Monday, January 14, 2013

Upping the ante on Sake

The Doburoku that I have been making is really more rice wine than Sake in the eyes of Sake aficionados.  Both are made from the four ingredients, water, rice, koji and yeast.  Making true Sake requires more of a ritual in terms of the process.  

With Doburoku you put all of the ingredients together and let it ferment.  With Sake, first you make a starter culture of Koji, yeast, water and rice.  The starter called the Moto is created in a low temperature environment, around fifty degrees Fahrenheit, barely above the yeast's low temperature rating.  Then the starter is added to more Koji and rice that doubles the amount of mash in each of three additions over four days.  The Moto requires about two weeks and the additions and fermentation another three weeks.

Wow, complicated.  I'm really happy with the quality of brew that I get with the "throw it all together" version.  In spite of that I am ready to go to the next phase.  I brought the little refrigerator that used to be in the office in from the barn.  It turns out that at the lowest setting it maintains a temperature right around fifty degrees, perfect.  I had a nice big batch of Kome Koji  that I made last week and a big batch of steamed rice that I made Friday night.  

The result is a big batch of Doburoku fermenting in the cold closet and a double batch of Moto fermenting in the little fridge.  I figure if it is going to take two weeks to make the Moto, I might as well double it so I can run two batches once it is ready.

It should be interesting.

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