April 29 2013: My apologies for not updating earlier; things have been hectic in the brewing world. Over 2 weeks ago we brewed Banryu-Ichi and blended the wort (unfermented beer) with most of the Sake batch that you have followed below. We did save some moromi to be pressed into Sake so that we could enjoy the Sake next to our Sake/Beer hybrid project. Since we lack the specialized equipment for pressing Sake, we decided on an old school approach – fukurotsuri. Fukurotsuri (袋吊り) is the process of hanging Sake moromi in bags to strain out under it own weight and using neither a press or filter. Here is a video from Japan – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqwuL7k_Ejw
Our method is the exact same as the video; hang the filled bags by rope so that Sake can drip out. This is done in Japan mostly for special products and competition grade Sake. The resulting Sake is soft and delicate but the yield is much lower.
We have several more weeks for the Banryu-Ichi to finish and in that time we will be filtering our Sake to clean it up. The Sake will then age a bit in kegs to let its flavors mellow and develop. Much like watch Sake slowly drip from a bag…you will have to have patience!
April 7 2013: Today is the last day for the 500 liter Sake batch. Tomorrow we brew a tank of very special beer wort and combine the two; the Sake yeast will ferment the whole tank making a true Sake/beer hybrid. The fermentation aromas are amazing today with huge coconut, pineapple and pear notes. The flavor is fruity but with all the sweetness left, it tastes of cotton candy too. We will keep a small amount of Sake to finish and possibly serve on tap!
April 2 2013: Our moromi has thinned considerably due to the increase in alcohol production. The aroma which was sweet fruit is still fruity but is now exhibiting amazing fermentation fruitiness which is the hallmark of good Sake. The flavor is brightly acidic, with apple and tropical fruit notes. Wonderful.
March 30 2013: It has been a week since the build up into a full 500 liter batch. The Sake is fermenting well and has developed some foam. Amazing fresh fruit aromas of apple, coconut and pear are readily present. For the first time since we added all 315 pounds of rice, I can feel the bottom of the tank will the stir pole; all of the rice is dissolving and due to convection currents, it is constantly moving.
March 27 2013: Day 4 of fermentation and things smell great…Apple, coconut and melon notes. rice is dissolving nicely and there is a lot of bubbles and foam from CO2 being produced. Flavors are clean and fruity.
March 25 2013: I spent tonight checking in on our newly formed batch of Sake, sitting comfortably in a 500 liter tank. Below is a video to show the beginning stages of fermentation. Huge CO2 bubbles and a strong aroma of coconut and fresh apple; a healthy batch indeed.