Easy way to make sake

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rexbanner

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I am not sure if this is the right forum but I don't know where else to put this.

I got the best book on sake making and finally managed to track down the ingredients. The problem is that making sake sounds like a huge pain. You have to add steamed rice and stir it twice a day every day for a week.

It seems like it is fulfilling the same function as stepping up a starter. Why can't I just make a massive amount of yeast and koji and add this to a good amount of rice? Anyone know the answer?
 

Arpolis

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Sake is all about technique. It is like the same way you "could" make a mead with no nutrients, tap water, a gravity of 1.18 and just pitch some dry 1118 yeast on top. But if you use filtered water, use appropriate nutrient additions up to the 1/3 sugar break, start with a lower gravity, de gas regularly the first week and make a yeast starter before pitching. Your product ends up being 5 times better.

Sake is also about tradition. Sake has a whole culture that comes along with the process and that culture should be respected. If you want a quick no fuss generic rice wine "which can be quite good", then get some dry yeast balls, mix it in with well steamed rice and call it good. That will liquefy and ferment to make a nice rice wine.
 
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rexbanner

rexbanner

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Sake is all about technique. It is like the same way you "could" make a mead with no nutrients, tap water, a gravity of 1.18 and just pitch some dry 1118 yeast on top. But if you use filtered water, use appropriate nutrient additions up to the 1/3 sugar break, start with a lower gravity, de gas regularly the first week and make a yeast starter before pitching. Your product ends up being 5 times better.

Sake is also about tradition. Sake has a whole culture that comes along with the process and that culture should be respected. If you want a quick no fuss generic rice wine "which can be quite good", then get some dry yeast balls, mix it in with well steamed rice and call it good. That will liquefy and ferment to make a nice rice wine.
But does the several additions of rice and koji make a difference flavor-wise? I am interested in the science behind this. If I made a huge starter from liquid sake yeast and pitched it with some koji into the steamed rice could I achieve a similar flavor profile?
 

Arpolis

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The problem is the koji and the enzymes it uses. Aspergillus oryzae is the common fungus used in koma-koji. You do not want to stress the fungus the wrong way because it changes what enzymes are produced. Most of what is produced and conditioned is in the first steps of moto. In this the goal is to give the yeast and koji a good inviroment and result in about 100 million yeast cells per tsp so the rest of the fermentation goes unstressed. The super high levels of yeast help to keep other fungi and bacteria from taking hold which can have a big impact on flavor. There are many more factors which cause flavor change. If you have had commercial sake and want something similar then follow the book. It will not be the same if you just make a big starter and dump it all together.
 
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If you want an easy way, you may want to try making rice wine first like most of us. Then, if you start feeling comfortable and more ambitious you can move into official sake making. I think Arapolis is an expert at making both by now ha ha.
 
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rexbanner

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Thanks guys. Yeah maybe rice wine is the way to go. I love sake and would like to make it but it seems too labor intensive. Brewing beer seems like a cake walk in comparison.
 

Arpolis

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Yea I agree with sonofgrok. Rice wine is probably the way to go. People only get into sake if you like all the work. If not then you can still get a great product with its own distinct character making the rice wine described in sonofgrok's rice wine thread.
 

RachmaelBenApplebaum

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If you wanna do it the REALLY traditional, REALLY ancient way, you can spit in the fermenter every time you pass by to get the amylase enzymes from your saliva. MMMMM spitwine.
 

Arpolis

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There are still many places in the world that do that today. Also you can just take rice, grains or crackers and chew them for a long time. If you chew about a half mouth full for about 5 min strait and then spit the goop out it will saccharify and turn into glucose. Fill a jar with that and then all you need is yeast. I have never tried it and probably will never lol.
 
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