One of my Japanese friends who loves to make many wonderful things gave me a cup of handmade sake to try! Unlike store bought sake, it’s cloudy, but it’s definitely sake. This type of unrefined homemade sake is called doburoku, but both sake and doburoku can be drank or used in the same way.
Many Japanese used to make doburoku at home. Particularly rice farmers in rural area must have made it all the time. But when the Japanese government was formed after the fall of feudal system, brewing and distilling alcoholic beverage for their own consumption became illegal. The new government wanted to collect tax to strengthen its military.
Since then in Japan, creation of alcoholic beverage requires a permission, which is not reasonable to obtain individually. When I was a child, I remember hearing about a famous doburoku legal case. One old man insisted “What’s wrong about making doburoku for my own consumption!?” and kept brewing on his own, in spite of receiving repeated summons. He must have died long since, and I don’t hear any additional similar law suit any more.
As I don’t drink alcoholic beverage, I haven’t even thought about brewing my own. But I certainly see the benefits of home brewing, as sake is expensive in the United States, and brewing alcoholic beverage for my own consumption is not against U.S. laws. I can use it for cooking, and my husband would enjoy freshly brewed sake without any additives.
You can find the recipe from the link.