We started a project that will take some time. I’m brewing Korean rice wine at home. Thanks to DIY Korean Food for the idea!
After procuring the ingredients — no small task — I’ve started. Step one is washing and soaking six cups of rice. Tonight when I get home, I’ll cook it and then start the primary fermentation. It needs 5 grams of wine yeast and a cup of a specific wheat enzyme called “nooruk.”
Funny thing … we went to the Korean market Monday and I asked the Korean cashier if they had nooruk. “Noodle?” she asked. This exchange went back and for a couple of times until an older Korean gentleman (another employee) tapped me on the shoulder and motioned for me to follow him. He took me to the noodle section! I whipped out my limited Korean language skills and said, “Dongdongju halco-yo!” Which means, I do rice wine! The light went off in his head and he smiled as he took me to the right aisle. Bingo. Nooruk!
Then, I had to find the yeast. I found a homebrewing supply store in a nearby town. I stopped in and asked for yeast. They have all kinds of yeast. After a Google search, the guy told me the champagne yeast would do the trick. “It’s what they use to make Japanese sake,” he said. Okay. We talked for a few more minutes about homebrewing beer. Then he rang me up. “That’ll be 80 cents,” he said. Wow. Not breaking the bank here. I hope this store is in business in the future!
Dong Dong Ju (동동주)
6 cups rice, (wash, soak overnight and then cook in your rice cooker or steamer)
1 cup nooruk enzyme
5 grams wine yeast
2 liters water, spring or filtered
Three days in the dark. Then three to five more days stirring in twice daily. Then it’s on to secondary fermentation. I’ll strain out the mash and add 2 cups of sugar and bottle it. A few more days (I’ll give it a week) and it’ll be ready. Photos and drunken fun ensue. Stay tuned!
I spent an hour beforehand prepping the yeast. The guy at the brew store told me to boil a cup of water and let it chill to 100ºF, then pitch the yeast in the water, cover and let it sit for an hour. Apparently this really helps with the fermentation by properly rehydrating the yeast.
Update: Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014
Update: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2014