Sake brewing is a rewarding hobby, but you have to be careful when doing your research or you will dish out more money than you should when you are getting everything you need.
When I started looking around for a Sake recipe I came across all sorts. Some recipes described it one way, whereas others described making it another way. The truth is there are thousands of ways to make your own Sake. The problem that arises with some of these Internet-based recipes is that they are all pointing towards buying lots of expensive equipment, lots of unnecessary steps, and add-ins you don’t need, (or want) in your Sake.
For example, I personally have tried Bentonite. Maybe I am just inexperienced in using it, but I really don’t want clay mud in my Sake that I have spent the last few months cultivating. This product is supposed to clear your Sake, in theory, it does but will not make it clear like water like I expected. Bentonite will only remove the excess Lees from the Sake as it is racking. If done wrong it will wreck your batch. This isn’t a chance I was willing to take after I experimented with it in a separated, smaller batch. The end result was the same as if I had only just been patient and let it sit.
There are lots of ways to make Sake, there are also lots of ways not to make it. Keeping your recipe as simple as possible is the best way, (and the cheapest) But why do some recipes add in stuff like “Epsom Salt”, or “Anti-Foam”, or yeast nutrients? It is in my experience, research and opinion you should start out very, very basic and only use the key ingredients of Rice, Water, and Koji & yeast. Try this the first few times. Unless of course, your water is terrible, then you may need to adjust the water content by adding Epsom salt, calcium carbonate, and or any other missing or low-level minerals. I prefer to distill or buy distilled water. This is the "Reverse Osmosis" procedure. This removes everything though and just leaves the H2O. Perhaps when you filter your Sake you could run in through some crushed rock.
There are thousands of flavors of Sake only because there are thousands of different kinds of recipes. There are also multiple timings and temperatures of when you add the amounts of the ingredients, but when starting out, keeping it as simple and as consistent as possible is always the cheapest and best way to start out in this hobby. Stay cheap and learn from my lessons by using my basic sake recipe I created through my learning process. It will save you money, time, and produce some very good Sake.
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