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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wine – Mead Upkeep

Racking Cherry Mead '13

  Racking Cherry Mead ’13

Today I took a little time to take care of my Elderberry Wine and Cherry Mead.  The post I had on the Elderberry Wine was lost when I accidentally erased my website a few days ago… I still pay the price.

The Cherry Mead had already been stabilized with a little sweetness left, but I’m not entirely sure I tasted much sweetness and I’m not sure if fermentation has completely stopped.  Of course, I didn’t take a refractometer sample, so I’m not sure at this point, but I will take one in a month or two.  No real hurry, if it still is fermenting, I’ll either keep it how it is or backsweeten and sorbate it again – depending on how it is tasting.

The Elderberry Wine on the other hand has had a slow fermentation and has gone from 1.115 (27B) down to 1.050.  As soon as I racked it off the fruit into the gallon ‘carboy’, it quickly picked up a vigorous fermentation.  I’ll measure it out in a few days and see about degassing once it slows down as well.

In both cases I used my 5# CO2 bottle and purged the gallon ‘carboys’ (Julio Gallo jugs) with the CO2 prior to racking to avoid as much oxygen as possible.

 

Elderberry Wine

Elderberry Wine

Racking off of Elderberries

Racking off of Elderberries

Rhubarb Wine 2012

Well, I collected about 12 lbs of rhubarb this summer.  That was cleaned, sliced, bagged and frozen 12 lbs.  There was a lot more I cut out / off from the ends.  My plan all along was to make a rhubarb wine, and the friend where we got most of the rhubarb was very interested in trying rhubarb wine.

Rhubarb 'must'Our friend, another Jackie (spelled differently than my wife), brought over another 4 lbs today, frozen for us to use.

I boiled a total of 2.5 gallons of water, added 12.5 lbs of sugar, and poured the hot sugar water over the 16 lbs of rhubarb and 1.5 lbs of chopped golden raisins   This left me with 110F ‘must’ which I then let cool down.

I then collected 1L of must, boiled it and cooled to room temperature.  I made a starter with this, putting on my stir-plate which worked sporadically.

After the must cooled to about 90F, I added 1 tsp tannin powder, 4 tsp pectic enzyme, and the zest from 2 large oranges, and finally I put in 4 campden tablets after my friend left (she didn’t want to do it since her sister back in Wales doesn’t use campden tablets).  I didn’t want the must hanging out for 1 day without killing whatever was in it.

Ingredients for 4 gallons of sweet rhubarb wine

  • 16 lbs sliced frozen rhubarb
  • 1.5 lbs chopped golden raisins
  • 12.5 lbs of sugar
  • 2.5 gallons water
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 4 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 1 tsp tannin
  • 4 Campden tablets
  • 1 package wine yeast (I used Lavlin 71B)
  • 3 tsp yeast nutrient

My gravity came out to 29B, about 1.119 SG I believe.

The Lavlin 71-B is known as Narbonne and is apparently good at making blush, semi-sweet

Golden Raisins & Rhubarb

wines, just what I’m really looking for.  I was going to go more for the dry wine using only 9 lbs of sugar, my our friend really was looking for something a bit sweeter.  It worked well then planning the 71-B yeast.

That is it for the first day of this project, tomorrow evening I will pitch the yeast, place the lid & air lock on and let it go for the next two weeks.  I will be “punching” down the fruit daily and trying to get as much CO2 out of solution as I can.

11/19/2012

Stirred, degassed and punched down the fruit for the second time today.  Fermentation is

De-gassing 2nd day

proceeding at full speed now, a lot of CO2 coming out of solution.  I measured only 25B tonight, so very little change.  The fruit is swelling up greatly and pushing up near the top of the 6 gallon bucket lid.  Will be interesting to see how this goes over the next few days.  Temp was 71F of the must.

11/25/2012

Removed the fruit, what was left of it.  I added nutrients last night when I stirred, and measured 19B today.  Seems to be dropping slowly.  Temp was down to 62F, 2F warmer than the basement so I’ve moved back upstairs to 69F ambient to help finish this out.

11/27/2012

I measured 1.040 with the hydrometer, 16B with the refractometer.  That tells me I started at 29B, 1.119 – a little higher than I wanted.  At 1.040 it still tastes significantly sweet, but there is a touch of alcohol taste as well, definitely a white wine flavor going on.  I’m pretty happy with this so far, and should add my final nutrient addition tonight.  I hope to get it down to a measured 13B on the refractometer, actual 1.003 before it is done, and hopefully within a week.

3/11/13

Measured out at 14B and this puts it around 14.7% ABV, the max for 71-B yeast.  The plan may be to blend with the Rose Hip Wine as it is pretty dry and tart.  It is still cloudy pink color so I will rack it and wait a bit longer.  I may use a fining agent if I don’t get it to drop out clear.