Saturday, October 20, 2012


Sandor Katz wrote about his love for Koji in his new book, The Art of Fermentation.  
"Before I started growing koji, I would have never believed it possible to fall in love with a mold.  But I have been seduced by fresh koji's sweet fragrance..."
My first experience was more like the description in Vision Brewing's instructions, "a strong smell, not unpleasant", it was like a cheese smell not bad but nothing like a sweet fragrance.

That changed today.  The smell of the developing Kome Koji is sweet and flowerful.  The kind of smell where you want to take another deep whiff.  After a while while watching the news, the memories of that smell was actually drawing me back for more.  It is at that point I recalled the the words "fall in love with a mold".  Indeed it is a fresh sweet fragrance.

Photos of mature Kome Koji and close-up from Vision Brewing:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hooch versus Snooch

Hooch and Sake are getting more page views than tech ever did.  Hits from Russia, Germany and the Ukraine!  Imagine if I could bring myself to start posting snooch!  Not appropriate for my purposes here.

Sake and other status

Sake is coming along.  Finding out that the assertion that short or medium grain rice is "recommended" should be highly regarded.  I have three things going right now at different stages.  I got some medium grain "sushi"  rice that I will try soon.  Only non-long-grain rice you can find here in BFE.

It turns out that the smaller grains have a higher starting sweetness. I think this is contributing to the rate at which the Koji-kin mold grows on the Kome Koji (malt rice). Since long grain is so cheap as is sugar, I might try a little experimentation with infusing long grain with a little sugar during the initial soak.

Anyway the third batch of developing long grain Kome Koji is slowly building up to a nice fragrance, I'll get another batch going using the medium grain Sushi rice in a day or so.  Meanwhile the first batch is bubbling away nicely.

Right, what has all of this to do with GCLLC?  BTFOM, but GCLLC is not viable in this economy and I have to do something while I am figuring out what to do.  Recorded DBA's for GC Farms and GC Artisan Gallery with the County this week.  Bringing out my mushroom books and documentation from my mushroom growing experience back in 1997.  My how time flies!

Looking at growing Hops!

In case anyone is interested the Beginner's Sake Recipe found at is what I am following, these instructions came in the Koji-Kin package.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hooch #3 and #4

Batch 3 used steamed rice (soaked and then cooked), batch 4 used dried rice as per the original recipe.

The amount of sugar gives a SG potential of 5, haven't tested on vinometer yet.  Batch 2 came out as 12% on the vinometer.

4 ended first and it came out a week ago, not bad, clear, chardonnay like color and taste, nice.

3 ran longer and is milky, it came out yesterday, it has a very nice flavor, slightly sweet with a little sparkle of effervescence.  I'd bet it would be carbonated if capped.  What is left is in a half gallon bail top mason.  I bet it will have a bit more sparkle in short order.

The original recipe is three cups sugar, 4 1/2 cups rice, handful of raisins, a gallon of water and yeast.  
Update: #3 vinometer reading 10%, #4 13%, can't explain that one yet!