Old Rice Wine Recipe Thin on Details

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DoctorM

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I got this recipe from my father. I made it with him more than 25 years ago. I decided to make a 1/3 batch since I've got nothing but free time.

I'm fermenting in a ceramic crock with a dish towel tied across the top. For the first couple weeks this was cloudy, smelled wonderful and bubbled away.

But in the past few days the liquid has gone clear, everything has sunk to the bottom and all activity seems to have stopped.

I feel like this recipe is missing a step of 'cook the rice'. The thing is, I don't remember doing that before. Is it possible cooking the rice was something that my father did automatically, or can you make rice wine with dry rice?
 

bernardsmith

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Hi DoctorM, This is a wine flavored with rice much like you might make a wine flavored with hibiscus flowers or elderflowers. You are not fermenting the rice. You are fermenting the 6 lbs of sugar. You don't need to cook the rice. The rice will impart their flavors through the water and then through the alcohol (About 15% ABV given the amount of sugar, the raisins and the volume of water) The rice is there as one of the key flavor elements. To ferment the rice you would need to convert their complex starches into simpler sugars but there is no enzyme in your recipe to do that.
That said, many years ago I made a similar rice wine (without whole oranges, but if memory serves I added acid blend, and without any raisins) and I thought it was very drinkable. Good luck.
 
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DoctorM

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This always got rave reviews from people.
The last time we made this, I hardly drank and only sampled it. I was curious to give it a try now that there is nothing but free time.

Thanks for the info. That clears up some mysteries.
 
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DoctorM

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I figured I should post some pics so people can see how it turned out. Honestly, I don't remember it having color... or being cloudy after filtering. Tastes like a cross between wine and beer.
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bernardsmith

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Two quick questions:
1. When did you pitch the yeast? The cloudiness may simply be the result of starches unable to drop to the bottom because the liquid is still saturated with CO2? Did you degas?
2. Do you know what the TA of this wine is? I wonder if there is enough acidity in it to give it a zing. You may want to add some lemon juice or perhaps acid blend...
 
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DoctorM

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I made this just as it's written. Yeast went in with everything on day 1. I don't know what degas is, so I guess I didn't.
I've been considering trying a splash of orange juice to enhance that portion of the flavor, but lemon juice might help too.

Edit: Checked a bottle tonight. Sediment fell to the bottom and as long as I don't shake it much, it pours clear. Flavor-wise it is pretty sharp (and yeasty). The splash of orange juice is pretty interesting.
 
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