Making Traditional rice Wine. Cheap, Fun, and Different

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pdxal

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"According to Fred Eckhardt, add water to the cooked rice at .56:1 ratio by volume to make ordinary rice wine at 10-11% alcohol."

I think Fred was making Sake, not rice wine. His instructions might not apply to the style of rice wine we are making.
 

wongjau

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"According to Fred Eckhardt, add water to the cooked rice at .56:1 ratio by volume to make ordinary rice wine at 10-11% alcohol."

I think Fred was making Sake, not rice wine. His instructions might not apply to the style of rice wine we are making.
He had a very small section in his sake book on Chinese rice wine and Shaoxing. His description is along the lines of the various historical methods documented in Grandiose Survey of Chinese Alcoholic Drinks and Beverages published by Jiangnan university of China.

Here’s a link I posted a while back of what he wrote.

 

Miraculix

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I just did a split batch. I used a 1.3 to 1 water to rice ratio (meassured in volume) and I used quite a bit of red koji rice (red yeast rice), compared to the small amunt i used last time. Now it must be about 150 g on 2 kg of rice. I split the batch into two buckets and placed them next to the heater. both are half empty, they will probably be filled 1/3, once the rice has been liquified by the enzymes. That is going to be the time when i will add aditional water to one batch. I weighed the batches, both are 2600g of cooked rice. I will add 1.3 l of water to one batch, leaving the other one alone to see the difference.

One thing I noticed with my last batch which is standing in the fridge in a half empty bottle since months, it does not go bad or oxidised. It is standing there since literally months and the flavour even developed a bit in a good way. I cannot really explain this, but this stuff is NOT going off with time and oxygen. Grape wine would have been vinegar by now or an oxidised untasty mess. This rice wine is still really good. Maybe because the yeast in it is still active in slow motion speed and scavenging all the oxygen, while the sugars and alcohol kills everything else that would like to live there? I have no idea.
 
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MilesBFree

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Update on my first batch: I was going to throw it away and make a new batch since it seemed to stop putting out any liquid. I opened the 2-gallon bucket I was using and it still smelled good, so out of curiosity I opened the cheesecloth bag i had put the rice/yeast ball mixture in and tasted it and it still seemed to taste as it did / as i expected it to.

So I decided to pour the contents of the bag out and found it was very wet and the rice was almost all "decomposed". It was basically like a somewhat stiff alcoholic rice pudding :)

I decided to add about a liter of water since I had around the same weight of rice as Wongjau mentioned in the recipe they posted. I decided to stir it up and used a whisk. The rice was so falling apart i ended up with a rice slurry. I tasted it and it seems like a watery rice wine, not terrible, but i wouldn't drnik it as it is - it's like a watered down light beer :-(

To see if the yeast was still active, I put the lid on the bucket all the way and popped an airlock on it so I could see if it was giving off gas.

2 days later and it is! The inner float in the airlock is all the way at the top, and after burping it, it returned to the top after a half hour.

So I will let it go for another few weeks and see what happens.

My theory is the cheesecloth bag's pores got clogged as the rice broke down and caused the fermentation to slow down. and it was holding most of the liquid inside. Once I dumped it out it took off. The bag idea was from a rice wine recipe on the internet and seemed like a good idea at the time (famous last words).
 

Time2Retire

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Question for those who are still here.

Those of us who like a clearer, drier brew. How much water per pound/kilo of rice mash do y'all add? I've got some rice and I'm in a mood for Science. TIA
 

Time2Retire

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Dunno if anyone still watches this thread. But I have high hopes for my latest evil experiment.

Started with 2 cups each glutinous and calrose rice. Two HanHeng Taste yeast pellets. Let that think about things. Four days in, the liquid was almost to the top of the rice. Added another dosage of the same mixture, plus two cups water.

Now, less than a week in, and the liquid level is as much as my last batch was at four weeks! Already turning the amber color that I think signifies fermentation.

I'll post updates. Science dictates it 🤓
 

wongjau

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Clogged cheesecloth theory sounds reasonable.

The ancient method of washing, soaking, and steaming the rice attempts to cook the rice while keeping discrete grains. That way, you get liquid and air exposure at the surface of the grains where the saccharification and fermentation organisms live.

The rice grains gradually become smaller as the starch coverts to sugar for the yeasts to eat. It’s kind of like the idea of time release capsules of medications.


[…]
My theory is the cheesecloth bag's pores got clogged as the rice broke down and caused the fermentation to slow down. and it was holding most of the liquid inside. Once I dumped it out it took off. The bag idea was from a rice wine recipe on the internet and seemed like a good idea at the time (famous last words).
 

Davedrinksbeer

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Dunno if anyone still watches this thread. But I have high hopes for my latest evil experiment.

Started with 2 cups each glutinous and calrose rice. Two HanHeng Taste yeast pellets. Let that think about things. Four days in, the liquid was almost to the top of the rice. Added another dosage of the same mixture, plus two cups water.

Now, less than a week in, and the liquid level is as much as my last batch was at four weeks! Already turning the amber color that I think signifies fermentation.

I'll post updates. Science dictates it 🤓

I made a batch last month and just bottled it, came out ok but needs to be sweeter. The Vietnam Store quit carrying the rice I use to use so now I’m trying out different rices. I got another batch now going that’s going on 2 weeks.
 

patrickg

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Does anyone have any idea of how long the yeast balls last? Been thinking about trying this again but the yeast balls I have are from my last attempt… in 2014.
 

Time2Retire

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Does anyone have any idea of how long the yeast balls last? Been thinking about trying this again but the yeast balls I have are from my last attempt… in 2014.
They would probably work, but pick up some fresh ones anyway. They're inexpensive enough. I find HanHeng Taste to be the most reliable brand. Available on Amazon.
 

Dean Richter

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Started a batch on Saturday and noticed this morning that there was plenty of liquid forming already. Also noticed a patch of long white mould strands on the top of the rice. Is this normal?
 

Miraculix

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Started a batch on Saturday and noticed this morning that there was plenty of liquid forming already. Also noticed a patch of long white mould strands on the top of the rice. Is this normal?
Yes, that is the mold that generates the enzymes that chop the starches into sugars.
 
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Dean Richter

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Yes, that is the mold that generates the enzymes that chop the starches into sugars.
And this evening little black spots
image.jpg
image.jpg
 

Time2Retire

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Update on my latest effort.

2# each sticky and Calrose. Added half of that with 2c water after the initial throw started to liquefy. A mild case of COVID-19 postponed taking it off the gross lees, but I finally did that last night after about five and a half weeks. Ended up with around three liters. I added 2 tsp bentonite in half a cup of warm water, moved to a gallon jar, and put the mash back for a "secondary" on the fine lees.

12 hours later, it's already cleared about halfway down the jar. Ordinarily that takes days. We'll see how much I lose to sludge this time.
 

Time2Retire

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20220628_163804.jpg


My latest haul! 4# of rice and four HanHeng Taste got me two liters of clear brew and one of nigori-sake style. The clear is nicely dry, best I've made. The cloudy is just sweet enough. There's likely some bentonite in it, but most of that settled to the bottom and got tossed.

In fact, I'm having a nice glass of the cloudy stuff as I post this.
 
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