Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day Four of The Moto, all seems well

So I came home and gave the Moto a stir and all seems well. There was a sign of bubbling and the Koji enzymes seem to be liquifying the rice quite nicely. There is no strong odor of Lactobacillus or Acetobacter, the two main bacteria involved in making vinegar. A taste and smell test from a thin layer that was on the spoon after the stir is sweet, and definitely has a Sake flavor to it. My mind has been set very much at ease over the Moto process after a little research into the Moto and what it is and what is going on. It is simply a rice beer yeast starter. When brewing beer, most brewers will make what's called a starter. The starter is nothing more than a miniature batch of beer into which the vile, smack pack, or packet of dry yeast is introduced, and allowed to propagate. This process increases the amount of viable yeast cells in a given volume and also strengthens them to get them ready for the task ahead of them: converting sugars into alcohol, carbon dioxide, and a host of other chemicals we call beer and wine. The fermentations in these starters is usually not overly spectacular, as there is not a huge amount of food available for the yeast, and they will simply reproduce (asexually, how boring!), eat sugars and convert them until they sense the food stock is dwindling and then go dormant. This process can go almost unnoticed in an Erlenmeyer flask, even if you were to sit there and stare at it. This explains the flat airlock and seeming lack of huge fermentation activity at this time. The Koji are hard at work converting the starches in the small amount of rice to fermentable sugars and water, and the yeast are eating the small amount of sugars, reproducing, creating a slight amount of alcohol and going dormant, and then reactivating as the Koji break down more starches!

My mind is very much at ease now knowing this and I am really looking forward to the next stages of the Sake Brewing process, The Moromi, and the Odori, a 26 day process during which more rice, Koji, and water are added slowly and in small amounts to allow the Koji to break down each addition in to sugars and the yeast to convert those sugars into Sake! It really is a tandem operation and a great example of a symbiotic relationship!

Until next time!

Gregg, The Yeast Master

No comments:

Post a Comment