Friday, November 16, 2012


Doburoku Sake is ready.  A good excuse to be sampling alcoholic beverages before nine AM (small sips, not big gulps)!

If you read the link up there on Doburoku it says that it is nothing like the Sake we know from the Japanese Steak House.  The place where a bunch of strangers sit around a big cooking surface and watch the guy with the big knife toss shrimp tails into his hat.

I can say that it is indeed nothing like the hot stuff we might have tried at Benihana.  According to the Benihana link they rate Sake on a scale of sweetest -20 to driest +20.  They rate their hot Sake +3 so slightly dry.  For mine, I think I would venture a WAG at maybe -5 or slightly sweet.

It  is intended to be served cold and it comes out of the cold room at about 58 F.  It has a curiously sweet and tart flavor, maybe a little reminiscent of a tart apple. That tartness may be the citric acid that is added to the water at the start of the fermentation stage.  It is slightly milky in color and leaves a pleasant taste in your mouth.  Hard to guess the alcohol content but I would guess it is mid-teens or higher.  I have learned that the vinometer is not reliable when there is sugar left in the brew.  A beginning hydrometer reading would be of little use since the Koji mold continues to convert starch to sugar as the fermentation continues.

It has been fermenting for nine days at an average temp of about 60 F.  There is a little bit of bubbling still going on, a bubble here and a bubble there. Nothing like the batch that went in last night that is bubbling so much you can hear it before getting too close.  Last night when I put the new batch in storage I checked the older batch and could detect a change in the aroma, from sweet to something different, not sour but no longer sweet.  This is my first time and I don't want it to go sour so today is the day.

The sewing machine is out and I have a tee-shirt that I am going to sew into a straining bag to be used to strain out the nearly four pounds of yeast and mold eaten rice or the "lees".  They say the lees can be used to pickle vegetables and are often eaten as a side dish or desert.  We will see about that.  They will be full of probiotics for you you foodies out there.

Update: Straining bag complete with no challenges from the sewing machine, yeah.
More update: the lees or leftover rice may indeed make a very sour pickle.  After a little taste I don't think I will be eating it.  Maybe a good addition to some animal feed.  It's on the compost pile.  The filter bag worked as intended.  I got a little more than one gallon of Doburoku.

11/19 two quarts are gone, the rest is in a 2 quart mason.  It has cleared down to half and tiny bubbles can be seen rising from the milky bottom, looks cool.

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