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Can sake brewing be more simple?

Hi everyone,

I have been thinking about trying out sake brewing once again, but the complexity of setting up a proper brewing environment is offputting. So I wish to start a discussion: do you believe that the sake brewing process can be made more simple and how so? I will list some of the more cumbersome steps and possible optimizations/circumventions. Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

1. Buying milled rice is troublesome in europe and investing 160£ in a rice miller is a large investment

Use normal polished rice (preferably of a proper sort)

2. Steaming rice many times during build-up is troublesome

Steam rice once and keep sealed inside refrigerator

3. Koji-kin incubation seems like the most difficult step to optimize without building an incubator. I previously used the towels + hot water bottle method, which is a near full-time job for 48 - 72 hours. Suggestions are most welcome.

My suggestion: Build a simple incubator by putting a thermostat controlled heating pad and a glass of water into a cardboard box.

4. Accurate temperature control of fermentation broth requires a large setup (a large freezer hooked up to a thermostat).

Only brew in a season that allows for the broth to be cooled by the environment. Suggestions are most welcome.

5. High investment cost of materials

Brew smaller batches in smaller fermentors. I noticed that most recipes are for larger batch sizes (~15L of finished sake). I reckon that many people would be more than happy to end up with just 3 - 5 L as a beginning experiment.

Those were my immediate troubles and suggestions. Do you see any problems or opportunities?

P.S. I noticed that there are not a lot of posts anymore at NB. Did the discussion move or did the community as a whole just die?

Intresting to read good luck

I hate to say it but after the forum platform changed we lost a lot of members. It’s really not bad but did take me a while to get used to. Those who were on other similar forums may have just lost interest and went elsewhere.

I’m sorry to not be much help with sake. I have never even tasted it.

Hello Clause, the forum software changed and the archive nature and all the hard work that went into the old forum is gone. That pretty much sucked the will to really come back anymore. But I still read now and then.

The more I’ve made sake, the more I’ve I figured out the efficiencies of all the small step makes the process easier…Takes most of the tediousness out. Other than that - the method is pretty straight forward - half the trouble is finding all the correct equipment/ingredients. Beer settles out and is easy to manipulate … lees and pressing is a pain in the buttox :slight_smile: I can see why larger batches seem like a better way to go. With the risk of getting over-taken by unwanted bugs, I thought about starting will all the rice and water, add the yeast and then incrementally add the koji. Just depends how quickly starch eating bacteria can get a foot hold - I would guess keeping it at 47-50F would make it work.

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