The Codger’s Failed Homemade Rice Wine

A fine Friday to you all. As we collectively look forward to the weekend, I invite you to share your plans in the comment box. I had anticipated spending part of my weekend enjoying the fruits of my handiwork, but it was not meant to be: You see, a few months ago I began production of a batch of homemade Japanese rice wine, or, as it’s known in its mother tongue, sake. At last year’s county fair I noticed a homemade beer take home a blue ribbon, so I thought that a more exotic tipple would stand a “fair” chance of winning over the judges! By conducting some online research with a “search engine”, I found a simple recipe for homemade rice wine, which I planned to brew and bottle in a quantity sufficient for both the judges and my own personal use.

The recipe on that Web site called for some unusual ingredients that I didn’t have just sitting around the house, ingredients I thought had the potential to spoil the integrity of the finished product. For one, it called for “gummy rice”. I understand that this might be an old, time-tested recipe, but nowadays, science has created boil-in-bag rice, a vast improvement over “loose rice”, so I used that instead. Have to get with the times, that’s what I always say. It also called for Chinese yeast, but to put my own signature on my rice wine, I substituted original yeast, which the common-law Mrs. Codger keeps in the pantry.

The recipe called for making the brew in a container, but I decided to increase my efficiency by putting the ingredients into individual bottles straight away. What the recipe refers to as “mash”, the solid parts, I believe that’s what they used to call the “mother” back when my grandparents used to brew their own vinegar. The processes aren’t so dissimilar, brewing vinegar and brewing Japanese rice wine, much like eastern and western cultures aren’t so dissimilar when you take the time to think about it. Sadly, I popped open a bottle of my rice wine today, but the process somehow went awry. I seem to have inadvertently brewed some “bubbly”, but the taste was extremely unpleasant.

Until next time!


The Codger


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