OK so about 48 hours has past. I have been stirring morning and night these last two days so that the rice is evenly in contact with the enzymes from the Kome-Koji.
Here is a pic at about 10 hours after the last pic:
Just about all the liquid is soaked up and the rice is very fluffy with sweet cheesy smells coming from the jar.
Here is a pic about 22 hours in:
Now we can see the starches just starting to liquefy again. The smell now is much cheesier than it was before. At this stage you want to start trying to smell for sour smells. If you do get sour smells you may have a bacterial infection creating too much lactic acid in the mash. There are ways to deal with that but I would rather start over since we are not far in and not wasting much of the rice.
I was in a hurry and so missed taking pics the following morning but here are a couple pics of this evening at about 40 - 42 hours in:
Now this is getting really soft and mushy. There are small pools of pure liquid glucose & sucrose. Still no sour smell on mine so things are looking great.
Now traditional Sake only uses a couple different types of yeast. At the 48 hour mark we add in the yeast to the mix. The best yeast to use for traditional Sake is Wyeast Sake #9 from their smack pack. This yeast is a Lager type yeast that lends a smooth flavor and accentuates the oddly fruity character of fermented rice.
I wanted to try something different this go around to see how it comes out. One of my favorite Mead yeasts is Lalvin K1-V1116. That stuff works well in low or high temps, is great for low nutrient ferments, is a steady & moderate speed yeast that preserves aromas and protects delicate flavors. I started by making a 1/3 cup starter for the yeast so it mimicked about the same volume from a wyeast smack pack. I mixed in just under 1 tsp of local wild flower honey and 1/16 tsp of yeast energizer into the 1/3 cup water. The water used was the Fiji water used for the rice additions. I sprinkled the dried yeast pack on top of the liquid and let sit with a paper towel over it until that 48 hour mark came. The starter was super active with high krausen so I pitched it in at the 48 hour nark and this is what I got:
I also took 3 "Viva" paper towels which are kind of fabric like and added that to the top of the jar under the lid. The lid is tightened but not super tight. That will allow for CO2 to escape from the jar. A piece of cotton cloth works well too.
Now this is really important. The additional liquid will make for a better environment for a Lacto Bacteria colony to grow. In Sake you always expect a little bit of Lacto bacteria because you want a little lactic cid to offset the super sweet fermented rice liquid. But too much makes for awful Sake. So we now want to slow down the bacteria while the yeast colony goes through its lag phase. You do this by cooling the wort/must to about 60*F - 50*F. I put the Jar outside in the shade on my porch. It was about 60*F outside then and over the span of the 12 hours it will hit somewhere at 50*F or slightly under. So the weather is perfect for me right now. After the 12 hour cool rest we bring the Jar inside and it will stay at room temp as close to 70*F as possible for 3 days stirring twice daily and then another 3 days stirring once daily. After that we will cool the wort/must back down to the 60*F - 50*F range and let it rest for 5 days. Finally the Moto/starter step will be complete and the Moromi step can take effect.
I will update more once we get there in about 11 days.