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Old 10-21-2006, 09:42 AM   #11
afromaiko
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Picked up some Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity today and a new stainless stock pot to use as a fermenter.

Homebrewer_99 - The ceramic pot idea sounded very interesting too, however trying to find one that is glazed on the inside could be difficult as mentioned above.

I'm going to try soaking the rice overnight too, the Vision Brewing recipe said to only soak for about 1.5 hours which is what I did last time. I went to a bigger brew shop here that I hadn't been to before and they seemed to know a bit about making sake and have ordered me some of the Wyeast Sake #9 in to try. They also gave me a semi-local contact for ordering the koji-kin spores too.

Jeremyz - are you using citric acid with your recipes or cultivating a lactic acid base? I noticed that it's possible to purchase lactic acid at the brew shop I went to today and they use it for wine making I think.

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Old 10-29-2006, 10:11 AM   #12
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Hmm.. I just threw out my second batch. After a week it was yellow and starting to get bitter/sour again. I think this store bought koji is not working properly, would this be why my sake has turned yellow?

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Old 11-10-2006, 04:01 AM   #13
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Default my sake brewing experience

The first thing I ever brewed was sake! I read some all grain stuff and thought 'too much money and too expensive' and my roommate made the mistake of saying that his relatives make it all the time in Taiwan. I started doing research and found visionbrewing.com too.

I wasn't overly impressed with the first batch because there was way too much lemon flavor and acidity. Also, we had to drink the entire thing in the first couple days because I didn't know how to pasturize it. We got pretty drunk.

My current favorite sake procedure involves the following :

2-2.5 lbs koji, home made all at once, half frozen
3.5 lbs steamed rice
Korean brand short grain brown rice
Fleishman's Bread Yeast
bottled spring water

I soak the rice before I steam it.
I steam the rice in the stainless pot I use for fermenting, so its sanitized.
Once the koji is ready, and the rice is cooled, I add a gallon of spring water to all the steamed rice and about half the koji.
I seal it with the lid and wrap it up in Saran wrap to keep it nice and sterile.
I try to leave some small air holes for the CO2 to escape.
I let it ferment in a dorm fridge on the lowest setting (~60F) for about 2 weeks.
I take it out once a day and give it good agitation without unsealing it.
Usually agitating it results in lots of bubbles rising up from the rice at the bottom.
After 2 weeks, I thaw the remaining koji and pitch it in.
I let it ferment for another week or two and then drink it!
I pasturized it at whatever the recomended temperature was (130F for 5 minutes?)
I bottle it in beer bottles.


Once I did an experiment where I pasturized a bunch of it and then made 2 "specialty bottles".
One was still fermenting, so after about 3 days it was lightly sparkling.
One was fermenting unsealed.


The people that have tried my sake say it's good, and I like my sake better than most of the commercial sake I have tried.

The sparkling sake was well liked.
The one allowed to fermented longer was driest.
The pasturized sake was a little flat tasting.
One pasturized bottle was left in a fridge for a year, and was quite good when we tried it.




I recently learned that brown rice is exactly the opposite of what you should use since it still has its entire husk. Interestingly enough, soaking brown rice in water is supposed begin the germination process and releases GABA predicesor protiens/amino acids. It works well with mine. *shrug* I think mine tastes great with raw shashimi grade tuna and rice.





My vague understanding of the biochemistry of sake is that the koji mold produces alpha and beta amylase (that's what does the work in the mash for beer). The yeast float around and eat the sugars that the amylase produces. I cannot explain why the amylase works correctly at ~60 F, since the beer literature says it isn't active til near 155F. I would guess that the amylase probably works at the low temperature, but very slowly and inneficiently, but that's not really a problem because the yeast are working slowly too. I know that the koji rice itself is sweet (I've eaten some of it raw before, it's tasty, kind of like a sweet cheese), but I can't imagine that without some amylase action that 2 lbs of rice would produce enough fermentables for the high ABVs that occur.



Here are some potentially useful resources courtesy of brewery.org :

http://brewery.org/brewery/library/chmsk_RA.html
http://brewery.org/brewery/library/sake_MH0499.html
http://home1.gte.net/richwebb/sakeprod.htm


Hope that helps.

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In the cellar/fridge :
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The Trouble with Trippels
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SaazSquash
Saisson
Spiced Strong Ale "D9"

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Old 11-12-2006, 01:17 AM   #14
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Until I can get two five gallon soda kegs I will never try intermediate recipe. I will use lime juice for beginner recipe.

Was sake yellow while fermenting? Did it turn yellow after you ended fermenting? What was smell or taste? I am curious. Maybe it was infected?

Here is the only video I have seen on sake.
http://www.travelistic.com/video/show/530

You may notice I have a hydrometer. I want to know more about what my sake alcohol is.
http://www.atroxen.com/gallery2/main.php/view/jeremy/Sake%20Brewing/?g2_page=5

I am making two gallons because the wine cellar in my family home has a regulated temperature of 60F so I think it will be good for wyeast labs sake #9. I am also using store bought koji and I have a lot of confidence that it will help break down all of the rice. I might filter some.

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Old 11-12-2006, 03:33 AM   #15
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Default Frozen Koji

For the record whoever moved this post into wine is correct and wrong. Sake is called a wine because it tastes like one but it is made exactly like beer.

I spend 30$ on shipping for completed koji rice, not the spores. I will never spend that much again unless this koji is amazing. Otherwise I will get koji from Japanese grocery store. Frozen or defrosted koji is not the question. Pitch yeast when temperature is good so I assume in most cases the koji defrosts in water or by letting it warm up on a table.

Compared to store bought koji my koji is not good for yeast. Rice does not break down well. Store bought koji makes rice break down very well and ferment is like an engine of bubbling. Homemade koji has been annoying for me. I get some mold but after 48 hours I only get some mold on the surface of kohoku rose sushi rice when I think the mold has to penetrate the rice and "explode" the structure of each rice grain.

I still need to find out if polished rice was made in 1600s in Japan and how it was made. If it was never made in 1600s then I learn something great and new about sake.

Fred Echardt's recipes
http://www.designerinlight.com/

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Old 12-01-2006, 06:44 PM   #16
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My newest batch of sake is the greatest batch ever. Food grade plastic is the worst material for sake. Only glass or stainless steel fermenters can be used. Until I get some cornelius kegs I will not make sake again. So how does it taste? For the first time like sake without that weird sour taste the plastic caused. My earlier batches were not extremely sour but the taste was there. After making over a dozen batches of sake I feel that this is truly my first brew of sake. I don't like it really cold but then again all wines should not be drunk right out of the fridge. It's great warm or cold. If I had to compare it to a sake it has the banana fruity floral taste somewhat similar to Fudo Myoo Sake.

Rules of Sake
1. Never use food grade plastic, only glass or stainless steel. Plastic causes a weird sour taste.

2. Temperature is very important like most ferments. I fermented at 60F in family wine cellar.

3. I used sake #9 yeast which is not crucial but does help. It was very fun watching foam.

4. Don't ever let anyone tell you to only use polished rice. Decide for yourself. I used Kokuho Rose rice from Stop & Shop and I plan on always using it unless there is some cheap or easy way of getting polished rice. Fred Eckhardt has the most advanced homebrew sake recipe and even he mentions using Kokuho Rose rice.

5. I used koji from fhsteinbart.com but the shipping was 30$. In the future I will only want to use koji in white tubs sold at Japanese grocery stores. When I made my own koji it never fermented as well.

6. Impatient I always squeezed out sake in under an hour. It would cause half of my bottled sake to be sediment. In my most recent batch I allowed the sake to drip out for 24 hours and I was really surprised how well it worked. I was going to squeeze the sake bag after 24 hours but there was no need. When the sediment settled in my newest sake it was only a 1/10 of a millimeter of the bottle instead of 1/2 of the bottle. I got my dimensions for straining bag from sakebukuro. Traditionally sakebukuro are made from hemp canvas but I used cotton muslin and linen.

http://www.atroxen.com/gallery2/main.php/view/jeremy/Sake%20Brewing/?g2_page=7

Foam!
http://www.sake-world.com/html/sw-2002_4.html

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Old 12-03-2006, 01:56 AM   #17
afromaiko
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Hey jeremyz - your photos of the latest batch look great! So clear! Did you work from the basic recipe or use one of the advanced ones? Also, did you let it ferment right out or stop it early? Roughly how long was fermentation?

Mine keeps getting a yellow tinge to it, I really can't figure out why. I'm using a high quality rice (tried two different types) and store bought koji. However so far I've tried the champagne yeast (EC1118?), the Trappist yeast and also a lager yeast. All had the yellow tinge, some quite bad.. almost fluorescent looking!

I have the Sake #9 now, and am waiting on a fridge to brew in since it's been really hot here lately in Australia. With the lager yest I managed to keep a small batch cold enough.. but yellow again.. Taste has been a bit off too, even using stainless or glass.

Ganbarimasu!

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Old 12-05-2006, 08:18 PM   #18
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Thank you. I used beginner recipe. After a week ferment seemed to end but I added a little more koji and rice like recipe suggested and I let it ferment for another two days. Total ferment 9 days. Next time I may let it ferment for another week after adding more rice and koji. It can be very handy to keep a journal and list the things you do like how do you sterilize, cook rice, temperature fermented, how active ferment was, smell of sake during ferment, etc. Hopefully I can help you solve the problem. Maybe I should note that I kept sake mix at room temperature in a dark place for 24 hours then once the ferment got going I moved fermenters into 60F temperature room.

Genki des!

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Old 12-13-2006, 12:19 PM   #19
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Every time I've ever brewed sake, it has ended up a light straw color (so, somewhat yellowish), but it never caused any problems. I think that happened because of the type of rice I was using (brown rice from Korea).

I've never heard of a straining bag, I usually let mine settle for a couple days and then decanted off the top of the fermenter into a secondary container, which I further decanted. The remaining milky liquid I put into another container and let it settle to try and get more sake from it. It worked pretty well that way. Also, I drank some of the milky white sake and found it to be different but not unpalatable.

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In the cellar/fridge :
Pomegrande Ale
The Trouble with Trippels
Hard Cider
SaazSquash
Saisson
Spiced Strong Ale "D9"

Fermenting :
Son of Saisson
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Old 12-21-2006, 05:59 PM   #20
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One of my friends used this recipe.

http://www.geocities.co.jp/Foodpia/1751/sake.html

She has only made one batch and I was able to taste it when I visited her recently. Because she fermented in staineless and used good rice her first sake came out better than my first. However she used bread yeast so it has a very yeasty aftertaste I do not care for. Her sake is pretty cloudy and yellowish. Best sake I ever had for first try. I must recommend allowing sake to drip out of muslin or linen for 24hrs. Hemp would be best but I never used it and it is traditional Japanese material.

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