Rice Alcohol vs Sake! First experience.

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Rice Alcohol vs Sake! First experience.

Postby Bujapat » Tue May 09, 2006 9:26 am

Like many people, I was wrong when talkin' about Sake.
Very difficult to find synthetic informations about chinese rice alcohol, but I found this :

SAKE is a japanese rice wine. It is a wine, it isn’t distilled, so his alcohol rate is maximum 18%ABV.
There are 2 sorts of Sake : karakuchi (dry) and amakuchi (sweet). It may be drunk hot (Atsukan) or cold (Reishu).
Uncle Jesse’s wiki site contains an article about sake, with other names (there are so many!) but also interesting.

RICE ALCOHOL in Japan is called Nihonshu (and/or soshu) and other names exist but I don’t know them.

RICE ALCOHOL in China has a generic name : baijiu. There are several kinds of this, here are some of the most known : wu liang ye, maotai, luzhou laogao, zhuye qing, xifeng, jiannan chun, luopai qu, fen…

The most popular chinese alcohol in occidental restaurants (that we incorrectly call Sake) is Mei kuei lu chiew : rice and/or sorghum alcohol perfumed with rose pétals.

So, what I’m trying to make isn’t Sake, but rice alcohol. Brewin' rice seems to be near the same as makin' sake, but the distillation is the big difference. I’ll surely try rose petals liquor with this.

I’ll (re) post soon a complete report of that experience !
I'm french speaking!

Boiler : 50 L (13 gal) beer keg, gas heated.
Reflux : 104 cm (41 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter withh SS scrubbers packing.
Potstill : 40 cm (15 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter without packing.
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Rice Alcohol : First step.

Postby Bujapat » Tue May 09, 2006 9:35 am

The rice : I choosed some short round grain, with 78% glucides in it (so said the label!)

I bought some Koji Kin (mould seeds) from visionbrewing.com.

The first step is to make Kome Koji with steamed cooked rice and Koji Kin. I cooked the rice in a special steam cooker (in fact, it was sold as juice extractor).
Image
The cloth between rice and cover is there to avoid condensed water fallin on rice.
Cookin' 1 kg rice took approximately 45 minutes.
I'm french speaking!

Boiler : 50 L (13 gal) beer keg, gas heated.
Reflux : 104 cm (41 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter withh SS scrubbers packing.
Potstill : 40 cm (15 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter without packing.
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Next step : Make Kome Koji

Postby Bujapat » Tue May 09, 2006 9:41 am

Let cool cooked rice to 30°C and add the mould seeds : 1,25 teaspoon / kg rice.
Image
The difficulty is to hold a constant 30°C temperature during 48 hours. I realised that with an aquarium water heater, a frigo box half full of water, and a cook pan containin' 1 kg rice inoculated with 1,25 teaspoon of Koji Kin. The pan is covered with a moistened cotton cloth, and I rehydated a few times with a water spray.
Image
Image
I'm french speaking!

Boiler : 50 L (13 gal) beer keg, gas heated.
Reflux : 104 cm (41 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter withh SS scrubbers packing.
Potstill : 40 cm (15 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter without packing.
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Postby Conquistidor » Tue May 09, 2006 9:59 am

seems interesting, i have a 20 pound bag of rice i need to get rid of ;)
Conquistidor

P.S. Hey! how do u do that?
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Some details about Kome Koji...

Postby Bujapat » Tue May 09, 2006 2:01 pm

Here is the way to make Kome Koji ("malted rice") :

1. Wash 1 kg of rice (short grain) until the water clears, soak the rice for about one and a half hours and then put the rice in a basket or sieve for at least 20 mins to drain off any excess water.

2. Steam cook the rice. Steam cooked rice looks slightly transparent, not white. (N.B. make sure that the rice is not in direct contact with the boiling water, that's the reason of the cloth showed before)

3.Cool down the cooked rice to 30°centigrade(86° F). Put the rice into an enamel or stainless steel container and add 3.75 grams (1,25 teaspoon) of mould-seeds (Koji-Kin), this can be mixed with 2 teaspoons of plain flour to help distribution. Cover the container with moistened cotton cloth to prevent drying. A very fine metal sieve /tea strainer is very useful for the distribution of seeds. The spore packet contents are unaffected by repeated openings.

4. Keep the inoculated rice in a warm place at 30 °centigrade (86° F). Stir the grains every 10 hours to distribute the mould evenly. Notice the rice becomes white after ±15 hours accompanied by a strong cheese-like aroma. Maintain the rice at 30° centigrade(86° F) for 48 hours. Your rice will become covered with white soft fibers and should be firm and slightly sweet.The Malt-rice (kome-koji) is now able to convert regular steamed cooked rice to brewing sugars.

After 40 hours was the rice covered with a white cottonlike mould. It smelled like sweet cheese...
Image
I'm french speaking!

Boiler : 50 L (13 gal) beer keg, gas heated.
Reflux : 104 cm (41 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter withh SS scrubbers packing.
Potstill : 40 cm (15 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter without packing.
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Postby Bujapat » Wed May 10, 2006 4:54 am

First, note that I apologize for sending parts of a previuous message, but I think the process seems more clear now in my mind and I try to explain it better.

Now that I have 1 kg Kome Koji ("malted rice"), I have to brew this rice wine or rice beer...

Brewing rice:
I steam cooked 4 Kg short round rice (it took ± 1 hour).
Putted 15 l water on the cooked rice, let it cool to 30°C, then added kome koji and let sit for a day.
Then added 2 kg sugar (I estimated that the yeald didn't seem enough) with the rest of water to fill the fermenter (30 L).
Finally added the Wyeast 3134 yeast (pack incubated for 24 hours).
After one day is it bubbling gently (cellar T° is 16°C)...
After 4 days is it bubbling like hell!!! The Kome Koji floats above the wash, the cooked rice stays in the fermenter's bottom.
Image
Image doesn't show thousand of bubbles nor the real noise they make!
On the 8th day, I add some flavourfull cooked Jasmine rice and let ferment another couple of days, to add flavour and taste.
I'm french speaking!

Boiler : 50 L (13 gal) beer keg, gas heated.
Reflux : 104 cm (41 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter withh SS scrubbers packing.
Potstill : 40 cm (15 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter without packing.
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Postby Bujapat » Thu May 18, 2006 2:19 am

After 12 days, it doesn't bubble anymore... I strain the rice and get 24,5 L of "sake". Smell's good but doesn't taste so good. It's a very dry beverage, not sweet at all. SG is about 0.990.
Now I let stay a while for decantation, I'll siphon and distill next sunday : 20 days after puttin' all in the fermenter.
I'm french speaking!

Boiler : 50 L (13 gal) beer keg, gas heated.
Reflux : 104 cm (41 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter withh SS scrubbers packing.
Potstill : 40 cm (15 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter without packing.
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Postby stoker » Thu May 18, 2006 7:58 am

looks like your experiments are going well
your wine being dry will not affect the distillate taste, so no problem yet.
good luck!!
-I have too much blood in my alcohol system-
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Postby Bujapat » Mon May 22, 2006 8:55 am

Now it's done!

On the 20th day, finally distilled this "rice beer" (or rice wine).
After decantation, I got 24 l of rice mash.

1- Collected 65 ml foreshots, above 85 %ABV.
2- Collected 1550 ml between 85 %ABV and 60 %ABV.
3- Collected 250 ml between 60 %ABV and 50 %ABV.
4- Collected 250 ml between 50 %ABV and 40 %ABV.

The first part is for my Colemen lamp...!

The second part is a nice "rice spirit", with a light rice flavor.

The third part (60-50 %) had a funish tails smell, I soaked some activated carbon in it for 24 hours, then filtered, and now is it very good : no smell and a light rice taste! I added it to the good spirit (part 2)

The fourth part (50-40 %) had awfull smell and taste... I think I'll redistill it with the next wash, but I however try carbon filterin'...

So, finally, I have collected 1800 ml of 77 %ABV rice alcohol, I've now to dilute (macerate rose petals for a part) and ... taste!
I'm french speaking!

Boiler : 50 L (13 gal) beer keg, gas heated.
Reflux : 104 cm (41 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter withh SS scrubbers packing.
Potstill : 40 cm (15 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter without packing.
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Postby Big J » Mon May 22, 2006 12:27 pm

Nice! Is rice spirit traditionally aged in any way or just goes straight in the bottle?
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Postby possum » Mon May 22, 2006 12:37 pm

Way to Bujapat! :D It has been so interesting seeing what you have done... Trying things that are new, and good results the first time. You should be proud.
Hey guys!!! Watch this.... OUCH!
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Postby Bujapat » Tue May 23, 2006 1:59 am

Big J wrote:Nice! Is rice spirit traditionally aged in any way or just goes straight in the bottle?


I don't know how it is aged... I'll search and tell you...

So, as I said, I know it's possible to make a sweet liquor called Mei Kuei Lu Chew, sweeted with sugar and flavoured with rose petals... I search a recipe, and if I find (and/or try), I'll tell you.

Thanks for your encouragements!
I'm french speaking!

Boiler : 50 L (13 gal) beer keg, gas heated.
Reflux : 104 cm (41 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter withh SS scrubbers packing.
Potstill : 40 cm (15 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter without packing.
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Postby Watershed » Wed May 31, 2006 11:42 pm

Just recieved my mould spores. If it works I'm going to try using the koji to convert potato starch ( after a couple of goes with rice.).
It's a very different method of brewing - no mashing stage as such, the starch is converted in the fermenter so the yeast is fed slowly.

Rice spirit I've had a few times - always unaged ( well, white anyway ) it has a fragrant rather earthy smell.

What rice are you using? I picked up a sack of Basmati rice as it's the cheapest of the fragrant rices that I can get hold of.
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Postby Bujapat » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:42 am

The rice I used was 50% basmati and 50% called "dessert rice" (it was written on the label). For the next batch, I found in a chinese food shop a rice called "glutinous rice", cheaper than basmati.

I made some searchs on the net about agin' rice spirits, found a lot of informations on http://www.enonline.sh.cn/cuisinemore.asp?CrunodeId=392.
I'm buzzy with reading, translation, and will send a summary as soon as possible.
At first reading, it seems that it is not properly aged : just let stay in porcelain jars for a few months.
I'm french speaking!

Boiler : 50 L (13 gal) beer keg, gas heated.
Reflux : 104 cm (41 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter withh SS scrubbers packing.
Potstill : 40 cm (15 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter without packing.
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Postby Watershed » Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:28 am

'bout to run mine tonight ( pot still ). Does it foam much?
Tastes like mine picked up someting like brettanomyces - it's got a lactic slightly bitter taste that would have been fine for a lambic or other beer but not for sake- One of the risks of having to stir the stuff regularly when we're in the middle of wild yeast season - huge number of elderflowers around the place at the moment. I've another batch on the go that's staying sealed and being shaked regularly.

If you want to make more Koji-kin I've worked it out - put a roughly 2cm layer of fresh Kome Koji in a tray, put it in a clear plastic bag with a few holes in and leave it in somewhere warm and light ( not direct sunlight ). After about two days the whole lot should be yellow/green with spores.
I put this in a blender with an equal amount of fresh dry rice and powder it. Then back in the tray uncovered to dry for a couple of days.

I don't get the cheese smell - to me cheese=cheddar/stilton etc and it certainly doesn't smell like that. I wonder if by 'sweet cheese' they mean somehting like cottage cheese or cream cheese?
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Postby Bujapat » Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:53 am

Hi Watershed.
Nice to see your work is goin' on and well.
About the foam, I had no problem...hope you'll not have too!
About the wash smell and taste, I think it must be very difficult to make some drinkable sake (rice wine)... fortunately we are distillers and it allows to forget some errors!

Thanks for the "more Koji Kin" method!

By the way, what kind of yeast did you use?

Did you allready started with your project of potato starch conversion with Koji? Did you allready convert potato starch by another way?

Good luck for your run!
I'm french speaking!

Boiler : 50 L (13 gal) beer keg, gas heated.
Reflux : 104 cm (41 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter withh SS scrubbers packing.
Potstill : 40 cm (15 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter without packing.
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steamed rice vs. boiled rice

Postby kruger » Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:49 am

Thanks Unclejesse for allowing me to be in on this forum.

I had a question about preparing rice for sake.

Why is the rice steamed instead of boiled?
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Postby Bujapat » Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:41 am

Never read anythinng about this... But I think boilin' rice instead of steamin' will "dilute" flavor as well as starch into the water. I also noted that steamed rice is more "crunchin'" than boiled rice. Is it important to make rice alcohol with the Koji kin method...? I don't know. I'd try to boil it once and see if there is any difference brewin' so cooked rice.

By the way, I made yesterday rose petals liquor (Mei Quei Lu Chew) : gathered 4 roses in the garden (very perfumed, smell very very hard!), took the petals and put them in 55%ABV rice alcohol for 12 hours, then filtered and dilute to 40%ABV, with 200 g sugar / liter. Wonderfull! Much better than anything I ever tasted in chinese restaurants.
I'm french speaking!

Boiler : 50 L (13 gal) beer keg, gas heated.
Reflux : 104 cm (41 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter withh SS scrubbers packing.
Potstill : 40 cm (15 inches) column 54 mm (2 inches) diameter without packing.
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Postby Watershed » Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:15 am

The steaming keeps the rice grains intact and fairly dry, this is more important when raising the koji than at other points as the fungus requires low moisture content and whole grains to grow. I can't see any reason for steaming at the mash stage as you could always throw in the rice water too - infact Amasake requires boiled rice anyway.

I used bakers yeast as it was to hand. Did a double run yesterday, some burning even though I took it slow but it's not tainted the product and cleaned off the bottom of the boiler ok. Got a litre or thereabouts of 80% from 4lb of rice after double distillation. Little firey, I might carbon or redistil. The 60% distillate had the strongest rice flavour.

Haven't started on the the spuds yet - I've done it before using diastatic malt extract but the stuff's expensive. I like the idea of running a parallel ferment with the koji and the yeast - less effort.
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Postby Fourway » Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:40 pm

Watershed Said:I've done it before using diastatic malt extract but the stuff's expensive.


I cannot find diastatic malt extract here in the states, the brewshops all say it is no longer being made.
can you recommend any brands?
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Postby Watershed » Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:00 am

Over here, Muntons, John Bull and Larsen all make a variety for the home brew market, British Diamalt who produce John Bull even do a couple of varieties of organic malt extract in bulk ( 20l or more )
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Postby Fourway » Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:45 am

thank you
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Kome koji

Postby kruger » Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:27 am

[quote="Bujapat"]Never read anythinng about this... But I think boilin' rice instead of steamin' will "dilute" flavor as well as starch into the water. I also noted that steamed rice is more "crunchin'" than boiled rice. Is it important to make rice alcohol with the Koji kin method...? I don't know. I'd try to boil it once and see if there is any difference brewin' so cooked rice.

Bujapat, Many thanks for your input.

I started my malted rice yesterday, and it smells like cheese.
I used koji kin from Vision Brewing sake kit. I boiled the rice
and added some lemon juice to the mix. I looked in on it and
I could see the white color of fungus. However, boiled rice is
difficult to mix, it sets up like a bowl of oat meal, but it is working.
I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Postby kruger » Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:34 am

The steaming keeps the rice grains intact and fairly dry, this is more important when raising the koji than at other points as the fungus requires low moisture content and whole grains to grow. I can't see any reason for steaming at the mash stage as you could always throw in the rice water too - infact Amasake requires boiled rice anyway.

Watershed,

Thats encouraging to know about Amasake. I will try baker's yeast for my ferment. Thanks.
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Postby Watershed » Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:19 am

The end result of the second batch came out like Hoegardden which isn't bad for something made entirely of rice. I'll distil off from the solid left over from straining - with addition of enough water to stop it catching.
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Postby kruger » Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:54 pm

Watershed,

I'm gonna sound ignorant, but what is Hoegardden?
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Postby kruger » Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:02 pm

Gentlemen,

I have finished my Kome koji and it is good. It maintained its color and odor of cheese. I grew what seems like the correct mold according to the instructions. I have frozen it for this weekend. I didn't mean to, but I made alot. Thank you all very much for your help.

Next comes the primary ferment. I'm excited. I like it when something works.

I hope I can get your help on this next phase.
Last edited by kruger on Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Watershed » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:29 pm

kruger wrote:Watershed,

I'm gonna sound ignorant, but what is Hoegardden?


Woops, misspelt it slightly. You don't have cloudy wheat beers where you come from?

http://users.pandora.be/hoegaarden/
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hoegardden

Postby kruger » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:31 am

ahh! thanks.
I understand the comparison with rice wine.
The only wheat beers I have drank are imports.
A friend of mine taught english over in China and
he said that all the sake he drank was cloudy.
Imagine an american teaching english overseas.
Now thats funny.
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Postby Watershed » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:54 am

When I compare the two I don't just mean appearance - the flavour, particularly the lactic acidity and fragrance were virtually the same.
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