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Old 05-31-2010, 02:23 AM   #1
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Default Makgeolli - Korean Rice Beer

So, for a preface I live and work in South Korea. Unless are willing to kiln your own grains you sometimes find yourself without any ingredients for a while since homebrewing isn't very popular here (compared to USA, where I am from). Not only that, but grain is relatively expensive. Rice, on the other hand, is abundant!

Anyway, there is a traditional Korean drink called makgeolli (mah - guh - lee) that is a non-homogenous rice beer type drink. It's actually quite good and since I can get rice anytime, I figured why not try it?

My question is does anyone know if rice will convert on it's own if it's 100% of the mash? Makgeolli typically isn't made the same way you make beer. It's more like this...

However, I would like to try it the same way I make any other all grain beer and maybe ferment it with S-04 and then keg.

Does anyone have any thoughts, will this even work? If this worked I'd LOVE to try some hopped makgeolli!

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Old 06-01-2010, 01:40 PM   #2
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Rice (even malted) lacks the enzymes needed to convert starch to sugar. In this case the mold (which your link calls nu-ruk) provides the enzymes (sake is made in the same way with a mold called koji). I’m part way through making my first batch of sake, interesting stuff, but much more time/labor intensive than making a batch of beer.

You could supplement a malted barley mash with up to ~30% rice if you wanted to cut costs. You would need to first grind and then boil the rice to gelatinize the starches. Could be interesting, but the beer will be on the thin side (Budweiser contains quite a bit of rice for this reason.)
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:23 PM   #3
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You need mold...I've used Koji on rice and millet and it works really well. Nu-ruk is a different animal and I've only seen it used in China. I would just use Koji. I've had Makgeoli, and I'd suggest Indian/Pakistani Basmati Rice (Royal is the best) or Thai Jasmine Rice. Korean rice will work just fine, too. Stay away from Japanese and Chinese rice.

I've got some recipes very similar to this for Chaang and Rhaski.
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