The Sake Project is finished! It's taken four months and it's finally in bottles.
After aging in bulk for five weeks it had cleared fairly well.
But I wanted it clearer, and here I made a bit of a mistake. I mixed up about two teaspoons of bentonite and 2/3 cup boiling water. Mix well, then let it sit for a couple hours minimum, and mix again. It doesn't want to mix at first. Then into the sake and swirl it around. It will take a few days to a week to re-settle. Honestly, I think it was clearer before I put the bentonite in. So my suggestion for next time is to bentonite it right after it goes into the jug. That way it'll have a month or two to settle.
Then it went into the filter. It tasted fine unfiltered, but hey, why not make it more complicated? I have a gravity-fed Vinbrite filter which works well, if very, very slowly. Really it's only good for about two gallons max, so it worked well enough for the sake.
Yes, the humble washing machine really is the homebrewer's friend. The filtration, slow and obnoxious as it was, did however produce a very clear sake.
Then into bottles and pasteurized again on the stove. I ended up with 16 twelve-ouncers of filtered, and another pint or so of unfiltered sake (towards the end I got tired of waiting for the filter).
So how is it? After all this work, is it any good?
It's really pretty good. Melon and pear in the nose, sweet rice/grain, with of course a strong alcohol note too. Too strong, next time I'll dilute it down to 16% ABV. Just a bit of a spice, cinnamon? A bit of lactic there as well.
Upfront the flavor is sweet, there's rice there, almost a caramel flavor, and a nice smoothness to it. Then it moves into a rush of warm alcohol, and ends on a tart, lactic dry note. If there's one complaint it lies here, just a bit too much lactic acid. I blame the natural sour mash moto. Next time I'll try adding straight lactic acid instead and see what happens, maybe it will mellow that aspect. Still, with the exception of that lacto bite, this is pretty much commercial grade sake. Not bad for a first try!
But it's going to be a while before I make another batch.
Indefinite Hiatus - Well, given that it's been a year since this was last updated clearly I don't have the time I used to devote to it. So the blog is going on indefinite hiat...
5 years ago