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2021 Batch 5 - Rice Wine 5.0

I'm doing yet another batch of Rice Wine since I still have plenty of rice and Angel Yeast on hand.  I had some issues with the last batch that I want to be sure I've sorted out.

Ingredients

15 pounds of Kroger-brand long-grain White Rice
40 grams of yellow-label Angel Yeast
1/2 tsp. Gypsum
1/2 tsp. yeast nutrient (Fermaid O)
3 gallons of RO water, heated to 177F
Additional RO water to get to 5 gallons of fermenter volume

As with previous batches, the process for this one is:

  • Heat 3 gallons of RO water to 177F
  • Place 15 pounds of rice in a sanitized fermenter
  • Pour the heated water over the rice and let it sit for at least one hour (I did overnight)
  • Add cold water to the 5-5.5 gallon mark in the fermenter
  • When the temp is 90F, add the Angel yeast and stir well
  • Clean and sanitize your stirrer, you'll need it later
  • Seal the fermenter and hold temp at 90F
For days 1-3, stir the contents of the fermenter twice daily with the cleaned and sanitized spoon.  After day 3, leave the fermenter alone and allow the yeast mix to do its job.

You may smell some funky and unpleasant aromas from the fermenter.  Unless you're seeing mold or something growing on top of the fermenter contents, this should all be normal.

After 7-14 days, you should notice the unpleasant aromas are nearly gone and a Saison-ish funk remains.  If you're not seeing bubbling in the liquid or other signs of fermentation, or you've had three or more days of completely unchanging readings from your hydrometer, it should be finished.

Post-Brew Notes and Observations

04/03/2021:  Sanitized the fermenter, added the rice, and the hot water.  Left it alone until almost 5pm on April 4, by which time the temp had dropped to around 73F.  Stirred in the Angel Yeast and set up temperature control to hold the fermenter at 90F for the rest of fermentation.

04/04/2021 ~5pm:  Temp is reading 74F and gravity is reading 1.009 SG.  BTW, it's not at all unusual for the gravity in these batches using Angel Yeast to start out and remain low.  The enzymes in the yeast mix tend to break down the starches in the rice into sugars at about the same speed that the yeast consumes them, so we generally only see some slight fluctuations in gravity during the fermentation process.  This makes it a bit challenging to know when fermentation has finished, though if you use something like the Tilt Hydrometer to measure it, you'll see the gravity almost completely stop fluctuating at the time the fermentation is over.  It will tend to just land on a value under 1.000 SG and stay there for 3-4 days.

04/04/2021 8:54pm:  Gravity is reading 1.011 SG and temp is up to 88F.

04/05/2021:  Gravity reading was 1.003 in the morning, and temp was 90F.  This drop in gravity from last night suggests that the Angel Yeast is doing its job and has begun converting and fermenting the rice.

04/06/2021:  Gravity is reading erratically on the Tilt today, randomly showing 0.999 SG through 1.007 SG depending on the moment you look at the data.  However, in Brewfather, the general trend of gravity is downward - as I would expect to see from an Angel Yeast ferment.

04/07/2021:  Gravity is reading 1.004-1.010 SG today, but as it fluctuates it looks as though it's still headed downward.  Temp is holding at 89F.

04/11/2021:  Gravity is now reading 1.023 SG, and has gone up periodically since its low point of 1.006 on Wednesday.  I don't quite know what to make of that.  I may need to toss another batch. I stirred the contents of the fermenter well and since the gravity seemed remarkably high, tried pitching some champagne yeast to see if that would scavenge any remaining sugar.  

04/12/2021:  Gravity continues to read 1.023 SG.

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