27 August 2014

Homemade Red Rice Wine 红糟米酒

Hi, I'm back from my summer holidays ... still very lazy to move and get back to blogging after two weeks of resting, everything still unfamiliar, Grrr... I missed my friends and the green! I even have to think what is my ID and password when I need to login to blogger, must be the heat here is too bad for me :) 

Ok, today get myself a cup of 3-in-1 chai-latte and here go the engines. I would like to share and record my first homemade red rice wine which I brewed it before I went for my summer break (consulted my mum via Facetime so many time just to make sure the process is correct, anyway I still change some of it as I don't have muslin fabric which used in steaming the rice) So the fermentation took me about 60 days because I'm away for holidays and my mum told me even if I took out the rice wine around 30 days, the rice residue in the rice wine will continue its fermentation until the rice dissolved.  

The end result is a homemade fragrance red rice wine. Thank God it is sweet! In this recipe I used Japanese Sake instead of the common Chinese rice wine just because I couldn't get any Chinese rice wine here. The Sake contents nearly 15% of alcohol. There are two types of dried yeast balls 酒饼, I used the dried yeast balls which can produce sweet taste 甜酒饼。The other type is a spicy dried yeast ball 辣酒饼。The red yeast rice 红曲米 is the main ingredient to turn the rice wine into pinkish red.

In between the fermentation, you will see lots of gas bubble released or trapped between the rice. The bottle of fully pack glutinous rice will gradually loosen out and turned into liquid form. The rice will eventually settled at the bottom. The rice residue left behind can be used for cooking as well.

1. To get translucent clear rice wine, it is important not to shake or stir the bottle at the final stage. (Haha...top quality and no rice crumble in it)
2. Do not over tighten the lid or cover of the bottle, this is to allow the gas release from the bottle.
3. Place the bottle out of sunlight and in good ventilation room. (I placed it at a corner of my kitchen far away from stove)
4. Every equipment used for the brewing must be free from oil. 
This recipe yield around 4 big bottles of red rice wine and about 500g of red rice residue.

1. Soak 3kg glutinous rice and 100g red yeast rice overnight.

2. Drain the water and fill up some water to cover the rice, steam until the rice is cooked. You can test whether the rice is cooked/soft in between. I divided the rice into 3 steaming trays to make sure the rice is thoroughly cooked. Spread out the rice and let it cool down completely. Set aside.

3. Eight dried yeast balls 甜酒饼 was used. You can pound it into powder or crash it by hands. 

4. Get a clean big glass bottle which free of oil. Place the room temperature glutinous rice in it, sprinkle with some rice yeast ball powder, continue to layer with glutinous rice. Pour some sake/ Chinese rice wine in between. Continue the process until all glutinous rice is packed into the bottle and rice yeast ball powder is used up.

Total sake used is around 600ml. 

5. On the third days, the changes in the glass bottle is obvious. The glutinous rice is loosen out, lot of liquid form.

6. This photo was taken on the third week. There is lot of gas bubble trapped or released from the fermentation. Lot of glutinous rice still floating, there is rice crumble settled at the bottom. The liquid is yet translucent. At this stage, some of the time I shake the bottle to help releasing the trapped bubbles. (When I told my mum, she scolded me and insisted I should not shake the bottle)

7. After 60 days of brewing, finally all rice settled at the bottom and no more gas bubbles found. The liquid is translucent clear. Do not shake the bottle at this stage. 

8. From the left Evian small bottle, and the big second bottle are the first red rice wine scoop out from the big glass bottle without filter. The liquid is translucent clear and without rice residue. The liquid in third to fifth bottles has to go through the filter to eliminate the excessive rice residue, initially the liquid was pinkish but after a few days the rice residue settled at the bottom. 


  1. Thanks for sharing. Would love to make this, but I must stock up on those big storage containers which are so difficult to find here. Btw I am reading your shanghai mooncake post, still thinking whether I should take the trouble to make when I am the only one eating :)

  2. Welcome back ....
    这个可以煮道好好吃的米酒面线。好香 好香的。

  3. 哎哟,我好喜欢这个,煮黄酒鸡好好吃呢:)

  4. Hi Tze...Welcome back. I love Red Rice Wine to cook with Mee Suan. Just ferented mine few days ago too..

  5. Hi Tze,
    Oops! This is your first post after your long break.
    Sorry I mistaken the pineapple shortbread post for this post :p
    I love red rice wine. Always cook this with Mee Suan too.

  6. glad to find this recipe. Thks.
    I've a few queries before I embark on the journey of making my 1st bottle of red rice wine:

    * just wondering what's the volume of glass bottle that you used?
    * can I split it into a few portions as I've difficulty in finding a BIG glass bottle?
    * does it matter if I've some sub-standard glass bottles with METAL lids?
    * how do I know if the red rice wine that I eventually succeeded in making is SAFE for consumption.(just in case I've done wrong along the way.)?

    1. hi Fiona, thanks for your interest in my homemade red rice wine. this is my first time brewing rice wine no doubt my mum has made hers many times.

      i didn't measure my glass bottle just know it's 1 feer tall with 7 inch diameter. i don't advice using glass bottle with metal lid for this brewing. All the rice ingredients put into the glass bottle has been thoroughly cooked. no fungus found all the way and the liquid turn out clear and with good fragrance. of course, i can't gurantee it is safe. but i have been using the rice wine in my cooking and i am still alive, it should be safe for home cooking.

    2. Thks for replying.

      Of course I do not doubt about the safety of the red rice wine made by you. I'm just worried that,somehow, along the way I myself may have introduce some foreign bodies into it. I am hoping that you/your mum may have some special tips for me. Home brew may not come in handy for a clumsy person like me :-).

      Years ago, my mum tried to make hers and the whole bottle bursted and that's the end of the story.

      Looks like I've to put the plan on hold till I find a decent glass bottle similar to yours with a plastic lid. Your glass bottle looks thick and heavy while those with metal lids that I've found so far seem much lighter and not so glassy. Any idea if quality of glass matters as well?

    3. hi Fiona, sorry i have no knowledge to help you in this area.

  7. No worries. thanks anyway.

    Apart from cleaning the glass bottle with soap and water, is it necessary to sterilize the bottle ? If so, how to do it?

    You mentioned about the use of muslin cloth for steaming as recommended by your mum, is there any special significance?

    Is 60days the minimum time (or otherwise) required for the whole process to complete ?

    You stated in step 7 that "After 60 days of brewing, finally all rice....... Do not shake the bottle at this stage." . The mere action of trying to harvest the red rice wine out of the fermentation will certainly disturb the contents-------I'm just wondering if this process means that the bottle has been shaken or do you mean otherwise?

    Yes, is it alright to place the bottle on the hard ceramic floor while fermentation is in progress?

    I hope I've not annoyed you too much by asking you so many questions each time ?

    Thanks again.

    1. Hi Fiona, thanks for your strong interest in this topic, hopefully my answer will assure you to get into action and try to brew your own red rice wine.

      yes, clean glass bottle has to go through hot water to sterilize it. Regarding your question on muslin cloth, I have not done it, no comment.

      usually it takes 30 days to complete the fermentation, you can see all the rice residue goes to the bottom. As I was away for holidays, I open the bottle after 60 days. It depends on the whether and room temperature as well. You will see no more bubbles release and the process consider completed.

      Sorry for the confusion, step 7 is the final stage, when I harvest the wine out from the bottle, you scoop up the top wine without stirring the rice residue...until you reach the wine level that touching the rice residue surface. Then you have to filter the harvest to separate the rice residue with the wine.

      I place my bottle on a marble top worktop, I doubt it has any difference if you place the bottle on ceramic floor.

      All the best!


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