Makgeolli Iyangju Base Recipe
- 200 g Sweet Rice Flour [available alternatives: any flour]
- 1 L Water [available alternatives: filtered or not, tea or vegetable water]
- 100 g Nuruk
- 2.5 g Yeast [available alternatives: many types of yeast]
- 100 ml Water [available alternatives: filtered or not, tea or vegetable water]
- 800 g Sweet Rice [available alternatives: many types of rice]
- Glass Jar for brewing
- Paper Towel(s) to cover jar
- Large Rubber Band to secure paper towels
- Large Spoon for cooking and stiring
- Measuring Cup for precision
- Kitchen Scale for precision
- Pot for cooking
- Bowl(s) various sizes; for mixing nuruk / yeast, ice bath for juk, etc…
- Rice Steamer for steaming rice
- Kitchen Cloth or Cheesecloth for steaming rice
Stage 1 — Juk
In a pot on the stove—medium heat—combine 200g sweet rice flour and 1L water.
Stir to combine.
Continue stirring while cooking until mixture becomes thick like a paste. Approximately 5 - 10 minutes.
When paste-like consistency is reached, remove from heat and cool to room temperature. An ice bath speeds up the process.
Stage 1 — Nuruk / Yeast Preparation
While juk is cooling, combine 100g nuruk, 2.5g yeast, and 100ml water.
Let sit for 1 hour—while Juk is cooling. Break up any nuruk chunks throughout the soak time. Alternatively, place nuruk into blender or spice grinder, then combine with yeast and water.
Stage 1 — Final Step
Add juk to jar.
Add nuruk / yeast mixture to jar.
Stir with sterilized hand or spoon until combined. Cover jar with cloth or paper towel, secure with rubber band.
Stage 1 — Care
Stir twice daily for 2 - 3 days.
Stage 2 — Godubap
Steam 800g sweet rice for ~40 minutes.
Cool rice to room temperature.
Stir Stage 1, then add godubap.
Give a final stir to combine, replace towel and band.
Store in warm, temperature-stable, and light-free location. i.e. cupboard or closet.
Once—most of—the rice has sunken to the bottom of the jar AND there is a clear liquid on top of everything, brew should be done.
Stage 2 — Finishing
Strain contents of jar through nylon mesh bag—or any available straining cloth—fine mesh reduces sediment.
Once strained, bottle beverage.
The final taste will change over time—makgeolli is a living drink! So if you think something is off at bottling, or even if it’s perfect at bottling, it will not be the same a day or two or three later. Try experimenting with more or less water and see what happens, I found that it effects the sweet/sourness!
There’s a lot of options for modifying this recipe. The flour, yeast, water, and rice are all variables that can be experimented with. Try different quantities of each, or even different kinds. The first recipe I made off of this base was a ginger makgeolli. It was sharp and clean. Now I’m trying a black tea with brown sweet rice. As mentioned, the base can stand well on it’s own. If that’s good enough for your makgeolli fix, go for it! If you are feeling adventurous or just want some additional flavors, there’s so many possibilities! One important note is water content. If any additional ingredient will change the ratio of liquid in your brew, you may want to reduce an equal amount of water from the juk. i.e. adding cranberries—I made a sauce with 200ml water—I should have reduced the water from the juk in stage 1 by 200ml.