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Chinese Rice Wine

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.

 

Brewing Sake Book

Brewing Sake Book

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.

Thai Sweet Rice

Thai Sweet Rice

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.

Rice Wine Yeast

Rice Wine Yeast

Crush Yeast Balls

Crush Yeast Balls

Below are how the rice wine looked after various periods of time:

Day 0

Day 0

Day 10

Day 10

 

Day 20

Day 20

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.

Mold removed

Mold removed

Final Volume 1/4 gallon

Final Volume 1/4 gallon

Pasteurizing Wine

Pasteurizing Wine

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. What kind of mold do you think was on the top? My batch had a coating of white filaments which I assume was just koji, but also a smattering of tiny black dots after a week. I peeled off the drier top layer and discarded it, and mixed up the rest, but I’m still wondering, since this is my first batch.

    1. I’m not certain about what type of mold creates the layer, a good question. I was under the impression it was part koji and maybe part whatever else may be in the yeast ‘balls’ and is expected. I’ve made several batches of this since I posted and actually had some that sat in the fridge for ~1 year after doing a pasteurization > 165F and it was very neutral in flavor and quite wonderful.

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