Sake

This process will be divided into 2 parts

Making Koji for Sake
Making Sake

Equipment

small 10l fermenting bucket
large 25l fermenting bucket
2 x demijohns
& the usual items like bungs, airlocks, spoon, syphon hose, hydrometer

Cleanliness with any brewing is very important.
Making sure everything is kept clean and sanitised, just the same as any brewing process.

Step 1 – Making Koji for Sake

Koji is used to provide flavour and aroma as well as provide the enzymes which will break down the protein and starches into dextrins and sugars.

Koji cultured at higher temps (40C) produces saccharification enzymes where as lower temp (20C) will emphasise protein degrading enzymes. We want to culture the koji at the higher temp range.

The mycelia produced from the Koji needs to penetrate deep into the rice grain. This is effected by the moisture of the grain. The deeper the mycelia penetrated the better the extraction of the sugars from your rice. So its important to follow the schedule in preparing the rice.

Basically we will be washing, rinsing, soaking, draining, steaming, cooling and then inoculating and incubating the rice.

Ingredients

1.13Kg rice
1 packet of Koji Kin (spores)

            1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. This will remove any of the rice flour and surface powders present.
            2. Soaking the rice. Place the rice in a bowl and fill with cold water and soak for 1 hour minimum. This will increase the moisture content of the rice grains.
            3. Drain the rice. Place the rice in a sieve at let it drain for 1 hour.
            4. Steaming of the rice. Place rice in a steamer, evenly layered and steam for 45mins. Make sure the steamer doesn’t run out of water. The rice will become gelatinised all the way through.
            5. Remove rice from steamer and place on a tray of grease proof paper (spread evenly out) and allow to cool. Break up any clumps.
            6. While the rice is still warm (37C) evenly spread about half the packet of the Koji Kin (5gm) evenly over the rice and mix well making sure that all the rice is covered by the Koji Kin spores which are a greenish colour.
            7. Wrap the mixture in a tea towel, place in a bowl ready to be inoculated
            8. Place the rice in a warm humid area. I used my fermentation chamber to keep the temp between 32C35C. I also placed a cup of water to provide the humidity required to get the spores to grow
            9. After 12 hours open the towel and stir the koji gently.
            10. After 24 hours it may show signs of a white mold. If not check again on another 12 hours in which you should remove the glass of water.
            11. Keep checking the koji and don’t let the temp rise above 37C.
            12. After 40 – 54 hours the koji should be complete. Spread the koji out to cool and then the koji can be placed in a container and refrigerated for use later.

Step 2 – Making the Sake

Ingredients

4.54 kg rice ( since I couldn’t locate proper sake brewing rice, I decided to use the next best thing, Sushi rice, bought at Tesco. The rice used is polished, ie its placed in rotating drums which would remove some of the outerlayer. I assume any rice could be used even brown rice but this would affect the quality of the finished product. Sake rice is a short grain rice and so went with Sushi rice being very similar).
1.13Kg Koji
7.6l water the water used was soft water or in my case RO water. It is said that the water should not be hard and have very little iron, again this must affect the quality of the finished product
1 tsp Lactic acid or 4gm Citric acid
4gm Yeast nutrient
Sake yeast (Wyeast or Whitelabs)

The process follows a day/ night schedule to accomodate those that work and can be changed to suit any schedule.

Yeast Mash day 1

Evening (before)

Prepare 600 ml water (RO or soft water), add 1tsp lactic acid or 4gm Citric Acid, 4gm Yeast nutrient.
Stir thoroughly, separate 120ml and put in fridge.
Cover remaining 480ml and store in cool place (15-18C).


Morning

Wash and steep 340gm rice for 1 hour, followed by 1 hour drain.
Add activated yeast to the 480ml water left  and let it stand whilst the rice is draining
Add 115gm of the koji to the water yeast mixture and stand for another hour. Do this while the rice is steaming for 45 min.
Temp of the mixture shoud be around 20C.
Steam the rice for 45mins.
Place the steamed rice in a small fermenter, add the 120ml of fridge water to bring down temp of rice and add the water/ yeast / koji mixture.
Stir gently.
Temperature should be about 24C.

Evening

After 12 hours, stir the mash.

 

Day 2 to Day 6

Stir the mash every morning and evening with a sanitised spoon, ensuring the temp stays around the 22-24C range.
Not too hot and no lower than 15C.
The yeast mash should be complete and the abv will be around 6%.
Main ferment build up

The volume will double in size by adding water, koji and rice. This will take place over approx 3 weeks.

 

It will be divided in to 3 additions:

1st Addition

The night before the 1st addition of the main ferment buildup:

Add 205gm koji into the yeast mash.
Add 355ml water and stir gently.
Bring mash temp to 15C.
Place 295ml water in the fridge for cooling the steamed rice.

Day 1

Cool the yeast mash to 10C.
Wash 570gm rice, steep in cold water for 1 hour, drain for 1 hour and steam for 45 mins.
Spread the rice on a baking sheet to cool and dry the rice.
Break up any clumps.
Place rice in a sterilised container, add the 295ml fridge water to cool steamed rice and stir gently.
Place steamed rice in to yeast mash and stir gently.
Cover and cool to 13C (no more than 20C)

Day 2 – morning

Stir mixture gently.

Day 2 – evening

Stir mixture gently
The night before the 2nd addition, add 320gm koji to the main mash and stir in gently.
Add 1.2l water.
Place 870ml water in fridge for cooling the steamed rice.

 

2nd Addition

Day 3

Wash 1360gm rice.
Steep in cold water for 1 hour, drain for 1 hour and steam for 45 mins.
Spread the rice on a baking sheet to cool and dry the rice. Break up any clumps.
Place rice in a sterilised container, add the 870ml fridge water to cool steamed rice and stir gently.
Place steamed rice in to yeast mash and stir gently.
Cover and cool to 13C (no more than 20C).

Day 3 evening

The night before the 3rd addition, add the rest of the koji to the main mash and stir in gently. Add 2.4l water.
Place 1.4l water in fridge for cooling the steamed rice.

 

3rd Addition

Day 4

Wash remaining rice, steep in cold water for 1 hour, drain for 1 hour and steam for 45 mins.
Spread the rice on a baking sheet to cool and dry the rice.
Break up any clumps.
Place rice in a sterilised container, add the 1.4l fridge water to cool steamed rice and stir gently.
Place steamed rice in to yeast mash and stir gently.
Cover and cool to 13C (no more than 20C).
Over the next 2 days stir every 12 hours.

 

Main ferment

Over the next 11-15 days the main ferment will take place, with the abv rising from 3% on day 1 to about 15-17% near the end.

On 15 day you can taste and either allow to fully ferment out giving a drier sake, or bottle and pasteurise.

 

Secondary ferment and maturation

Pour the sake through a cloth strainer (brew bag) to separate the liquid from the lees.

Squeeze any excess out if you want.

Place the liquid into 2 demijohns.

You can bottle and drink now, but its best to let it settle and clear.
Let the Sake settle for a week to a month to clear.

 

 Follow the thread on the forum

Author: Dodge

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