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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Tibetian Chaang Recipe from the Himalayas
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:09 AM   #1
kinkothecarp
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Default Tibetian Chaang Recipe from the Himalayas

Naturally, Nepal and Tibet have become a second home (quite literally) to me as a mountaineer, so spending a lot of time with these people means spending a lot of time brewing and drinking with these people. In the remote Himalayas, aside from places like Everest and Annapurna Base camps, you'd be hard pressed to find any beer - and even harder to find varieties apart from San Miguel, Lowenbrau, and maybe a few others. Thus, I present to you Nepalese and Tibetan beer made from rice.

The taste of Chaang (ཆང་) is like that of ale, but a little different. The alcohol content is quite low, it produces heat in the body and has a bite to it. Chaang is widely consumed by the hill people (sherpas, tamangs, tibetians, etc.) of the Himalayas for enduring the cold temperatures which go below freezing point during the winters. The local people believe it can cure common cold, fever and allergies. It is linked to the myth of the abominable snowman, too. Everyone in Nepal and Tibet believes that the snowman creature likes to drink Chaang, which is why they take their clothes off to brew it. I don't know why, but it's just the custom. I just go with it.

Here is a wiki article, too:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chhaang


Ingredients
1. 11lbs of cooked Basmati rice
2. Tibbo Yeast (Tibetan yeast - you can get some from me if you PM me or you can use other yeast, sake yeast) This is available at Chinese, Vietnamese, and Malaysian markets as yeast balls. I'm sure some Indian markets may carry it, too.
3. Laughter
4. Other common stuff

1. Cook the Rice and spread it on a large mat (think of like a suntanning mat)
2. Let the rice cool and take three pieces of yeast (Tibbo yeast), and spread it on all the rice.
3. Take off clothing out of respect and roll around on the rice, smooshing it.
4. Take 3 pieces of tibbo yeast and crush
7. Put the rice into the clothes, or a cloth (if you didn't take off you're clothes)
8. Hang the cloth with the rice in it up and in 24 hours check the rice.
9. Put fermenting rice into clay pottery bucket by hand from the cloth. This is tricky because the pottery needs holes to drain into another pot which will be sealed and not have holes in it.
10. Seal and leave if possible for one month
11. Open lid of tightly sealed bucket in one month.
12. Take out as much mix as required
13. Mix with cold water
14. Strain
15. Drink. The longer you ferment, the better your Chaang will be. The better your chaang is, the clearer it will be. This is, according to legend, because of the purity of one's soul.

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Old 10-07-2009, 04:42 AM   #2
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3. Take off clothing out of respect and roll around on the rice, smooshing it.
Awesome! The perfect recipe to get swmbo involved in brewing!

Edit: She said no... Though, cool recipe nonetheless.
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Old 10-07-2009, 02:26 PM   #3
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that's some wild stuff man. happy travels!

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Old 07-13-2011, 09:04 PM   #4
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Default chhaang

Are these the yeast balls that you would use to make chhaang? When hanging in cloth what is the ideal temperature? No water until after fermentation? One bucket with holes inside another?

I drank chhaang around the Kathmandu Valley, delicious and refreshing at the end of a long hike.

photo-2011-07-13-14.51.jpg  
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:51 PM   #5
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I must say that I do not find the drink interesting at all, but hiking the Himalayas, dang that is spot on.

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Old 07-14-2011, 07:10 AM   #6
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I've never seen those yeast balls - normally they'd be passed down from family to family. The other recipe that I've got is Rhaski (pronounced Roxi) - but I don't think I'm allowed to post it


Oh, and I think they're drinking Chaang and the start of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

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Old 07-14-2011, 07:12 AM   #7
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Brewsky - pm me, I'll give you a more detailed step-by-step procedure with pictures via email. I'll be in KTM this December, so if you're lucky and can wait, I can likely pick you up some yeasts.

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Old 07-16-2011, 05:50 PM   #8
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They used big brown balls of yeast, had a more natural look to it. Yea i tried Rhaski a few times in a Newar household. I received these balls from a Nepalese friend but he wasn't sure about the whole process.

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Old 07-16-2011, 06:37 PM   #9
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Interesting read,I love this obscure stuff. I saved the wiki article,since it also describes that brownish yeast ball a bit more. Might be good to try brewing a batch this fall for winter.
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinkothecarp View Post
I've never seen those yeast balls - normally they'd be passed down from family to family. The other recipe that I've got is Rhaski (pronounced Roxi) - but I don't think I'm allowed to post it
At first I was thinking it was due to religious respect or something like that but didn't realize it's a distilled beverage... google is quite amazing. I had best results from searching "raksi"

Cool thread, though. I may have to try this naked brewing you speak of
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