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Friday, December 03, 2010

Unauthorized Guest Post 크는 먹걸리 만들었댕

My future round-the-world-bike-trip accomplice has just done a most awesome thing: made his own Makkeoli (a kind of traditional Milky rice wine). I immediately felt that, thanks to its themes of food independence and deliciousness and such, it would fit in very well in my Mat-nan Masticatables section, which is kind of hurting for content.

Follow the link to the original, or just read on.

막걸리 만들기!!!! Making Makgeolli!!!!

I finally made the attempt, and I'm happy to report that not only am I not blind, but I just finished off my first cup of cool, refreshing, 내가 직접 만든 makgeolli! Actually they sell commercially produced makgeolli here at the grocery store, but it's not refrigerated, and has been imported, so I guess it's gone through some sort of pasteurization process or something, resulting in flat, nasty makgeolli. Now the nitty gritty of how to make yummy makgeolli goodness in your own home. Oh and if you'd like to look at the Korean wesbsite where I got the recipe, well click on 'recipe'.


  • 광목천-straining cloth. I used regular old cheesecloth, layered a few times for a finer mesh.
  • A glass jar(s) big enough to hold how much ever makgeolli you want to make
  • A big pot to boil water for sterilizing your glass jars, as well as for steaming your rice
  • Some kind of steaming apparatus for your pot (I just used one of those flower petal-shaped steamers that you put inside a regular pot, but you could use something different)
  • A big plastic or glass bowl for mixing your rice and yeast, as well as for straining your final product
  • Tongs, a big wooden spoon, maybe even a spreading spatula would be nice
  • Glass or plastic bottles/jars to hold your finished product


  • 1 part rice. I'm sure Koreans would insist that you use Korean rice, but I used short-grained Japanese sushi rice, because that's what's readily available here. Same same.
  • 1.5 parts water. All the water that goes into your makgeolli needs to be purified in some way, either boil it or use distilled water.
  • 0.007 parts yeast. Regular baking yeast.
  • 0.02 parts 누룩 (nuruk). Nuruk is malted wheat, which is probably only available at strictly Korean grocers. I ended up using the Japanese equivalent, koji, and it seems to have worked well. If I can get my hands on some nuruk, I'll try that next time.

I started with 1.25 cups of rice, not quite 2 cups of water, a quarter package or so of yeast, and a couple teaspoons of koji, and it turned out fine, so I guess precise measurements aren't super important.

Step 1:
Soak your rice for 2~3 hours.

Step 2:
Drain your rice for 1 hour.

Step 3:
Wrap your rice in the cheesecloth, place it in your steamer, and steam for an hour, then let it sit for about 20 minutes. (make sure there is enough water in the steamer)

Step 4:
Remove the rice rice from the steamer (but not the cheese cloth) and spread it out on a flat surface to cool. Mix in your nuruk with a wooden spoon/spatula until it is evenly distributed.

Step 5:
Dissolve your yeast into a very small amount of water.

Step 6:
Put the rice/nuruk mixture, water, and yeast/water mixture into your big glass jar/container, give it a good stir, and seal the lid tightly.

Step 7:
Keep it at room temperature for two days, stirring once or twice a day.

Step 8:
Keeping it at room temperature, remove the lid, replace it with dense cheesecloth rubber-banded to your container's opening. Leave it this way for 5 more days, making sure to stir it a couple times every day.

Step 9:
About now it should be smelling like alcohol, and there should be a layer of alcohol on top and the sediment on the bottom. Your makgeolli may ferment slower or faster, so you may have to experiment with time. If you think it's ready, get your big bowl out, as well as a big sheet of cheesecloth, and pour your little fermentation babies onto the cheesecloth (which is laid out over the bowl). Pour out just enough so that you can wrap the cheesecloth around it and strain out the liquid into the bowl. There shouldn't be much left of the rice, but if your cheesecloth gets clogged, rinse it out under tap water, wring it out, and repeat until you've strained all your makgeolli. Transfer the strained makgeolli into your jars/bottles, refrigerate, and enjoy! Actually the blog I linked to said to let it mature for a few days before drinking, but I didn't notice any difference with mine, but hey whatever you want to do.

Unfortunately, I only remembered to take one photo of my makgeolli, which I will upload shortly.

1 comment:

thesnowleopard said...

I'm honored to have an unauthorized guest posting on your blog Mike. I will say that it is amazing how easy it was to make makgeolli and that it felt really good to be able to produce a tasty alcohol all by myself. If anybody else has success, be sure and contact me with tips/insights.