Koji Rice Recipe

Sake photo for Koji Rice Recipe

Sake making is a two step process. In step one a portion of rice is prepared and inoculated with the Koji-Kin bacteria and this is allowed to develop for around 40 hours. The rice will become covered with white soft fibers and should be firm and slightly sweet. The Malt-rice (kome-koji) is now able to convert regular steamed cooked rice to brewing sugars. In step two the Kome-koji (koji rice) is combined with steamed rice and the enzymes on the Koji-Kin convert rice starch to fermentable rice sugar. This sugar is then converted to alcohol.



Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Soak for about an hour and a half then place the rice in a basket or sieve for at least 20 minutes to drain away any excess water. Steam the rice.

Making enzyme rich, Kome-Koji depends on the quality of the steam rice. When steaming rice, place in a colander and then into a saucepan with an adequate amount of water and make sure the rice never contacts the boiling water. Place a thick cloth over the rice to prevent water condensation from the lid from dripping onto the rice. Steam the rice with the lid on for one hour (checking the water level occasionally). When cooked, the rice should be very slightly sticky, easy to separate and rubbery. Great care must be taken to get the correct texture. A bamboo steamer is perfect for steaming rice. Place the soaked rice in the steamer, place the steamer in a wok with water in the bottom and steam for one hour. Make sure the lid is on the steamer.

Cool down the cooked rice to 86° F.

Combine ½ teaspoon of Koji-Kin with 1 teaspoon of flour. The flour helps distribute the mould into the streamed rice. The spore packet contents are unaffected by repeated openings.

Put the rice into an enamel or stainless steel container and gently mix in the Koji-Kin and flour. Make sure you get an even distribution. A fine metal sieve or tea strainer is useful. Cover the container with moistened cheese cloth to prevent drying.

Keep the inoculated rice in a warm place at 86° F. Stir the grains every 10 hours to distribute the mould evenly. Notice the rice becomes white after 15 hours accompanied by a strong cheese like aroma.

Maintain the rice at 86° F for a total of 40 hours. Your rice will become covered with white soft fibers and should be firm and slightly sweet. The Malt-rice (kome-koji) is now ready to convert regular steamed cooked rice to brewing sugars.

When you are making your malt-rice (Kome-Koji), you are growing a mould on rice. Providing you grow this mould and no other there are no health concerns. It is possible for the beginner to grow a strange exotic mould or bacteria in error and if used to make a brew, could be toxic and unpleasant to drink. Please use your common sense, if something is unpleasant smelling or tasting, don't consume it! Below are a few tips to help you recognize and grow Kome-Koji.

Kome-Koji is always white or slightly tan colored.

The smell of Kome-Koji is a cheesy strong smell (not a mouldy smell), perhaps not a lovely smell but not an unpleasant "off" smell.

Small white fibers are seen to be growing from the rice in the later stages. If you grow fibers that are not white in color, do not use this batch as you are growing another mould as well as Koji.

To grow a mono culture of only Koji, distribute your Koji-Kin (seeds) very evenly and liberally using a fine metal sieve or tea strainer, making sure you thoroughly mix the rice and seeds.

Sake rice wine is served with sushi, like food and wine.


Brew This Ancient Japanese Rice Wine With Our Koji Kin Making Supplies.