At Boksoondoga brewery in South Korea, makgeolli — an alcoholic fermented rice beverage that’s milky, effervescent, tangy, and candy — is hand-brewed with a whole lot of tender loving care. As proprietor Park Bok-soon enters her brewery’s fermentation room, she greets the onggi pots with a pleasant “Hey guys, how have you ever been?” and is answered by the slight pitter patter of effervescent, fermenting rice. This is only one instance of how she treats her product with respect. “Deal with even a single grain of rice as valuable,” she mutters as her accomplice pours the grains right into a bowl.
Park begins her day hand-washing native rice 10 occasions earlier than she steams it al dente. The rice is left to chill whereas she readies the nuruk, or fermentation starter. For the nuruk, wheat flour is fermented for 20 days, and pressed firmly right into a sq. form that holds collectively like a cake. As soon as the nuruk cake, is prepared, it heads to a humidity and temperature managed room the place it could flower and produce the micro organism essential to make makgeolli. “It has a direct affect on style,” explains Park. “It’s very onerous to get the nuruk to flower, so lots of people use synthetic micro organism.” The starter stays within the nuruk room for 15 days earlier than it’s combined with the cooled rice and water. Then, all the combination is added to monumental onggi pots and left to ferment for 15 to twenty days.
Upon getting into the fermentation room, the sound of rain hitting pavement may be heard. Besides it’s not rain, however the crackling of rice fermenting and effervescent within the pots. After the 15 to twenty day fermentation has completed, the liquid is strained from the rice, and the rice is used as feed for cows, pigs and chickens. The liquid is then combined with water, bottled, and able to drink.
“Japan has sake, Europe has wine, however there was no actual conventional Korean makgeolli,” says Park. “Lots of love and care go into making makgeolli by hand for it to be scrumptious”