For my most recent batch of makgeolli, I decided to experiment by increasing the duration of fermentation from 7-10 days a doubling of 16. The chongu layer turned a deep amber, and the rice solids had visibly dissolved to near liquid.
I proofed the yeast and nuruk, added a bit more yeast, and also 2 Tbsp. of sugar to the mix at the beginning. Much bubbling stopped around day 9, but started up when the jar was slightly shaken when I moved it to check on the brew.
I also added 3 cups of water for dilution, instead of 4. I will refrigerate the brew and then taste it to see if more water needs to be added. I halve the original recipe, using 2 1/2 cups of rice. Adding only 3 cups of water, the final product yielded about 60 oz., just under 9 cups, at present dilution of 3 cups of H20.
Taste test later!
I attempted my first batch of Korean fermented rice 막걸리 in early June. Since then, I've made several batches! So yummy! 맛있어요! I have been using Maangchi's recipe: https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/makgeolli, but I only make a half-portion at a time. The halved recipe makes about 2 1/2 24 oz. mason-style jars of brew. It seems that after making the first batch, I can't stop! There is something about Makgeolli that is enlivening and nourishing; I suppose that's why hard-working farmers in Korea drank it while at work. Or, perhaps like me, they learned to increase the alcohol content so that the brew is both buzzy and fortifying!
My first batch turned out great, but slightly "alcoholic" and "acetone" due to the high temps of summer.
I kept the second batch submerged in a water bath, and placed it in a cooler spot on the floor of my bedroom. I made these changes after reading the 64-page Makgeolli primer written by the Korean RDA-National Academy of Agriculture! I loved Chem class at Uni--where I majored in Biology-- so the scientific aspect of this research pamphlet got my geek going! If you enjoy making any type of fermented food in your kitchen, I recommend this read! https://mmpkorea.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/141222-eba789eab1b8eba6ac-ec9881ebacb8ed8c90eb82b4eca780_ecb59ceca2851.pdf. Many people refer to makgeolli as Korean rice wine, but it's not, although one of the products of this process is rice wine, if you siphon of the clear wine portion.
What I've discovered so far is that I can make the brew sweeter and less "acetone" flavored with the addition of extra dry yeast. I've also experimented with adding a few tablespoons of sugar toward the last few days of fermentation. Both of these increase alcohol content and make the brew just slightly sweeter, but not "sweet". I still add water to the final strained liquid, otherwise it's very strong and thick--too filling.
My most current batch, started last weekend, will ferment a little longer than 7-10 days, because I'm curious to see if I get a richer flavor profile.
My dang web host won't upload my photos in order, so all the photos are not in sequence unfortunately!
PS, believe or not Trader Joe's has pajeon 파전 in their frozen section, and it tastes like pajeon flown in straight from Busan! So make thee some makgeolli and eat it with some pajeon from TJs!
...can't get enough Korean Food!!! :-))