So it has been several years since I first thought about brewing my own Sake. So here we go, I decided to go ahead. I ordered all I needed and am now getting started. I will record the experiment...
To make Sake we need only 4 main ingredients:
- Water (水)
- Rice (米)
- Kome-koji (米麹)
- Yeast (酒母)
Rice won’t convert itself to sugar for the yeast to ferment. That’s where kome-koji (just koji for short) comes in.
Kome Koji is rice that has had mold grown on it (koji-kin). This mold secretes enzymes that will convert starch to sugar. Then the yeasts will convert the sugar into alcohol.
1 - Making the Kome Koji
1 teaspoon of Koji kin (the mold). I ordered mine online. There are a number of sites that sell it.
Lots of clear water
|First rinsing water|
Take 800 g (1.8 lb) of rice and rinse it thoroughly until the water is really clear. The first time you rinse the rice, the water gets really cloudy with rice dust. You have to rinse time and time again until the water is clear. I used tap water at this stage.
|Well rinsed rice|
Soak the rice in filtered water for a 2 hours in the fridge. For this stage on, I will only used filtered water or distilled water. Any bleach or Chlorine, or Iron would be very detrimental, so it is very important to not use tap water in the process.
|The Steamer ready to receive the rice to drain|
Once the rice has soaked, drain it well. I put a piece of cheese cloth in the bamboo steamer and poured the rice onto it.
Steam it - I steamed my rice for 2 hours, but I used a bamboo steamer, with a stainless steel one, it may take a little less.
You need to taste the rice for texture. It needs to be "al dente", neither mushy nor too hard.
Let the rice cool down to 30 C (until it is not hot for you to touch it) and transfer it into a clean container.
Sprinkle it with 1 teaspoon of Koji Kin.
I used a small tea strainer to get a better evenness of the koji kin on the rice.
Mix well the rice and Koji-kin
Install the container of Koji mix in a dark warm place at 30 C. (86 F)
I placed it in an ice chest full of water. It is equipped with an aquarium heater to keep the temperature even.
Note : Cleanliness is extremely important. If any unwanted spore of alien mold or yeast gets involved in the process, it will ruin it. I clean all equipment with an Iodophor solution to disinfect them, and spray my hands with alcohol before touching the rice.