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Bosh

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Also one thing that people often miss about makgeolli is that you're supposed to drink the sediment (or at least I do, much better that way) so make sure that it's well mixed in with the rest of the drink when you actually drink it.
 

Kadiya

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Thanks for the response SteveHoward and the congratulations! I thought that might be an issue bc of the sediment.

Yes, I'm Korean and my husband is happa (half Korean, half white)

Shoot guess I'll have to serve it directly from the fermenter then. Thanks for the post with the recipe too, really well written and clear
 

Loukgob

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I joined this forum because of this thread. I am not an experienced home-brewer, but there is one thing I like to make often and that is Makgeolli, (or Sato, as the very closely related drink is known as in Thailand).

I live in South-east Asia and make makgeolli on a regular basis. The weather is a tad too hot at times which can make the taste a little pungent (at least I guess that's the reason?), but most of the time it's just fine.

I have never used Nuruk though. Instead I use chinese yeast balls, which is usually used for making sato in Thailand and Laos etc.


I suppose these balls have the right enzymes as well since they work really well to break down the rice.

There is another recipe known as "Ang Chow" or "Foochow Ang Chow" as far as I know. There may be some other names to this drink that I don't know of.
This one is a Chinese version that calls for chinese yeast rice added to the mix. Some people claim this yeast rice to be a health tonic, others claim it could cause minor problems, all I do know is that a lot of Chinese drink it and they seem to be ok.
I recently got some yeast rice, looking like this:


I will try to make it according to this recipe as soon as I have time: http://www.goingwithmygut.com/going_with_my_gut/2010/03/grandmas-ang-chow-foochow-red-rice-wine.html

I'll let you know how it turns out, if anyone is interested.

Thanks for a great thread! I had no idea the reason my Makgeolli used to get sour was because I mixed the yeast balls with the rice while it was still hot. Not that I mind a bit of sourness. But I'll let it really cool of next time :)

Cheers
 

billygobrew

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Hey guys, Ive been home brewing makgeolli for a few weeks now with mixed success. Some batches terrible, others pretty good. As you know, the shelf life of makgeolli is very short as the flavor evolves quickly due to the continuous fermentation.

My questions is, how do they work around this problem with beer? Does makgeolli ferment more/faster with nuruk compared with yeast in beer? Do beer brewers solve this problem with pasteurization? I guess pasteurizing makgeolli would kill off all of the probiotic properties which is a big reason why people drink it in the first place. Are there ways to add probiotics later in the process that don't result in further fermentation, gas production, etc?

Thanks for any and all help!
 

Bosh

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Hey guys, Ive been home brewing makgeolli for a few weeks now with mixed success. Some batches terrible, others pretty good. As you know, the shelf life of makgeolli is very short as the flavor evolves quickly due to the continuous fermentation.

My questions is, how do they work around this problem with beer? Does makgeolli ferment more/faster with nuruk compared with yeast in beer? Do beer brewers solve this problem with pasteurization? I guess pasteurizing makgeolli would kill off all of the probiotic properties which is a big reason why people drink it in the first place. Are there ways to add probiotics later in the process that don't result in further fermentation, gas production, etc?

Thanks for any and all help!
The main thing with makgeolli is you want some residual sweetness to balance the bacterial sour but that sweetness won't stick around since the bacteria will eat all the sugar. The traditional solution is just drink it fast. What's done commercially is make it weaker, let it ferment out and then back-sweeten with artificial sweeteners which works fine but hurts the taste a lot. What my friend who brews makgeolli does is that when he hits the gravity he wants (so that there's a good mix of sweet, sour and alcohol) he bottles it and puts it in the fridge. The cold of the fridge puts the yeast and bacteria to sleep and keeps them from fermenting all the way out. The downside of this is that if you take the stuff back out of the fridge the fermentation will restart and it'll get too much carbonation or even bottle bombs but unless you're taking it out of the fridge for a really long time that's not much of a worry.

For people who know a LOT more than me look up the Facebook group "Brewers group- Seoul Brew Club" probably the best place for English-speaking magkeolli brewers.
 
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SteveHoward

SteveHoward

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The main thing with makgeolli is you want some residual sweetness to balance the bacterial sour but that sweetness won't stick around since the bacteria will eat all the sugar. The traditional solution is just drink it fast. What's done commercially is make it weaker, let it ferment out and then back-sweeten with artificial sweeteners which works fine but hurts the taste a lot. What my friend who brews makgeolli does is that when he hits the gravity he wants (so that there's a good mix of sweet, sour and alcohol) he bottles it and puts it in the fridge. The cold of the fridge puts the yeast and bacteria to sleep and keeps them from fermenting all the way out. The downside of this is that if you take the stuff back out of the fridge the fermentation will restart and it'll get too much carbonation or even bottle bombs but unless you're taking it out of the fridge for a really long time that's not much of a worry.

For people who know a LOT more than me look up the Facebook group "Brewers group- Seoul Brew Club" probably the best place for English-speaking magkeolli brewers.
I would go on to say that this is why it tastes so much better in the Makgeolli houses in Korea that make their own. Some of those places just pour it out of a bottle, but some actually make their own. The Makgeolli and Dongdongju there has the full flavor without the sweetener added, and you can really tell the difference when you drink it.

You can slow the souring down quite a bit by refrigerating it as soon as it is fermented to the level you want it to be. Still, though, you need to drink it pretty quickly and not let it set too long.
 

billygobrew

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Thanks for your responses. Sounds like the continued fermentation is more of an issue with makgeolli than it is with beer in regards to altering the flavor profile and the CO2 production. I believe that there is commercially available makgeolli (neurin maeul 느린 마을) which does not use artificial sweeteners and somehow maintains its sweetness. Wondering what their secret is. Maybe pasteurization but not sure.
 

mrsamisme

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I'm gonna start my first batch tomorrow. I've tried brewing Saké and Chinese Chojiu with good but mixed results. I picked up some Nuruk this week to give a basic Makgeolli batch a shot. Wish me luck!
 

LadyM843

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Hey there. Just out of curiosity. I see that you have "2 and a half cups" of rice and "1#" of nuruk listed in your ingredients list. Normally when I brew, I use "6 cups" of rice and "3/4C" of nuruk. How does your recipe come out? It is overly wheaty tasting? What about the color? Does it even taste like rice? I am really intrigued, and I do not know very much, but I have made at least 20 batches in the past. However, I just have not seen a recipe with so little rice used, and so I wasn't sure if you meant to put "pounds" instead of cups. Excited to hear back from you! Thank you!

This is a Korean thick rice "wine." Ways you may see it spelled:

Makgeolli
makkolli
makkeolli
makgeolri
etc.

Pronounced mahk-guhl-lee

Also known as:

농주 (nong-ju (Long o, and long u)) Farmer Liquor
닥주 (tak-ju ('a' has an 'ah' sound))
Similar to 동동주 (dongdongju - dongdong means "floating")

If you want to understand more what it is:
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makgeolli
http://www.ktownstar.com/pridekorea/?tag=makgeolli
http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20090930000080
http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/news/news_hotissue_detail.htm?No=28291

It can be anywhere from sweet to sour, but as I understand, the modern sweet variations are made sweet by adding aspartame. When I lived in Korea in the '80's, Makgeolli was a blue collar drink. Now, it seems to be seen almost as a health food, so it has entered classier society in Korea. When I was served it in Korea, it usually had some degree of tanginess to it - not overpowering, though. I understand that modern makgeolli does not always have this.

I have seen some experiments on here that apparently didn't turn out well. The lady of our house had it made in her house (in Pusan, Korea) often when she was growing up. She offered to teach me to make it. The first batch, she made it and I took notes (except for one place where I interfered ... I'll note that). She nailed the flavor of what I remember makgeolli as being.

Now, I'll make more experiments and update this post with the results.

Recipe 1: Basic makgeolli but with a wine yeast. Makes about 1 gallon:

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of rice (we used mixed brown rice that Koreans call 현미 (hyun mi)). Any rice will do. Many recipes call for glutinous rice, AKA sweet rice or sticky rice.

1 lb nuruk (see note below)

Wine yeast (see yeast note below)

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THESE RECIPES: Getting the Nuruk hot will create a VERY sour makgeolli. Every place the nuruk touches the rice, make sure the rice is cooled to below 80 degrees. The nuruk package warns that getting it above 93 degrees F will make everything very sour. Of course, that warning was written only in Korean, so most English readers may not be able to understand it :).

Nuruk note: Nuruk is translated many different ways, and even appears differently in Wikipedia from what it says on the package. The package says it is "Amylase enzyme," but from other reading, it seems to be that enzyme in a wheat malt base, and it seems to have yeast already in it. You can buy it from a Korean market. If you have any confusion, print out 누룩 and show that to the Koreans working there. They will know what it is. You can also just tell them you are making makgeolli and they will know what you need :).

Yeast Note: I used Red Star Pasteur Red yeast on this first batch because I was confused when reading. Some recipes called for wine yeast, some called for bread yeast, and some did not call for yeast at all. The recipe on the Nuruk package did not call for yeast. The lady and I had an intense discussion on fermentation, and I added the yeast. Afterwards, I read in Wikipedia that the Nuruk has yeast in it. In the next batch, I will try without adding yeast.

Procedure:

1. Rinse and cook the 2 1/2 cups of rice. If you are not familiar with how to rinse and cook rice, see this link: http://chinesefood.about.com/od/chinesecookingbasics/ss/cook_rice_photo.htm (But a rice cooker is best).

2. Let the rice cool to room temperature. DO NOT get in a hurry and add the Nuruk early. Doing so will make the makgeolli very sour.

3. When cooled, mix the rice with the nuruk. The nuruk is very grainy, so it may seem difficult, but you can get it mixed throughout the rice fairly consistently.

4. Add 11 cups of filtered or spring water to the mix.

5. If adding yeast (like I did) add the yeast.

6. Stir the mixture well for consistency.

7. Cover the mixture and set it so that no sunlight will hit it, and the temperature will stay in the 70's (cooler is okay, but fermentation may take longer. Warmer may make it very sour).

8. Stir the mixture once or twice/day for 3 or 4 days.

9. After 3 or 4 days, filter the mixture through muslin into another sanitized container.

10. Dilute the filtered mixture in a ratio of 3 parts makgeoli to 2 parts water. You can adjust the dilution if you want it a little stronger. We did this by using a cup and dipping 3 cups of makkolli into another container, then adding 2 cups of water and repeating until all of the makkolli mixture was moved into the new container.

11. Put the diluted mixture into a pitcher, crock, or plastic bottles. Traditionally, makgeolli was slightly carbed just from the fermentation. In some modern variations, it is bottled to make it more carbed. You can do it either way. Bottling it for more carbonation may make it better if it becomes a little too tangy.

12. Leave it in the 70ish degree temps for about another 3 - 4 days. At that point, you can refrigerate if you would like. At the end of this time, it is ready to drink. Makgeolli is very perishable - it will not last more than 2 - 3 weeks at the most if you leave it out, but it may last a little longer if you refrigerate it.

13. Drink it. Stir the sediments up or shake the container to make the whole drink milky and consistent before drinking. It is traditionally served in a cold bowl rather than a glass. It goes very well with the Korean Pancakes, (http://www.bing.com/images/search?q...9927&first=0&qpvt=Korean+Pancakes&FORM=IDFRIR) or (IMO) with spicy food of any kind. It's not a flavor I normally would just sit and drink by myself while watching a ball game, but it is very good with dinner, and sometimes when socializing with some of my friends who like it.


<end of recipe 1. Next batch making adds some apple into the mix - an idea I picked up from someone calling it "Busan Apple Makgeolli." I also plan to not add extra yeast in the next experiment. In other variations I may try, starchy stock like sweet potatoes are substituted for part of the rice.>

See below for the color and consistency at the time of bottling/putting into pitchers.

View attachment 35174
 

kwrheault

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As a Makgeolli brewer I’m also curious as to the recipe. Rice to water ratio is normally 1:1. Nuruk should be at 10% along with some added bread or wine yeast to stabilize the unpredictable wild yeast present in the Nuruk.
Recipe:
1kg Chapssal sweet “glutinous” rice or Mepssal white short grain rice
1L water
90g Nuruk
1/8 -1/4 tsp wine/Champaign yeast or
1/2 - 1 tsp bread yeast

Note: after bottling it should sit overnight with a loose lid or cork before refrigerating. It can be consumed immediately after bottling but it is best when sealed and refrigerated for at least 1 week.

*sugar - should not be needed at all if the Makgeolli is brewed at the correct temperature, 18-26C / 60-78F. But if you like a really sweet brew, bottle conditioning can be done on bottling day by adding a few tablespoons of sugar or other sweetener.

Drinking Makgeolli: Makgeolli is traditionally served in a bowl. Just as white wine is best served in a narrower glass, red wine in a wider glass or Champaign in a flute...Makgeolli lends itself best to the wide circumference of a bowl to allow the brew to breath.

Best instructional resource: https://takjoo.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/a-primer-on-brewing-makgeolli.pdf

Best support group: Facebook group, Susabori Makgeolli Brewing Club.
 
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Mutant

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I'm curious if anyone has tried using Flaked Rice instead of going through the process of using rice powder and steamed rice? If so, what observations did you have with the difference?
 

kwrheault

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I'm curious if anyone has tried using Flaked Rice instead of going through the process of using rice powder and steamed rice? If so, what observations did you have with the difference?
The rice flour/powder used in two stage Makgeolli brewing is wet milled rice flour/powder. Dry rice flour and therefore rice flakes would throw off the proper rice to water ratio.
Wet mill rice flour is found in the refrigerator section in Asian markets. If you can’t find it you can wash sushi rice until the water runs clear...cover it in water and let it soak for 6 or more hours...drain and grind it in a food processor, coffee grinder or blender until very fine. But that’s a heck of a lot of work. Alternately you can do a single stage Makgeolli by using the following recipe developed in S Korean for home brewers by professional Makgeolli brewers. https://takjoo.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/a-primer-on-brewing-makgeolli.pdf . It makes great a Makgeolli with very little fuss or muss. Here is a series of quick videos if you are a visual learner produced by the people who developed the recipe https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3MB2PQcOo57jcO0PQq2tejhPQR0PZ8Eg. Good luck
 

kwrheault

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Hey there. Just out of curiosity. I see that you have "2 and a half cups" of rice and "1#" of nuruk listed in your ingredients list. Normally when I brew, I use "6 cups" of rice and "3/4C" of nuruk. How does your recipe come out? It is overly wheaty tasting? What about the color? Does it even taste like rice? I am really intrigued, and I do not know very much, but I have made at least 20 batches in the past. However, I just have not seen a recipe with so little rice used, and so I wasn't sure if you meant to put "pounds" instead of cups. Excited to hear back from you! Thank you!
I’m curious as well...it seems like the Nuruk flavor would be so overpowering that it might be unpleasant to drink. Since he measured the Nuruk in lbs could he have meant 2 1/2 lbs of rice?
 

Mutant

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The rice flour/powder used in two stage Makgeolli brewing is wet milled rice flour/powder. Dry rice flour and therefore rice flakes would throw off the proper rice to water ratio.
Wet mill rice flour is found in the refrigerator section in Asian markets. If you can’t find it you can wash sushi rice until the water runs clear...cover it in water and let it soak for 6 or more hours...drain and grind it in a food processor, coffee grinder or blender until very fine. But that’s a heck of a lot of work. Alternately you can do a single stage Makgeolli by using the following recipe developed in S Korean for home brewers by professional Makgeolli brewers. https://takjoo.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/a-primer-on-brewing-makgeolli.pdf . It makes great a Makgeolli with very little fuss or muss. Here is a series of quick videos if you are a visual learner produced by the people who developed the recipe https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3MB2PQcOo57jcO0PQq2tejhPQR0PZ8Eg. Good luck
I understand the process and consume a friend's Choengju regularly. My issue is that I live in a 400 sqft house and have limited space for even air drying rice. I was looking for an alternative. I have access to all the supplies needed for the normal process, but am trying to find an alternative by using flaked rice.
 

kwrheault

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I understand the process and consume a friend's Choengju regularly. My issue is that I live in a 400 sqft house and have limited space for even air drying rice. I was looking for an alternative. I have access to all the supplies needed for the normal process, but am trying to find an alternative by using flaked rice.
Aaah! I see. A one step brew might be best for you.If you have counter or table space of 12”x 15” that’s all you need to spread the steamed rice out to cool....cool not dry. The steamed rice is cooled and then mixed with dry Nuruk and some wine or bread yeast if you like and placed in the fermenting contain with the water..and done...well except for stirring it vigorously twice a day for the first three days. Hope this helps some. It’s usually made with short sweet/sticky glutinous rice but it can also be made with short grain non-glutinous (sushi rice) but always short grain rice. I hope this helps
 

kwrheault

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Aaah! I see. A one step brew might be best for you.If you have counter or table space of 12”x 15” that’s all you need to spread the steamed rice out to cool....cool not dry. The steamed rice is cooled and then mixed with dry Nuruk and some wine or bread yeast if you like and placed in the fermenting contain with the water..and done...well except for stirring it vigorously twice a day for the first three days. Hope this helps some. It’s usually made with short sweet/sticky glutinous rice but it can also be made with short grain non-glutinous (sushi rice) but always short grain rice. I hope this helps[/
 

kwrheault

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I understand the process and consume a friend's Choengju regularly. My issue is that I live in a 400 sqft house and have limited space for even air drying rice. I was looking for an alternative. I have access to all the supplies needed for the normal process, but am trying to find an alternative by using flaked rice.
If you do try making it with medium grain flaked rice please post the results. It’s sounds like an interesting experiment (0:
 

Matrixvs

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Hello all, first al all would like to say I'm new here to making alcohol. I do have some experience making cider but I found Makgeolli now and wanted to give it a go.

I do have 1 small issue, in the normal recipes for this drink they use nuruk yeast and wheat starter with some herbs in it. for some reason here in Netherlands I cant seem to get it anywhere. and did see the mention of the Chinese yeast balls that they use for rice wine.

does this effect the flavor? is so much?

anyone have any place where to buy nuruk that ships here? for a reasonable price of course.
and is there any other yeast to use?

Thanks for the help.
 
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