So I noticed some talk of Chinese Rice Wine over at Homebrewtalk a while back and thought it would be a nice new experiment in ‘all things fermentable’. It looks fairly easy, hands off, and I did enjoy some sake recently (this isn’t sake technically), so wanted to see if I could make something similar, but fairly easy.
I originally bought a book on making sake and quickly realized while reading through it that it required about 88 steps, which might be 80 more steps than I really wanted to expend. But, seeing the post on HBT about the rice wine (not sake), I went ahead and gave it a shot. What follows below is my attempt at quick, easy Rice Wine.
Fast forward real quick. The taste? After 20 days I find it slightly sweet, aromatic of a thai jasmine rice (it is sweet rice though) and surprisingly smooth. It is really GOOD! I am curious to taste the portion I pasteurized (this taste was unpasteurized).
First I cooked 5 cups of sweet Thai rice in a rice cooker. I had soaked the rice for about 1 hour ahead of time and by the time it was cooked I realized that I had added too much water and made the sweet rice a pasty ball, pretty messy.
I let the rice cool down for several hours, almost to room temperature.
I crushed 4 dried yeast balls (from an Asian market) and mixed them into the rice in a 1 gallon glass jar.
Below are how the rice wine looked after various periods of time:
I’m still working on the bottling now as I write this, but after 20 days I skimmed off the top of mold that grew (expected / normal) scooped out the rice / wine mixture and placed into a funnel with cheese cloth in it. I then poured the remaining mixture of wine/rice and squeezed a bit of the liquid out with the cheese cloth.
I found that my 5 cups of sweet Thai rice produced just over 1/4 gallon of wine. It is very cloudy but appears to be clearing fairly quickly in the refrigerator as it cools down. A nice white sediment layer is forming on the bottom (rice solids). I plan to keep about 1 cup unpasteurized for sampling and the other 1/4 gallon I heated up to 160F to pasteurize. I will bottle the 1/4 gallon likely in large swing top bottles.