Category Archives: Misc

Homebrew Sake

I have been curious about homebrewing sake for several years and finally decided to try it after watching a youtube video that made the process seem much easier than I had read before. However even though the simplicity of the process in this video inspired me, I decided to do more research and ended up creating a process a tiny bit more complex. My process is mainly based on the recipe posted on the Vision Brewing website. This is the company that produces the Sake Homebrew Kit which is basically the base for creating the Kome-koji and their basic instructions are pretty easy to follow. They also offer some more advanced instructions that I might try later. And the recipe is enhanced by using the water chemistry suggestions from this article in the Americam Homebrewers Association (membership required to access content).

Ingredients

The following are the ingredients required to homebrew sake:

Equipment

As a beer homebrewer I already had lots of equipment that I was able to use for sake making. However I did purchase a few items that made the process easier.

Process

Step 1: Make Kome-Koji

The first step in sake brewing is to produce kome-koji which is rice mixed with a special kind of mould called koji-kin and allowed to ferment at high temperatures for a copule of days. In this process the mould converts the starches in the rice to simpler sugars that later can be consumed by the sake yeast.

  1. Wash, soak, drain and steam 400 grams of rice
  2. Once the rice cools down to 86°F (30°C) mix with koji-kin in the sanitized fermentor
  3. Add airlock and let it ferment for 48 hours at 86°F (30°C)
  4. Mix every 12 hours by carefully shaking fermentor
  5. The rice should become whiter in color, and you might see some white filaments on the rice thanks to the koji-kin mould. I personally did not see those. The rice should also have a cheese/kefir like aroma

Step 2: Make Sake + Primary Fermentation

Now that you have the kome-koji done, the next step is to make the sake. The kome-koji will continue converting rice starches into sugars and the sake yeast will convert sugars into alcohol. These two fermentations will work together to produce the final result: delicious sake

  1. Wash, soak, drain and steam 1500 grams of rice
  2. Prepare 1 gallon of water mixed with:
    • 2 ml Lactic Acid 88%
    • 0.3 g Epsom Salt
    • 3.5 g Morton Salt Substitute
  3. Once the rice cools down to 86°F (30°C) mix it with the kome-koji, the prepared water and the sake yeast in the fermentor
  4. Add airlock and let it ferment for 2 weeks at 66°F (18.8°C)

Step 3: Secondary Fermentation

After two weeks transfer the sake from the 3 gallon fermentor into a 1 gallon jug. I don’t recommend using an auto-siphon for this because you will get some rice into the jug. Instead place a sanitized (boiled) cotton tote bag or grain bag in a sanitized bucket and pour all the contents from the fermentor into it. Use something (e.g camera tripod) to lift the bag above the bucket so you can collect all the liquid via gravity. I was able to fill a 1 gallon jug all the way to the neck which later proved to be a problem since the sake fermentation was still very vigorous and some “krausen” (foam) was produced and filled the airlock which required me to replace the setup with a blow-off tube. Allow for 2 more weeks of fermentation at the yeast recommended temperature range 60-75°F (15-24 °C).

Do not discard the spent rice. This rice contains both the koji-kin mould and the sake yeast and can be used to inoculate a second batch of sake allowing you to skip step 1 and saving you from buying more sake yeast. According to this instructables post, the kome-koji can last up to 10 days refrigerated so you do need to make that second batch soon.

Update – 01/15/2021

The previous paragraph proved not to be accurate. Using the spent rice from a previous batch does not work as I anticipated. The result was a very flavorless and weak sake. You can barely feel any alcohol in it. I believe the spent rice had enough koji-kin to convert starches into sugars, but the yeast didn’t do its part. I’m not sure what caused this, but one possible theory is that the commercial yeast I used on the first batch came with some yeast nutrient in the package. For the second batch I didn’t think of adding any yeast nutrient. Now, on batch #3 I did add yeast nutrient (even before tasting batch #2), so this batch might turn out better.

Next Steps

The resulting sake was good. The sake tastes a bit cheese and sour, but it is still enjoyable and I’m drinking it with friends and they tell me they like it. The sourness could be tamed by reducing the amount of lactic acid used in the water treatment. Maybe a few extra weeks will also help the flavors since this sake is fairly young (4 weeks old).

After making my first batch of sake I wanted to make a second batch using some of the spent rice of the first batch. If this second batch works, it means I can keep this process and skip step 1. The second batch has already been fermenting for 2 weeks and the sake is much thicker than the first batch.

For the second batch I wasn’t able to get the same brand of rice, but I got one very similar. I also got a bag of sweet rice as I want to experiment with this very different rice and see what the resulting sake tastes like.

Update 1/15/2021

So far I have done 3 batches of sake:

Batch #1

Did everything from scratch following instructions and sake turned out well.

Batch #2

Tried to save time/money by skipping the creation of the kome-koji and the purchase of sake yeast and instead inoculated the sake with the spent rice from batch #1. As I mention above this produced a flavorless and weak sake. My educated guess is that the koji-kin did convert the rice starches into sugars (I can tell by the way the rice texture changed from firm grains to mush) but the yeast did not convert sugars into alcohol and aromatics/flavors (phenols and esters). One possible explanation is that there was no yeast nutrient for the yeast to reproduce.

Experiment: Recovering batch #2

If my theory is correct, and the sake from batch #2 currently contains converted sugars produced by the koji-kin, all I need to do is add yeast to it and the sugars should then convert into alcohol, aroma and flavor.

Experiment: Sake batch #2 split into two mason jars

So I went ahead and split part of batch #2 into two ½ gallon mason jars:

  1. One of the mason jars contains 1000 ml of sake and 250 ml of the most cloudy sake from batch #1. This very cloudy sake from batch #1 seems to have viable yeast since I can tell it built some pressure in the bottle and the sake even has a slight hint of carbonation.
  2. The other mason jar contains 1000 ml of sake and 1 teaspoon of kveik yeast. This is a Norwegian beer yeast that contains multiple strains and can ferment under very tough conditions. We’ll see if this yeast which is very good at fermenting maltose, can ferment glucose. I did not use sake yeast because I had none available and it is expensive.

Batch 3

For this batch I used the spent rice from batch #2, so I’m afraid I will run into similar (or worse) problems, although one difference is that I did add a teaspoon of yeast nutrient to it. This batch is less than a week old, so I’m several weeks away from knowing how it turned, but anything I learn with batch #2 experiments can be applied to batch #3 and future batches.

El mono rosado (o como el sabor de la venganza es dulce)

Hace unos 3 o 4 años mi amigo Alejandro Corona se mudó a su nueva casa y organizó una fiesta de inauguración. Recuerdo que estaba en el supermercado (quizá en HEB) comprando cervezas y comida para la fiesta y tal vez acababa de pasar el día de San Valentín entonces los artículos con ese motivo se encontraban en promoción. Se me ocurrió entonces buscarle a Alejandro un regalo por su nueva casa que fuera altamente inapropiado, inútil, quizá grotesco, poco ortodoxo, pero sobre todo divertido. Fue cuando encontré un abominable Mono Rosado de peluche y decidí que era el regalo perfecto.

La verdad no recuerdo muy bien como ocurrieron los hechos pues esto sucedió hace varios años y tengo pésima memoria, pero lo cierto es que según Alejandro, cuando le entregué el regalo le dije que solo podía regalar el mono a alguien que tuviera una fiesta de inauguración en su casa. Pues 3 o 4 años después, Alejandro me regala el mono de regreso en la fiesta de inauguración de mi casa y me da la sorpresa más divertida de la velada!

Creo que el karma si existe y la cara de venganza de Alejandro en el momento en que me está regalando el Mono Rosado no tiene precio…

Touché Alejandro Corona… Touché!

10 años y 10 días en Austin

Noviembre 3, 2001 – Noviembre 13, 2011

Viviendas
Riata y Margalene Way

Conciertos
Manu Chao, Coldplay, The Chemical Brothers, Cafe Tacvba, Control Machete, Eli Guerra, Lauryn Hill, The Shins, Smashing Pumpkins, NIN, Stone Temple Pilots, Molotov, Aterciopelados, Bomba Estereo, Choc Quib Town, Soda Stereo, Systema Solar, Gustavo Ceratti, DJ Tiesto, Tool, Metallica, Muse, LCD soundsystem, Flaming Lips, Norah Jones, Gogol Bordello, U2, The Eagles, The Police, David Byrne, Perfect Circle, Deadmau5, Moby, Balkan Beat Box, Devo, Tricky, Jumbo, Fobia, Juanes, Panda, Liquits, La gusana ciega, El Tri, Plastilina Mosh, Ozomatli, Estados Alterados, Playing For Change, Ximena Sariñana, Edward Sharpe and the magnetic zeroes, Miike Snow, Foals, Spoon, The Strokes, Death weather, The Racounteers, Foo Fighthers, Beck, Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon, Los Amigos Invisibles, Cabas, Carlos Vives, Queens of the Stone Age, Gotan Project, Blue October, Björk, Awolnation, Dave Matthews, Steve Wonder, Daniel Lanois, A Perfect Circle, …

Carros
1 Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI

Bodas
Ana Maria y Milton
Juan David y Ani
Patricia y Bruno
Clara Maria y Carlos
Ana Lucía y Mauricio
Juan Pablo y Shakira
Jerónimo y Daniela
Diego y Alexandra
Alejandro y Miriam
Alejandro y Erika
Daniela y Bradley
Eva y Niv
Jocelly y Steve
Alma y Bill
Claudia y Darin
Blair y Andria
Esther y Uri
Paola y Michael
Esti y Chris
Gustavo y Lucy
Jose Antonio y Bárbara
Luis Felipe y Carolina
Jose David y Lina
Luis Felipe y Natalia
Carolina y Carlos
Ana Isabel y Santiago
Andrés y Juliana
Adriana y Robert
Alejandro y Karina
Sofia y Bernardo

“Sobrinos”
Diego, Ana Laura y Vanessa Correa
Camila y Cecilia Mota
Sophie y Bella Muleiro
Santiago e Iker Zepeda
Leah Drory
David Meiners
Elisa Castro
Martin Restrepo
David García
Iara y Alice Marini
Maya y Neil Prabu
Violeta García
Maria José y Juanita Jaramillo
Anabella y Alejandro Hunt

Fotos en mi librería
21,015

Años jugando con los NI Eagles / Goles anotados
9 / 2

Computadores
iBook G3 600MHz
PowerBook G4
MacBook (me la robaron)
Mac mini 1.83 GHz
MacBook Pro 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Mac mini 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

Cámaras
Pentax Optio 4Si
Nikon D40X (me la robaron)
Nikon D60

Multas de tránsito
1

Publicaciones en Chichipanguanorrea
260

Naturalization


08/25/2010
Dropped on the mail the forms and documents required to apply for the U.S. Citizenship. I’m going to use this post to track the progress of the process. Wish me luck!

09/09/2010
Received form I-797C indicating the reception of my application by the Department of Homeland Security.

09/18/2010
Received another form I-797C with an appointment to have my fingerprints taken on September 24th! This is moving fast!

09/24/2010
Got my fingerprints taken and a copy of the booklet “Learn About the United States – Quick Civic Lessons for the Naturalization Test”.

10/12/2010
Received another I-797C form with an appointment for an interview on December 2nd in San Antonio.

12/02/2010
Interviewed and presented test in San Antonio. Passed test with flying honors.

01/22/2011
Received form N-445: Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony on the 17 of February 2011 in San Antonio.

02/17/2011
Naturalization Oath Ceremony in San Antonio.

Human brain is ~85% broccoli

I just made an outstanding discovery that want to share with the scientific world. Human brain is about 85% broccoli. I know is hard to believe but here is the mathematical proof:

Human Brain is 77-78% water(1)
Broccoli is 91% water(2)

~0.775 HB = Water
0.910 Br = Water

~0.775 HB = 0.910 Br
~(0.775/0.910) HB = Br

~0.85 HB = Br

(1) http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/facts.html
(2) http://www.ca.uky.edu/enri/pubs/enri129.pdf

Stolen laptop and camera

My laptop and SLR camera got stolen last July 20th from my house. I’m posting the model and serial numbers of both in case someone ever searches for them. That way they will know that these are stolen items and who these items belonged to.

Apple MacBook (white) 13.3″ 2.2GHz 2GB 500GB
Model: MB062LL/B
Serial number: W8743JX1Z63

Nikon D40x camera with 18-135mm lens
Camera serial number: 3095307
Lens serial number: 2378184

Fiebre de Marzo

‘No Line on the Horizon’ es el nuevo disco de U2, una de mis bandas favoritas. El disco lo compré en la tienda en línea de Amazon por U$4, menos de lo que pago por un burrito de Freebirds (más saludable por supuesto). Por ahora me gusta el disco, y le estoy agarrando gustico. Es imposible no escuchar algunas canciones y encontrar semejanzas con canciones anteriores. Supongo que al final eso es lo que define un estilo. Por supuesto nada tan groseramente obvio como este grupo.

Los conciertos de SXSW comenzarán en dos semanas. Este año vienen varias bandas Colombianas (Raton Perez, Choc Quib Town, Bomba Estereo, Poper, Monareta, Don Tetto, Diva Gash, Monica Giraldo, Verde3, Doctor Krapula) y hay un dia dedicado enteramente a ellas. No las conozco bien, por llevar más de 7 años viviendo fuera del pais, pero estoy muy contento con la oportunidad de ponerme a la orden del dia. Espero reportar al respecto pronto.

También estaré proximamente viendo a Jerry Seinfeld en vivo en el Performing Arts Center de la Universidad de Texas. Espero reirme como enano. Ojalá que a mi papá y a mi hermana no los mate la envidia.

Ando adicto al Daily Show y gracias a Hulu puedo ver todos los programas gratis. Y Lost… está increible!

“Ella tiene la fiebre de Marzo, y un ligero temblor en los labios”

Número de la suerte: 75
Color de la suerte: Verde pollito
Talla de pantalones: 31

Happy Holidays 2008

Another great year is almost over and to carry on with the tradition we started back in 2004, this holiday season the Chichipanguanorrea staff is proud to bring you the ugly reindeer.

We wanted to hire ugly Santa again or even one of his ugly Elves. Unfortunately since the government has decided to NOT bail out Chichipanguanorrea & Associates Entertainment Business Bureau Corp. (NASDAQ: CAEBBC) we could not afford endorsing such personalities this season. But fear not loyal readers: this is the finest and ugliest Santa’s reindeer you would ever find!

Again Chichipanguanorrea delivers great success!