It is enjoyable producing products at home but even more so when you have to research the ingredients and method and still occasionally have to improvise to create perfection.
I wish I could attach a small cup of Sake to this post so you could enjoy the magnificent taste and aroma.
Every good idea starts with a dream or a need ... for example;
I commented "oh darn it honey I'm out of sake"
followed by "I know you can't even buy it in our town".
"That's a shame "my very patient and long suffering husband replied
"can we pick some up in Newcastle next time?"
Knowing how keen I am to get ingredients when I need them, not in 3 months time. I replied "surely we can make Sake?"
"Considering I brew wine, mead and limoncello and you make other alcohol surely between us we can make sake - what's the difference?" I asked my now intrigued husband.
"Of course you can make sake" hubby replied, "we can do anything".
So here I am, the proud owner of 5 litres of divine home brewed Sake, well actually only 3 as I have already given away 2 litres of Sake.
As with all new recipes or hobbies you research the method and ingredients. Luckily we have the internet and interest pages where we can talk to like minded people about our hobbies.
So I read on how to make sake. It seemed all a bit too difficult, so I read some more, asked friends and ordered the one ingredient that seemed easier to order than to make at home called 'Koji'.
Koji looks very much like rice bubbles as I ordered it in the dried form as it was sent from interstate.
Koji is innoculated rice spores, an essential with which to make sake, miso or shubo miso.
I found the recipe for sake that I followed here;
and I will not reproduce it here, but the instructions are very involved and I treated this sake like a baby from start to finish. Treating it with respect, dignity and ever so gently.
I stirred vigorously and measured the temperature of the liquid morning as well as night, adding a frozen ice brick underneath when it was time to cool the liquid down. It went from bench top to laundry floor and then into the laundry sink at times and it was always covered by a towel in a darkened room to keep the light out.
This was truly a labour of love and I was so happy with the end result and when the ABV measured 17% alcohol with a pleasant rice flavour, I deemed it to be a huge success.
It is definitely best to make over winter in the cooler months.
My son brought back 2 expensive bottles of sake from Japan in December and although they are smoother than mine; my sake is still very acceptable and most pleasantly drinkable by comparison.
The liquid is so clear it could be mistaken for water.
You have a small amount in a kind of cupped saucer to drink for a quick pick-me-up.
By the way, I predominantly made this Sake to have on hand for cooking so it will last many years.
Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn xx