Since I tried a cup of my friend’s homemade doburoku, unfiltered and unpasteurized sake, I started to research how to make it. Sake sold in the United States can be very expensive. I tend to hesitate to use those expensive sake for cooking, but sake for cooking I can buy at Japanese grocery stores contain salt and tastes terrible.
Doburoku recipe I introduce here is additive free, unfiltered and unpasteurized. It’s perfectly good (really tasty) for both drinking and cooking. My husband prefers to drink homemade doburoku over store bought sake.
There are many slightly different doburoku recipes you can find. If you are a connoisseur and want to make vintage, you may need to get the best ingredients and keep trying to achieve your goal with great care. But the basic recipe of brewing doburoku is very simple and forgiving.
As long as you have rice koji, Japanese rice, and dry yeast (for bread), you can start brewing. Japanese grocery stores tend to carry rice koji, but I’ve never seen it in other Asian stores. If you are out of luck, you can get from Home Brew Sake, which also provides tons of sake brewing information.
It is illegal to brew sake in Japan, but it’s perfectly legal to brew alcoholic beverage for your own consumption in the United States. Therefore, real sake yeasts, which are not available through retail distribution in Japan, are sold in the United States. But if you don’t want to make an effort to buy the real yeast for sake, regular bread yeast will do the job.
I recommend to brew doburoku in the simplest (cheapest) way first. If you fail or don’t like the taste, experiment using different or better ingredients. Most likely you are pleasantly surprised to know how easy to brew doburoku, love the taste, and hooked.
Sake Brewing References
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Sally Veach, Submitted on 2015/11/07 at 11:46 am
I have just come back from Japan and am fascinated with the Japanese diet and want to try eating more healthy Japanese food at home. Want to try making sake! One question: when we were there they served us a sweet sake in a restaurant. Do you know how to make a sweet sake?
Yuki, Submitted on 2015/11/07 at 12:31 pm | In reply to Sally Veach.
I’m so glad to know that you enjoyed visiting Japan. You picked the right season, too! As to sweet sake, was it amazake or regular transparent sake? If it’s amazake you can I uploaded the recipe (http://japanese-kitchen.net/amazake-recipe/). If it’s regular sake, I also have a recipe (http://japanese-kitchen.net/simple-sake-doburoku-recipe/), but use more koji than recipe calls for to enhance sweetness. Homemade sake is cloudy, as it’s not clarified, but tastes much better than store bought ones.
Sally, Submitted on 2015/11/08 at 9:43 am | In reply to Yuki.
Hi again! Thank you for your reply. Just one clarification if you don’t mind….are you saying that after the bottle sits a while ( when it is done) it separates ito sake and something else? What is the leftover cloudy liquid? When you make sake, do you just drink or it right away or wait till it separates and drink only the clear sake?
Thanks again, sally
Sally, Submitted on 2015/11/08 at 9:45 am
What I had was the clear sweet sake. If I use extra Koji and then wait till the sake separates, will the clear liquid still be sweet?
Yuki, Submitted on 2015/11/08 at 1:13 pm | In reply to Sally.
I don’t bother to try clarifying homemade sake, because it’s not easy to do at home, even if I try. That’s definitely a professional brewery job. It’s very difficult to pinpoint what kind of sake you had in Japan, because infinite numbers of small sake breweries sell many different products. But I can guess that you probably had some sort of junmai-ginjo-shu, which means the sake is made from highly polished rice, but without the aid of extra alcohol. Fortunately, there are many premium sake bottles sold at large liquor stores in the United States recently, even though they tend to be pricey. They tend to be sold in small intricate bottles. I hope this information helps.
Marcello, Submitted on 2015/11/15 at 8:48 am | In reply to Sally.
Unless you have all the equipment, which you don’t, the only sake you can make is Doburoku, Homemade Sake, and it will NEVER CLEAR. Just swirl and drink, You could also add some Pepi Lopez Coconut Milk for a different flavor, and a more pure white look, More Koji will make it sweeter, but you can back sweeten it when it is done also with sugar syrup. That way you are assured to get a good sugar drunk. Enjoy!
terry, Submitted on 2015/11/18 at 8:43 pm
I have the Miyako Koji that comes in the white plastic tub.. do you just mix it straight from the container to the cooked rice? once its cooled?
Yuki, Submitted on 2015/11/18 at 11:00 pm | In reply to terry.
Yes, Miyako Koji is ready to use. You can mix it right out from the tub.