Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Adventures with Yeast

Video Find of the Day

I have already mentioned my forays into bread-making. I will have more to say about that later -- I'm overdue with a boast pertaining to sourdough. But right now I want to mention that I have been trying to make rice wine, and after a really ugly failure two weeks ago the current experimental batch is looking and tasting great.

The stuff I'm trying to make is something called jiuniang, a so-called sweet wine made from sticky rice. What appeals to me about it is that I live upon a postage-stamp and don't have room for vats and bottles to ferment and age large quantities of drink. Therefore I need a fast turnaround. Internet sources promise turnarounds between 3 and 5 days.

So I think, "lets see, I want 60-ounces of beer per night, but the rice wine has 3 times the alcohol content, so I'm after 20 ounces per night, or about half a gallon per turnaround, which means I can do the fermenting in the 5 quart crockpot that's already taking up space."

The first batch probably failed because the 69 cent package of champagne yeast was dead. But, whoa! This second batch took off, from white wine yeast, and I've tasted it and I'm psyched. I think there's going to be 5 maybe 6 ounces of experimental 12% or so rice squeezings tomorrow! Woo, woo!

Here to celebrate is a "futuristic" drinking song from a 1930 sci-fi comedy movie. According to the description, in this vision of the future, pills have replaced hooch but they're still singing drinking songs.

Drinking Song from Just Imagine (1930)

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