It has been a while. I should have done this I don’t know how long ago. I could give excuses and reasons and all sorts of other things that don’t really matter. But ya know, life happens sometimes.
I transferred the sake to the bottling bucket recently. I haven’t bottled it yet. I had hit it with some sulphites to kill off the wild yeasts and such and I wanted to give them a chance to do their work. I will be bottling within the next couple days.
So now we go with a few observations. First among them, I wasn’t looking to make traditional sake. I was more concerned with seeing how the process worked. The final product has a nice tartness to it. It has been a while since I have had traditional sake so I am not sure how common that is. But I like how this turned out. Shortly I will go into a bit more detail when I do an official tasting of it. Maybe I’ll even have some pictures.
Next, I fermented this at a lower temperature than what might be traditional. It should ferment from 50 to 60 degrees. I fermented at about 40 degrees. It went along smoothly but it was slower than it could have been. For as long as I have had the sake in secondary, if I was at the higher temperature it would most likely have been much more sour than I wanted. At the same time I might have ended up with rice wine vinegar instead of sake as well.
And now the final observation (for now) It helps to have a good filter set up for when you go from primary to secondary. I ended up with 2 gallons of sake. I think I would have had 3 if I had been able to filter better than I did. The rice porridge that is made in the primary fermentation is thick but still liquid. You need an incredibly fine strainer and maybe even filter bags to push through it all.
Granted you are looking at filtering out at least 10 pounds of rice (pre cooking). That is quite a bit of porridge when you get to the end of fermentation.
When you get down to it, the process overall isn’t that bad. But it is slow. This is something you will be investing a good bit of time in order to do it well. I can’t say I did it well. There were a few times where frustration was enough for me to want to call it quits. But that can happen in most anything.
So hopefully in a few days I will have a few bottles sealed and on the shelf. At that point I will be ready to do some sampling. Or maybe I will let them sit around and gather a bit of dust before I play with them again.
Time for a pint…