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Wasabi

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Guys,

What do you all know about Sake? Some people say it goes in the wine category, others say beer.

Its made from grain, so to me its closer to beer that wine.

I have had two attempts at making this beast, one successful (ie drinkable) the other not so. There seems to be very little info out there on brewing Sake (as opposed to rice wine which contain raisins), and the recipes I have found call for the use of something call Koje.

Apparently the problem is that the starch is so resilient, the sugars can't be broken down properly, this Koje stuff helps in the process. I found something that I think was Koje in a Japanese shop in Cremorne, but as it was all in Japanese and the little old lady who sold it to me spoke no english, I'm not sure. I just remember using the word Sake and her suggesting that this is what I needed.

The first batch I made, I used a normal ale yeast and that addative you put in your beer to make it extra dry. It seemed to ferment out in about 5 weeks. As I wasn't 100% sure what I was doing I decided not to use the hideously expensive polished rice, but perhaps in hindsight, jasmine rice wasn't really a suitable alternative.

As I said it was drinkable (and came in at around 11%) but it had a marzipan aftertaste.

Anyone else ever tried this? Now that my glass carboys are free again I thinking of giving it another whirl.
 

GMK

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SAKE

I have never done this but try mashing the rice with a suitable amount of high enzyme grain at approx 68 Celcius...go for a min of 1.5 hrs. or go over night.

The enzymes will hopefully convert the starch into simple sugars for brewing.
Can also add alpha and beta emalayse - enzyme directly.
Will need to biol for at least 90mins afterwards...scim off rsidue and cool with a wort chiller down to 12 - 18 celcius to create a cold break.

Hope this helps
 

GMK

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Kook

I mentioned adding some grain or alpha & beta amalyse to help convert the starch to simple sugars.

If using grain - 250gms of high enzyme grain steeped with rice will not turn it into beer.

I add hops to my cider - this does not make it taste like a beer.

I am coming from the side of rice is high in starch just as are oats - so why not try adding the enzymes / grain and steeping ?

Food for thought.

The freedom to experiment and think outside the square is what makes homebrewing enjoyable and adds a part of you into every batch.

I will get off my high horse now....
 

Trev

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As I wasn't 100% sure what I was doing I decided not to use the hideously expensive polished rice, but perhaps in hindsight, jasmine rice wasn't really a suitable alternative.
I'm sure I read somewhere (paraphrasing) that to turn miserly inexpensive normal rice into hideously expensive polished rice, put it in a pillowslip and throw it in the tumble drier for a few hours. I'm guessing that you would do this
a) Without other wet clothes :)
B) On a low or zero heat setting.

Any comments,


Trev
 

kook

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GMK said:
I mentioned adding some grain or alpha & beta amalyse to help convert the starch to simple sugars.

If using grain - 250gms of high enzyme grain steeped with rice will not turn it into beer.
Ahh ok, sorry :)

I thought you meant using the 50% pale grain rule for adjuncts like rice :)
 

Wasabi

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"alpha and beta emalayse - enzyme " thats the stuff I used last time, but I didn't boil it for that long, or give it a cold break. I may try that instead.

Sake is a long and active ferment, but from what I understand its almost impossible to make a sweet sake in a homebrew environment.

I'll check out those links too.

Tks guys.

Kook: That second link you posted. I have that at home, and filed it under my "complex sake making" file, but to be honest I think it will take something like this to do it properly. I think I still have my packet of Koji in the freezer at home, and the long cooking times and cooling described seem to be in line with GMK's comments.
 

GMK

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Kook,

Thanks.

What do you think of the idea of making a two seperate coiled wort chiller.

Link both coils together with tubing and place one coil in ice bucket and other coil in kettle.
Run cold tap water through ice bucket coil first and then into kettle.
This will allow faster cooling and will also allow you to get the wort temp down to lager yeast temperatures.
 

GMK

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Wasabi

Sake is a long and active ferment, but from what I understand its almost impossible to make a sweet sake in a homebrew environment.
Easiest way to make sake or beer sweet is the addition of lactose.
Add lactose to the secondary.
Better still - If you bulk prime - add lactose to taste then.

Start with 100gms and work upwards.

I do this with my dark ales, stouts and some pilsners, IPAs and killkenny. Do this to achieve a better balance/taste.
 

kook

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GMK said:
Kook,

Thanks.

What do you think of the idea of making a two seperate coiled wort chiller.

Link both coils together with tubing and place one coil in ice bucket and other coil in kettle.
Run cold tap water through ice bucket coil first and then into kettle.
This will allow faster cooling and will also allow you to get the wort temp down to lager yeast temperatures.
Having another look at docs chiller I think I might use around 2/3-3/4 of the coil I buy for the actual chiller, and make a small ice chiller too. The reason I like docs use of so much copper is it seems to have two rings as such. It looks like it would do good even cooling of the wort.

I'll experiment and see how it goes. I wont be making this for a fortnight or so.
 

Doc

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Wasabi,

How did your tour of the sake (brewery/factory/distillery ????) go?
Are you still recovering?

Cheers,
Doc
 

Wasabi

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Doc,

The tour was excellent, if not a little surreal.

The brewery is set-up in an industrial estate in Penrith. We walked it from the station (20 mins) and after making your way past "Bob's Brake Repairs", "Mad Micks Hydraulics" and the like you come to the brewery.

It's quite small, at least from what I expected. 5 Brewers all up and a total staff of 13.

Some info

* Go Shu translates to Go (Australian) Shu (Sake)

* They are part of a much bigger Japanese group called sun-masamune which has been goinf for 450 years

* They brew 1 Million litres a year, but of that 800,000 goes back to Japan for blending.

* Rice is 7 times more expensive in Japan than here

We saw how they polish the rice (25 hours per ton) and then its pretty similar to beer. After wetting it they take off 1/3 of the rice and cultivate a mould called Koji for a few days (this is what helps break down the starch) then mix it all in, ad some yeast and let it go.

The woman who showed us around said that they get quite a lot of tourist groups through each week, but 80% of visitors have never tried Sake. She was quite impressed that I had tried to make it.....well sort of

Sue: So how did you polish your rice before starting

Me: Um, well I didn't I just took it straight from the packet

Sue: (incredulous) You just used short grain rice from the supermarket

Me: Um, no. Jasmine. I used jasmine rice straight from the packet

(At this point the look on her face spoke volumes)

Sue: How did that taste

Me: Interesting, but I don't suggest it as a line Go Shu should explore

Sue: No, I don't think we will.

I found out I had been doing the process fairly correctly, but I think I shall use a short grain rice next time.......

The tour is free, and if you are ever out that way I would recommend it. It's a little different. Plus you get to try all the Sake's that they sell.
 

oldrusty

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sake' links ;)
www.geocities.co.jp/Foodpia/1751/sake.html

www.media-akita.or.jp/akita-sake/akita-sakeE.html

www.tibbs-vision.com/sake/index.html

www.tibbs-vision.com/sake/moto2.html

www.tibbs-vision.com/sake/instrct.html

that oughta getya goin... the koji order site is Oz-based.. WA in fact.

good luck! I'll be givin it a go sometime soonish, I hope :chug:
 

GMK

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Making Sake

Wasabi,

Glad to see you are thinking outside the square.

Just rember that until someone tries it for the first time - it has never been done before - that is why we have inventions.

i wouldn't mind trying some of your sake....
 

Wasabi

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oldrusty.

Thanks so much for that. I have been trying to buy Koji in Australia for about two years now! Will definately check them out.

GMK
My Sake was, as I said interesting. I think my friends used the word marzipan heavily in the description! Now that I can get Koji here, I'll brew up another batch soon!

And this time with a more appropriate rice......
 

GMK

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Wasabi

How much is the Koji mold.

And,

Can u buy polished rice or do you need to polish it yourself.

Also, how much rice per litre of sake do you need.
 

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