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Polished Rice in the chute

Finally ordered Polished Sake Rice (I’ll patronize Will’s soon) from

Going to attempt to make 4 batches of Sake, 2 using the calrose rice (get real good results from it) and the presumed 50% milled Sake One rice from FH Steinbart.

Going to make a huge koji batch (which Murphy will most likely strike, and will have to repeat it) and split it up between the 4 batches. Nothing weird on these 4, just want to get a rice quality experiment to work.

A smaller batch of Sake will be made (a 5th? - its because I’ve been lazy, and my supply been gone far too long) with an addition of about 2 cups of Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate at the third addition to give a hint (or maybe a moderate reminder of) cherry.


Hey Dave, it has been a long time since I have been here. The alert has not been notifying me about the updates.

“Finally ordered Polished Sake Rice (I’ll patronize Will’s soon) from

The rice I carry is the same as what you have from Steinbart.

“Going to attempt to make 4 batches of Sake, 2 using the calrose rice (get real good results from it) and the presumed 50% milled Sake One rice from FH Steinbart.”

The rice is about 60% milled though, not 50%.

Should be interesting to see what you think about the differences. I find, as you might guess, the 60% milled rice provides a cleaner flavor. If you like it clean, this is for you.

But variety is the spice of life, Kanpai


Polished rice absorbs water differently right? What sort of changes should I expect to make?

Polished rice absorbs water differently right? What sort of changes should I expect to make?

The main difference for brewing is that the higher the polishing rate the quicker it will absorb water. Because of this your soak time and steam times can be shortened if you like. The 60% rice can be soak for one hour and have all the water needed. You might even soak for less time.

Steam times can also be shorter. You can test the rice while steaming to see when it has been steamed enough.

[How do you get the smiling faces into the post?]

Got my 60% polished rice… really doesn’t look all that better than the Cal-rose short grain sushi rice I ordinarily use but looks are not everything. Gonna grow up a huge batch of koji (I hope I do)… I got 50g of spores a while back from vision, plus bought a few from a local homebrew shop. So I’m going to use a few packets for extreme coverage this time around. I’ve been working on a google site dedicated to home brewing my sake. Its my own creation, mainly to help keep my own stuff together.

I’ll be working on the idea of figuring out how to vacuum filter my lees. Been talking to a few chemists and chemical engineer friends. The other option is to put the mash in several large mesh bags going from large to small, tie the end use an apple press…

Well, got 12 cups of rice (botan calrose rice) in my mashtun and sparging water through my pump to wash and soak the rice. About to change the water out and then re-circulate for about 45 minutes. That seems to be how long it takes the rice to soak up the water. Using cold carbon-filtered water.

Gonna make a big 'ol batch of Koji… I was shooting for 2 times the amount… oh well, 4 times the amount won’t hurt :smiley:

Whoo more failure!

I suspect this entire batch will be crap.

Its one thing to heat up the rice to the right temp. The other problem is actually having the air temp the same as the substrate (the inoculated rice).

It finally donned on me what the problem is. It seemed counter to wrap the stuff with a cover of saran wrap - but that’s when I got my best results… sort of. Because I restricted the air space, the temperature of the air around the rice and the rice where very close to the same. If I do wrap it, I must tend to it more because I have to make sure its getting fresh air.

For best results, the air around the rice and the rice must be the same temperature. Thus, the walls of the chamber should also be the same temp. With all the current processes, only the rice is getting warm, with the cooler air above and the wall of the containers being much lower in temp, all the water gets sucked out of the rice. Then it drips down the sides back into the rice and mess happens.

So it looks like in the future I will be making something that will allow for easy home production of koji but I want more ‘professionalism’ and quality…

12cups is a lot to waste… crap

Maybe its saved…

Okay - I believe I have hit a good mix on what to do. I will have pictures soon.

I like the large LD Carlson cheese cloth roll. The threads are good and strong. I use them in steaming and now I will use them in making koji.

I used a large aluminum rectangular tray (large cookie sheet size?) The come in a two-pack about 2/3 inch deep. Using one of those 2x1 foot rolled 40watt plastic heater panels, put curvy side down and place the tray ontop. The tray width is about the same width, slightly over it actually. Tap down the heating sheet underneath the tray. The heater sheet will be slightly longer that the tray.

Next, unroll the entire cheese cloth on top of the tray, center it up. Place inoculated rice on-top the cloth, inside the tray. A little overflow is okay because it will fold over the cloth on an even spread bed of rice. If facing the tray on a table, the longer edges go left and right. Top flap over the rice, same for the bottom flap. They overlap on-top the rice. Then do the same left and right. The rice ends up in a nice little bundle on top the tray, in the cheese cloth. unwrap the left/right sides a bit, press down the temp controller probe halfway into the rice and push the rice around the crevice. bring the two flaps back over. Place on table, attach temp controller and then find a spare full size blanket/comforter.

When time comes to move the rice around, take of blanket, fold back cheese cloth like a present, and stir away. Pull edges back and fold up again - replace probe and cover.

Once the koji starts producing heat on its own, I put a large gel freezer pack once blanket layer above the koji and re-fold the rest on-top. The layer of blanket shields from extreme cold. Cooling flows down from the top, warmth up from above and I’m sitting at 95 solid now through the exothermic stages.

I just wish I started out this way. I have a rice that dried out that won’t grow - but its really taking off now.

Koji gets plenty of air, moisture getting trapped and re-distributed by the cloth and the air is kept at the same temp as the rice (near the rice/water barriers anyway)

Smells of cheese and chestnuts!

Can’t seem to edit my post … not that I would ever use proper grammar/spelling but there are a few ones there… and funny … I made a heating pillow with koji inside…

That’s not exactly professional … but its doing the trick!

Well - core meltdown procedures in place… my cooling gel once it lost all cooling ability rose up in temps like the rest of the koji - to a nice 105 (for prob 20 minutes) - Wife put on a rack of pork ribs and its dropping. :smiley:

So - Koji - makes a great defroster …

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