So I decided that I wanted to try to make Sake in the New Year. I figured it couldn’t be too difficult. “Its just rice”. Well I was sadly mistaken. Koji (which is a mold) is the key ingredient in successful Sake making and unlike yeast, cropping and propagating mold is not so simple. First, you need to make sure you only propagate the right mold, aspergillus oryzae. The wrong mold and you might seriously make someone sick or dead. I don’t think I have any deadly molds in my house but extra care was needed. I dumped my first batch of Kome Koji because it didn’t look right to me. The second batch came out much better.
The second annoying thing is handling the rice. Washing the rice takes a long time. For proper steaming, you need to make sure all of the cloudiness is removed and the liquid runs clear. After that, it needs to soak for a couple hours, then drain, then steamed. Most rice is not actually steamed. You add water and rice bring to a boil, viola. Steamed rice is different. Steamed rice has an al dente texture and it doesn’t stick together. It takes a long time too. After making rice, koji, and then pitching yeast, the process is just beginning. You need to bump the fermentation with additional rice and koji to keep the yeast performing and keep the subtle sweetness and delicateness of the rice in the final product. I am at Day 1 of Fermentation. I will post some pictures and updates when I see some active fermentation.
I did pick out some awesome blue bottles and corks for the final product. Hopefully, it works out. Projected completion around the end of February so keep an eye out for updates and bottles.