Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sake Brewing - Day 1, 2, 3, ...

On the first day of brewing per se. I steamed 3 kg (6.6 lb) of rice, and mixed it with Water, Yeast and Koji to start the actual process.

The proportions of Rice to Koji to Water are as follow : for 1 lb of Rice, use 0.25 (1/4) lb of Koji and 1.7 lb (about 1.7 quart) of water.

Weights of Rice or Koji are for dry rice, before it is being steamed.  Actually, the Koji does not weigh much more than dry rice, so it won't make a difference. Meaning that if you steam 1 lb of dry rice, use 1/4 lb of Koji and 1.7 quart of water. Of course, add the Yeast to this.

I used regular tap water to rinse and soak the rice. Until the rice is steamed, there are not much worries to have about contamination. any spore or mold will be destroyed by the steam. After the steaming, everything has to be extremely clean. I cleaned up the container bucket I used with an Iodophor solution. From now on, all objects in contact with the Mash should be sterile.

This rice is steamed the same way the Koji rice was steamed. Rinse the rice several times until the water is clean, let it soak for  a while so it absorbs enough water, then steam it for 1 hour, until actually cooked.

For brewing container, I am using a 5 gallons plastic bucket from Lowes - the plastic is food grade. I drilled a hole on top of the lid to insert a rubber grommet. 

In this grommet I inserted a water bubble air stop that lets fermentation gases out but not let oxygen in. 

Basically, once the rice is steamed, you pour it into the bucket and cover it with clean water, the koji, and the yeast.

Then, you wait... For the first days, the temperature should be kept around 20 C or 68 F.

Everyday I mix the mash by hand - after having cleaned my hands with rubbing alcohol to make sure I don't introduce alien moulds in it.  30 seconds to one minute is enough. 

Brewing - Day 1 - Dec 26.
On the first day (December 26) the water was covering the rice.
However, on the second day the rice had absorbed all of the water and the whole thing was like a big rice cake. 

Brewing - Day 3 - the rice is floating on the brew.

On the third day, the rice was beginning to break down, and the cake was floating on liquid at the bottom of the bucket - Which is why you have to mix everything. 

On the fourth day (December 30) , the rice is breaking down more, and the mixture already has a sort of Sake smell and taste to it. 

I will leave the Bucket in this room for one or more day, then move it so a room at a lower temperature - about 15 C or 58 F

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