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Old 02-26-2015, 05:07 AM   #1
Vodkiwi
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Default Rice wine to vodka

Hey guys,

I started my first ever alcohol anything yesterday, I'm making a traditional style rice wine/ sake using Thai small grain glutinous rice, sugar, yeast ballies. I'm planning on making a 140- 150 litre ferment, but I'm doing a 2.4l tester before I sink my teeth into the barrel.

Using:

470g rice
2 table spoons sugar
1.8 yeast balls

I cooked the rice with sugar until soft (after straining clear) and mashing until a mushy glue like texture. After cooling overnight I added the crushed yeast ball and a bit, then mashed again to spread the yeast through the mixture and placed all that in a 2.4l bottle with a tea spoon (funnel didn't work out like planned due to thickness).

12 hours later I got home from work and checked up on the ferment, which I left sitting in a bucket of warm water, about 1/3 of the ferment is clearish liquid sitting under the rice. And it had bubbles when I started it but now there is nothing, smell is sweet and kind of like damp clothes that have been left in the washing machine too long, just funky, not bad but not good. From what I read on this forum before about these style ferments it should only have liquid after a few days? Is it just water? Should I be concerned at all?

Is like to get this right so I can start my big batch , any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

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Old 02-26-2015, 07:58 AM   #2
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It has been 3 hours since my first post and the rice has already started dropping, there is no clear yeast activity and the liquid has gotten more cloudy. Did I use too much yeast or something? Maybe there are yeast steroids in the tap water here... Still not sure if it's alcohol though.

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Old 02-27-2015, 03:53 PM   #3
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All recipes I've seen so far asked for steamed rice, not cooked. But I don't know if that should matter. I've never made rice wine before.

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Old 02-28-2015, 10:26 AM   #4
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It looks good now, bubbling away. I guess it may have been the water I put in it, even though it wasn't much. All the rice is at the bottom with 1/5" cap on top.

Smells like alcohol, kind of burns the nose. Hopefully this will make a good vodka.

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Old Yesterday, 02:50 AM   #5
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Keep us posted, I've thought about doing the same thing with my rice wine.
You need to read the main thread on rice wine to learn more for answers to your questions. Most aren't using sugar, nor mashing up their rice, though.
How do you plan to distill this, or are you freeze concentrating like beer?

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Old Yesterday, 09:11 AM   #6
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I was planning on crash cooling then pasteurising, my test ferment smells to me like an apple cider, but my partner is saying it smells yeasty. I have no idea what active yeast smells like.

I have read that thread but it's kinda hard for me to take things from what others experience as yeasts and ingredients vary, and I have no idea what to expect so I'm just letting the ball role. That's why I have the test one that I can kinda play around with and learn the bit they don't tell you, on the go. I'm using a 6L pot still with a small reflux column.

Any one know where I can host my images?

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Old Yesterday, 05:58 PM   #7
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I started my big fermenter this morning with about 50 litres of mushy rice that I cooked last night with only about half a cup of sugar. I'd rather make a smooth spirit than a sweet one. There are 14 yeast balls in it plus the 2 I put in the night before to thin it out.

I learned that if you're not bothered mushing the rice yourself, just cook it and cool with some water until around 48 degrees C and throw in a few crushed yeast balls. I woke up this morning and it was a bubbling porridge.

Another thing I should add is that I burned some of the rice to give it a nutty taste, It smells pretty good so far, way better than my test batch, it smells a little like roasted walnuts. It going to be difficult to refrain from opening to check on it. I'll open and photograph every 7 days.

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Old Today, 04:38 AM   #8
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Not vodka, but you're awfully lucky to be in a country where it's legal to run a nice still setup https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baijiu

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Old Today, 04:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
It is closer to vodka in strength and mouth-feel.
Wikipedia, close enough and easier to say hahaha. Yea I know so much more freedom in New Zealand, I've lived everywhere except Europe and it's pretty cozy here, no guns.

Back on topic, my tester has shown no signs of life for around 20 hours, it's been at a constant temp, so not sure what's going on. Big fermenter is not showing a lot of action either, a bubble here and there.. I'll probably aerate a bit if there is still nothing by tomorrow.

So just did a quick research on a Chinese site it says to mix as soon as the rice floats and the rice starts to drop, just did the tester and worked like magic, bubbles in about 10 min. And repeat, this will aid the fermentation supposedly. Couldn't hurt to try it on the tester! Priority is the barrel.
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