Skip to main content

2021 Batch 4 - Rice Wine 4.0

Since I've still got plenty of rice on-hand and plenty of yellow-label Angel Yeast, I decided to do a few more batches of rice wine.  I'll look for something fun to do with it later.  I've about got this down to a science.  Sanitize a fermenter, load it with 15 pounds of rice, add 178F water, wait until the temperature drops down to around 90F, and pitch the Angel Yeast.


15 pounds Nishiki rice
3 gallons of water at 178F
1/2 tsp. Gypsum
1/2 tsp. Fermaid O yeast nutrient
1 tsp. Alpha Amylase
1.5 gallons cold water
40 grams Angel Yeast

Note:  Gypsum is added for water conditioning.  Fermaid O and Alpha Amylase are not strictly necessary, but I've been adding them because I have a good supply of both.  I add the Amylase when I add the hot water, to help break down the rice some before I pitch the yeast mix.

Brewing process:

  • Begin heating 3 gallons of water to 178F
  • Sanitize 7 gallon fermenter
  • Dump 15 pounds of rice into fermenter
  • Add Gypsum, yeast nutrient, and alpha amylase to the rice
  • When water hits temp, put water over the rice
  • Stir well, then close up the fermenter
  • Leave at least one hour (I'm leaving it overnight) to hydrate the rice
  • Add cold water to the 5.5 gallon mark on the fermenter
  • When temp is 90F, add Angel Yeast and stir well
  • For the first three days of fermentation, stir well to degas and keep yeast in suspension
  • After 7-14 days, fermentation should finish
  • Strain liquid away from solids and apply finings, if desired
After that you can bottle it, barrel age it, or whatever you want to do with it.

Post-Brew Notes and Observations

03/11/2021:  Loaded rice and hot water into fermenter.  Wrapped insulation around the fermenter to keep it warm overnight.  Set my temp control for 90F, though with the hot water it was around 150F inside the fermenter initially.  I plan to leave this overnight.  Tomorrow I'll add more water to get to the 5.5 gallon mark and when the temp is right, pitch the Angel Yeast.

03/12/2021 (6pm):  Pitched the Angel Yeast and stirred well.  Fermenter showed signs of activity pretty soon afterward, when I went to do the first stir.

03/15/2021:  I've decided to stir only once daily, but for additional days, to see if this changes the yield in any significant way.  I don't really expect it to, as the Angel Yeast works exceptionally well for rice wine and seems to be pretty bulletproof.

04/04/2021:  Update... Although this batch did finish fermentation, choosing not to stir it appears to have been a significant mistake.  It stalled out at a gravity around 1.009 SG and never finished out.  It also picked up a pretty significant vinegary taste and aroma, which made it unpleasant to drink.  I don't recommend skipping the twice-daily stirring - and it's possible that this picked up a bacterial infection that caused the vinegar aroma/flavor, so be careful with your cleaning and sanitation on it.  I ended up tossing this batch.


Popular posts from this blog

Things I've Learned Brewing with The Grainfather, Part 2

In the last post, I shared an overview of The Grainfather, recommended equipment to use with it, and an overview of the brewing process.  In this installment, I'm going to talk specifically about mashing and sparging. Having brewed over a dozen batches with it, I'm finally becoming very comfortable with the device, the mash process, and how to get what I want out of it. I don't consider myself a "master" of it yet, though. For those who have never done all-grain brewing, I want to provide a quick overview of the mash process itself. Mashing - With or Without The Grainfather The goal of mashing is to turn the starches in the grain into sugars. More specifically, you want to turn the starches into a mix of fermentable and unfermentable sugars that provide the flavor profile associated with the beer you are brewing. A sweeter beer might warrant more unfermentable sugars. A more dry beer will demand few unfermentable sugars. To a great extent, controlling the

Yellow Label Angel Yeast vs. Typical Brewing Yeast

I currently have my second batch of rice wine fermenting with the "magical" yellow-label Angel Yeast from China, and wanted to share some of the more unusual aspects of using it.  If you've never seen or used this yeast, I suspect you're not alone.  It ships in a 500 gram package that looks like this: What makes it "yellow label" is that yellow box you see in the upper left corner of the package.  This implies that it's yeast for distilling (though you do not need to have a still or distill the output to use it).  As I understand it, inside the package is a mix of yeast and other materials which will convert starch into sugar and directly ferment it, without the need for a traditional mash step.  This can radically shorten your brewing time.  For my most-recent batch of rice wine, I heated 3 gallons of water to 155F, poured it over 13+ pounds of uncooked rice straight out of the bag, let that soak for an hour, rehydrated some of this yeast in warm water,

Brewing with The Grainfather, Part 3 - Cleaning and Overall Thoughts

In Part 1 of this series, I introduced The Grainfather and discussed how to use it for mashing and sparging.  In Part 2, we talked about boiling and chilling the wort with The Grainfather and its included counterflow chiller.  In this final segment, we'll discuss cleanup and overall thoughts about the device and its usage. Cleanup Once you've pumped the wort from The Grainfather into your fermenter and pitched your yeast, you're well on your way to a delicious batch of homebrew.  Unfortunately, you've still got some cleanup work to do. The cleanup process in my experience will take 20-30 minutes.  It involves the following tasks: Removing and discarding the grain from The Grainfather's grain basket Cleaning the grain basket, kettle, recirculation tube, and wort chiller Cleaning all the other implements used in brewing (scale, scoops, mash paddle, etc.) At the end of the brewing process, there will be hops bags (if you used them), grain and other residu