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Flagg

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Any one out there tried to brew Sake? I found this recipe on the net for traditional Sake and would love to try it out.
The problem is that I need some Kome-koji and can't seem to locate it. Apparently you can make Kom-koji from Koji or Koji-kin, a kind of white fungi. Unfortunatly this is not much help as I can't find this either. That aside, has anyone tried to make Sake? and how did it turn out. I'm told that traditional Sake is quite different form comercial Sake, much better but unfortunatly it's also much more expensive so I haven't tried to buy any.

PS, if any one wants the recipe I have tried to attach it to this post. Just let me know if you can't access it.

View attachment Traditional_Sake_Recipe.htm
 

Steve Lacey

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Doc said:
Within that thread, the post by oldrusty is the one that will be of most help to you in obtaining the koji spore (koji kin) from Brendan Tibbs to make koji (kome koji or koji rice). This is an absolute essential ingredient and ignore any suggestion that talks about other ways of converting the starch. Even assuming that artificial enzymes or whatever can do the job, the koji imparts a distinctive flavour that cannot be achieved any other way. My recommendation for yeast would be a dry champagne yeast (or Wyeast sake yeast).

For rice, just use regular calrose shortgrain rise. Don't worrry about polishing it in pillow cases and whatnot...more trouble than it is worth. Do you think you can taste the difference between futsu shu, junmai shu or daiginjo shu? I didn't think so. So just go with the regular rice and give it a really good wash to remove loose starch. If at all possible steam it rather than cook it in a rice cooker. But don't just boil it and fish out the grains. You at least have to use the adsorption method of cooking (rice cooker) if you don't have a large enough pot in which to steam the rice.

I made one batch of sake a number of years ago. The bad news, or maybe not if you have a temp controlled fridge, is that it is better done at winter temperatures. In Japan the kura (breweries) only operate through the winter and all the workers are seasonal, going back to the farms or wherever they come from for the summer.

By "traditional" and "commercial", I assume you are talking about home made versus commercial. The only thing that would distinguish traditional is that the overall fermentation process would be less well controlled and the final product would be unfiltered, giving it a white milky appearance. It tastes similar. You can in fact buy the unfiltered stuff off the shelf in Japan, so traditional is also commercial! My point is, forget about that distinction and just consider that you will be making a home made product as best you can with the limited technology you have available. In Japan this (traditional?) home made beverage is called doburoku. It is outlawed these days sadly enough.

If you can Google up the materials written by Fred Eckardt a few years back you will have more information than you need.

Good luck,

Steve
 

Steve Lacey

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But has anyone had an sucess with making sake?

And is the above the only place to buy koji?

Cheers
To the first question, yes. To the second, I don't know. I don't think there is anywhere else in Australia to buy it. But you only need one place ... Also, be careful with the terminology. Koji usually refers to the rice with mould growing through it. This is used to add to the main mass of rice for the fermentation. To be unambiguous, this koji is sometimes called kome-koji (loosely: koji rice). The spores, which is what I think you have to buy, is called koji-kin. In the US and other places you can buy kome-koji, but in Australia I think you can only buy it from that one source (assuming you still can) and then you have to culture up your kome-koji by yourself before starting your moromi (mash).
 

Vlad the Pale Aler

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I'm sure I seen some in the yeast fridge at TWOC last week.
Why not call Roy 08 9418 8938
 

afromaiko

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Sorry to bring up an old thread

But has anyone had an sucess with making sake?

And is the above the only place to buy koji?

Cheers
Hi, glad to hear others here are interested in making sake. I've had multiple attempts with varying degrees of success but am getting there ok.

At the moment I'm moving house so have taken a break from brewing. You will need to ferment it at quite a low temperature. And forget all your pre-conceptions about what store bought sake looks like - your home brew will come out nothing like that but more like a white cloudy liquid which is called Nigori-Zake. You can see a store bought variety here shown in a settled & separated state. It needs to be shaken before drinking.



I had the best success with the Wyeast Sake #9 (special order from Grain & Grape) and using short grain sushi rice. However, when I start up brewing sake again I'm going to do some more study into how saccrification works by incubating some kome-koji to make a kind of precursor to sake, a sweet drink called Amazake. I had one go at making it before and it wasn't as sweet as I would have liked but was promising.

Oh, and you can buy already made kome-koji (malted rice) from some Japanese supermarkets in Melbourne like Fuji-Mart so probably interstate too... I think Tokyo-Mart in Sydney would be a good chance since they are run by the same company. Just ask for "koji" and they should know what it is, it's kept in the freezer and looks like a compressed rectangular block of white fluffy rice about the same size and shape as a pack of 2 minute noodles.

I tried using Brendan Tibbs koji-kin (spores) to make my own kome-koji and had average success. But I felt that I should leave that until I've sorted other aspects of the process first and stick with the premade kome-koji.

Also, have a look at the below discussions I've been having on another forum and feel free to ask any more questions back here on AHB.

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?t=34965

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?t=28947

Good luck,
Afromaiko
 

afromaiko

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I can't find a pic of the actual packet, but the one I buy you can see inside through the packaging and the kome-koji looks like this -



It's a hard compressed block which you crumble up before brewing.

Also, I forgot to mention I saw that Grain & Grape sell a simple sake kit for $35 that makes a small batch of a litre or two. I haven't tried it myself but I believe it all comes premixed with rice, kome-koji, lactic acid & yeast in a packet and all you need to do it add the water and brew it.
 

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