Homemade Wine, specialty wines

Sake 2

Yield: One Gallon US
Beginning SG/PA: Not Provided

10 lbs. (4.54 kg) California Pearl or short grain rice
40 oz. (1.14 kg) Koji
2 gal. (7.6 l) water
3/5 tsp. (4g) yeast nutrient
pinch epsom salts
1.25 tsp. (6 g) morton salt substitute
Bentonite or Sparkolloid finings
Sake Yeast (Vintner’s Choice yeast 3134, or Wyeast Labs sake)


  1. The rice must be polished (the higher the better) California Pear (Japonica) rice. Brown rice can be used, but it has many nutrients and proteins which will encourage souring infections in the ferment.
  2. Water should be soft.
  3. Koji — very essential! Koji is a rice which has been innoculated and cultured with a special mould (aspergillus oryzae Globosus) which converts the rice starch to sugar. Without it you cannot make proper sake. In the United States Cold Mountain Rice Koji is available. In Canada an excellant Koji is made by the Japanese community in Vancouver. It should be kept frozen until use.
  4. Morton Salt Substitute, which is a blend of potassium chloride, fumaric acid and tri & mono calcium phosphate is best.
  5. Sake Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevase var sake) is best but Red Star Montrachet or Sherry yeast can also be used.

The ingedients are assembled in the fermenter in five increments:

  1. Moto or yeast mash
  2. Moromi of main ferment, consisting of
    • Hatsuzoe, first addition
    • Nakazoe, middle addition
    • Tomezoe, final addition
  3. Yodan or stabilizing addition

Preparing the Rice

  1. Wash rice throughly to remove all starch powder.
  2. Cover with 3″ of water and place in the refrigerator for 18 hrs.
  3. Drain the rice and *steam* (not boil) slowly for 45 min.
  4. The koji for each addition (except first) is added to the mash 18 hrs *before* the rice for that increment, i.e. at the time you put the rice on to soak you add the koji to the mash.


  1. Prepare rice (as above)
  2. To 8 oz. of cold water add yeast nutient & epsom salts. Dissolve. Then add 3 Tbs of koji. Stir. Place in refrigerator for 18 hrs.
  3. Steam 1 1/2 cups of rice (as above). When complete add the koji/water mixture. Knead this thouroughly by hand for 30 min. Then place in fermentor, cover and let stand for 2 days at 74 (23 C) F.
  4. Then cool to 50-60 F (10 C) and add yeast. Do *not* stir in. Let stand for twelve hrs.
  5. Raise temp to 74 F & stir in yeast. Stir twice daily for two days & then once a day for 3 more days.
  6. Moto ferment is now complete. Drop temperature to 50 and allow Moto to rest for 5 days.

Htsuzoe — the Dancing Ferment

  1. Prepare 2.5 cups of rice (as before).
  2. At the same time add 1 cup less a teaspoon of koji to the yeast mash.
  3. Steam rice (as before).
  4. Dissolve Morton Salt Substitute in a little water.
  5. When rice has finished steaming add Morton Salt Subsitute, place in primary fermentor and let cool to 85 F.
  6. Then add the Moto yeast mash. Mix thoroughly with clean hands for 30 minutes. Keep at circa 70 F, stirring every 2 hrs for the next 12 hrs.
  7. Stir at 12 hr intervals for the next 48 hrs.

Nakazoe (48 hrs later)

  1. As above. Steam 6 cups of rice. No additional Salt Substitute necessary.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups minus 3 teaspoons of koji to the main ferment, stirring in.

Tomezoe (24 hrs later)
As above. Steam the remaining 5 lbs of rice.

  1. Add the remaining koji (18 oz/.5 kg) to the main ferment 18 hrs before the rice.
  2. When the rice has steamed add it and 144 oz (4.25 l) of water to the main ferment.
  3. This will double the mash volume to 4 gallons.
  4. Mix thouroughly with clean hands, etc.

After the 5th day lower the temperature from 70 F (21 C) to 60 F (16 C) or even lower to 50 F (10 C). The lower the temperature, the slower the ferment but the higher the final alcohol content. Stir twice a day.

By the 14th-18th day the ferment should be nearly over. Specific gravity should be 1.000 or lower. The mixture will now be 14-15% alcohol. Drop temperature to 50 F.


  1. At about the 19-21st day S.G. should be 0.999 or lower. At this
  2. stage you add water to the mash.
  • Adding no water will yield genshu sake 18.5% alcohol
  • Adding 30 oz will yield ordinary sake 16% alcohol
  • Adding 68 oz will yield weak sake 14% alcohol
  • Adding 120 oz will yield Rice Table Wine 12% alcohol
  • Adding 158 oz will yield 11% alcohol for use in making sparkling sake through a second ferment
  1. In 3-5 days the Yodan ferment will be complete. SG should be 0.990 to 0.995. It is now ready for racking, pressing and transfer to the secondary fermentor.


  1. Rack and press the sake. The liquid should fill three Gallon jugs (if you press as much possible liquid from the lees). Top up with water and place under fermentation locks. Keep at 50 F (10 C).
  2. When fermentation has ceased, remove fermentation locks, cork or cap and place in the refrigerator (40 F) for 10 days.
  3. After 10 days rack again and then fine with Sparkolloid or Bentonite.
  4. Allow to stand a further 10 to 21 days.
  5. When the sake is clear and well settled, rack again.
  6. At this stage pasteurization is necessary to inactivate the koji enzymes and disinfect the sake. *Pasteurization is very important with sake.* Place the jugs in hot water and heat until they reach 140F (60C), then cap or cork and allow to cool
  7. Store for 3 weeks to 2 months at 50-60 F.


  1. Sake is best bottled in brown bottles and kept away from the light. Light can really ruin sake.
  2. Pasteurize a second time to make sure that there are no lactic or bacterial infections.
  3. Age for two months.
  4. Drink!

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