Sake Brewing Kit (Rice Wine, Rice Beer)
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Use this with polished sticky rice. Low fat (polished rice) with soft water is ideal for rice saki/koji or Chinese fermented rice beverages.
Sake a.k.a. Rice wine is a traditional Japanese, Korean, and Chinese beverage made from polished rice. We can consume it both in filtered or unfiltered form depending on the style. We can also use this kit to make the Rice Beer styles prevalent in the North East.
The kit consists of:
- Koji: Aspergillus culture (very similar to Chinese yeast balls but this one is lab-created)
- Calcium Carbonate: To regulate the acidity
- Home Brewing Guide Book Learn about various fermentation styles from all over the world
Here is a comprehensive guide to Japanese and Korean sake (rice wine) culture. We can use it to make rice beer and tongba (millet beer) as well. Sake is unique. It doesn’t require any fruit in its making even though we call it wine.
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.
If you still have a question, write in the comments section and we will get back to you.