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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Beni-Koji. Red Yeast Rice. Old School... like really really Old School
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:11 PM   #1
TheDemonSlick
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Default Beni-Koji. Red Yeast Rice. Old School... like really really Old School

Hey all. I live near Boston, so we have a banging Chinatown. I went there to try and find some Koji rice or Koji-kin... I was going to make Sake. Here's where my adventure begins...
Wandering through aisle after aisle of things, no English, even the workers can't understand you...
But you know it's here... somewhere...
Eventually, I was able to find an extremely old dude and his English speaking daughter.
He gave me this recipe. I never did get my Koji rice or Koji-kin.... but I did get this crazy recipe. And I discovered Chinese Red Yeast Rice, aka Beni Koji... Red Koji.
.
Anyways, the old Chinese guy told me to do this:
For 2 Gallons Akaisake
Take 7 lbs short grain white rice.
Rinse it until the rinse water runs clear. Work it with your hands, stir, rinse.
After, put it into your bucket. Add enough water to cover it, with about 2 inches above the rice.
Soak for two hours.
Drain, rinse well again.
Wrap the rice up in a clean white cotton towel, or a cheesecloth, or a tshirt. Steam the rice, the water can't touch the rice... use a colander inside a pot or whatever you have to work it out. If you can't swing it, just make the damn rice however you want. Make sure to rinse and soak it as best you can. Steaming makes the best booze, but you can still do it however.
Put the drained rice into your sterilized bucket.
Add Distilled Water, 2 gallons... add slowly, take the temp... when you get it to 100 F, add 1 lb red yeast rice and 1 packet yeast.
Mix well.
Cap it and airlock it.
Let ferment for 2 weeks
Strain out the solids, and rack it into glass bottles. You could drink this right now if you want, it will be cloudy, but good. Chilled is best. If you plan on stopping here, make sure you keep it chilled, it can go bad if you don't.
If you want to continue on....
Set aside somewhere cool (65ish) for another two weeks. Secondary Fermentation is occurring, so leave some way for gas to get out... glass carboys with airlocks are ideal, but a non lubed rubber with a pinhole does the trick... use what you have.
Strain off of the remaining sediment, bottle, pasteurize. Boil it in a water bath until the liquid reaches about 140F, then cap it and it's done.
Drink or Age.
Don't drink it warm... that's for the crappy stuff, not this.
You will have a red wine finished product.
If you want, run through a still and make Schochu. Or keep it this way and enjoy!
*****************************
.
# Frequently asked questions:

1 - Slick, seriously, WTF?
Well, I'm glad you asked that!
Apparently, the mold used in traditional Japanese Sake, for Koji rice or Koji-kin, is Aspergillus Oryzae. This mold acts on the starches of the rice, and produces an amylase enzyme (Hah! You've heard of amylase before!) Anyways, the mold produces the amylase, converting the rice starches to sugar. The yeast produces ethanol from the converted sugars.
***************************
Enter...Evil Merck! - Apparently, the Koji mold having been in use for thousands of years, was still somehow able to be patented by Merck Pharmaceuticals.
Wait, What?
I know, Right?
But it's true. They bribed the government and got a patent on Aspergillus Oryzae, a naturally occurring mold.
But why would they do that?
Well, Koji kin produces a statin that boosts your good cholesterol, and lowers your bad cholesterol.
Wallah... Levitra! Huge moneymaker. (EDIT - Levitra makes your wood go wood, it's actually lovostatin. Doh!)
So naturally, Merck is out to stomp on red yeast rice, aka beni-koji.
Fortunately for us all, Chinese shopkeepers pay no attention to such nonsense.
*****************************************
But Slick, Beni-Koji doesn't contain Aspergillus Oryzae... why does Merck hate it so much???
.
You're absolutely right! Beni-Koji is inoculated with an entirely different mold, monascus purpureas. This is where the red color comes from. Monascus purpureas does the same thing aspergillus oryzae does... it produces an amylase enzyme that converts the rice starches to sugar. The yeast then converts the sugars into sweet sweet booze. This sends the yeast and the mold into a crazy feedback loop where they go into a symbiosis and start cranking out the ethanol... this symbiosis allows the yeast to continue to function in alcohol levels that would normally kill them...it's normal to get 15-20% out of Bakers Yeast!

****************************************8
.
But Slick, you still haven't told us why Merck hates Beni-Koji so much!
.
Well, as it turns out, monascus purpureas produces the exact same statin as aspergillus oryzae does. Identical down to the atomic and molecular structure. That means you can buy 300$ worth of Levitra for 4$ at any Chinese Grocery! Google takes loot to suppress this.
***********************************************
Anyways, don't worry about the details... follow the instructions for a sweet delicious red wine made from white rice. And it will lower your cholesterol.
What's not to love?
*********
Edit to say, this my first time, so I'm not going to be sure it worked until it finishes. Also, maybe the cholesterol drug is a different Merck one, not sure, but the statin info is solid.

************************************************** ***********
EDIT 6/20/13 - I have done several batches now, that recipe works, but is not ideal....
Here is "The best method in my opinion"* See SonOfGroks thread in my sig, or read this whole thread. Many Mighty Seekers Of Truth And Ethanol have contributed Mightily. I thank Them All.
No Added Water, Distilled or otherwise. The Ancient Chinese Dude even said to add water, but my experience has been that it makes it less sweet and more dry to add water. I have also found that Booze Levels stay pretty much the same... a 1.5% increase in ethanol isn't worth the difference in taste, again, that's just my opinion.
Steam the rice or just cook it, it doesn't seem to matter that much. Buy the shortest grain rice available, that's important, shorter carb chains. Let it cool, make sure there are no spots above 100f.
7 lbs dry rice before cooking
2 pounds Red Yeast Rice
113.5 grams chinese yeast balls, crushed. {Put them in a bag and smack them with the round side of a ladle or spoon.)
Cooked rice should be around three gallons by volume in the bucket.
Pitch the Red Yeast Rice and Yeast Balls crushed just like yeast, in a big bowl, warm water (80-90F) let it soak about ten minutes, then add it in and stir. Or just mix it in dry by hand. Whatever.
Cap, airlock, wait three weeks, 21 days. No need to open or stir. You should get around 13% ethanol, waiting longer results in a dryer, more alcoholic and less sweet wine with higher content, about 16% max.
Open, strain, drain, will be cloudy, filter or let settle and rack, or both.
The solids can be used again with fresh rice.
The liquids will continue to ferment and will be cloudy, beware bottle bombs. Cold crashing will not completely eliminate this. Pastuerize at about 160f for a few minutes and it should stop. Don't heat to 174 or alcohol will be lost!
You can drink it "raw", unpastuerized, it's cloudy and fresh and delicous. You can bottle it pastuerize it and age it. Whatever you want. Leave some in a small bottle open to the air and it will turn to red rice wine vinegar, great for cooking.
These are my thoughts, there has been Tremendous creativity in the other thread in my sig, it's a long read but well worth it, and interesting as hell.
Special Mention to LeadGolem and SonOfGrok and EVERYBODY in this thread and the rice wine thread.
All the Best.

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Old 03-24-2013, 12:57 PM   #2
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Well then. I like fermented beverages and conspiracy theories so I'll subscribe.

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Old 03-24-2013, 09:50 PM   #3
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I like not having to open my bucket with all the steps, like traditional sake making. Less chance for anything bad to get in, and it's less work. I suppose you could do all that stuff if you want to. That Sake guy Taylor did all the steps but he mixed Beni-Koji with.. I think it was yellow koji. It's one of the few sites that come up if you search for Beni-Koji.

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Old 03-24-2013, 10:37 PM   #4
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I have a picture of the red yeast rice and a boring one of me steaming rice in a t shirt... not me, the rice. From what I've red, there isn't actually any yeast in red yeast rice, just the mold. Chinese medicine shops also sell "wine cake", but since nobody can explain what's in it, I'm going to hold off on that. Plus, that old guy recommended this, and he seemed pretty knowledgeable.

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Old 03-25-2013, 09:56 PM   #5
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There's a good rice wine thread here, they've been experimenting with Chinese wine cake or yeast cake, which appear to contain both yeast and some kind of mold(s?). Many sucessful batches.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/maki...ferent-361095/

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Old 03-26-2013, 08:57 PM   #6
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Day 5, all the liquid has been absorbed into the rice. I was told to expect this... the rice sucks up all the liquid then liquifys... hopefully.

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Old 03-26-2013, 09:11 PM   #7
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Subbed. Looking forward to see how this turns out.

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Old 03-27-2013, 08:04 AM   #8
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Another day, not much change. This is the rice. I'm using but any short grain rice should do... don't use brown rice, the husks make it harder for the mold to penetrate.

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Old 03-28-2013, 07:47 AM   #9
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Subbed. Definitely looking forward to the updates. The rice you used looks very much like the Japanese sweet rice I used in my 6 grain experiment.

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Old 03-28-2013, 08:24 AM   #10
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If it doesn't taste good after secondary fermentation I'm going to run it thru Lyssa to salvage the booze, but I feel pretty confident... I was told the rice would suck up all the liquids then Liquefy, but for the first week I was kinda scared... once it sucked up all the water I felt a lot better about it (especially after reading that people with too much water in the rice wine thread went sour!). Once I get a lot of liquid again I'll feel much much better. The airlock keeps bubbling, so that's good. Day 8.
Hey Lead Golem.... Red Corn Whiskey??? Just a thought... this weekend I'm going to put down a bucket, see what happens.....
I don't plan on ever buying any commercial amylase ever ever again. Not that I used much anyways, but if it's free in Nature why pay?
Waaaahhhh!!!!

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