest you to go slow if it’s your first time since you can get reasonably drunk before you realize it.
Rice wines pair really well with Asian cuisine and is usually served with dinner.
Excellent wine yeast. I like it. I have made wine from sugar and fruits but never from rice. And the yeast is the most important thing for it. Good product.
My first experiment with rice wine, and I wish I had done this earlier. Easy recipe and pleasing results