Written and illustrated by Misa Ono
Once in Japan people used to make a sake called “doburoku”. It is not sake that we usually see but sake before it’s refined. It is a rustic sake that even still has grains of rice. It is normally made at home and it’s good for your health if you don’t drink it too much as it has many kinds of live bacteria. You can filter it to remove the rice grains in it and they can be used as sake lees called sakekasu.
Doburoku’s main ingredients are rice koji, steamed rice and water, same as Japanese sake. Add the yeast or lactobacillus to these ingredients to make doburoku. A small amount of dry yeast or yogurt can replace the natural yeast to avoid more work. Or even easier, adding a purchased doburoku to the main ingredients. In a warm room, the fermentation is faster than in a cold room. In the process, rice koji dissolves the rice glucose into sugar, the yeast dissolves the sugar into alcohol and carbolic acid, and the lactobacillus restrain unwanted bacteria from growing. Doburoku is exactly the “live” sake since many different kinds of bacteria keep processing sake in the container. So the alcohol content and taste differ depending on when you drink it. And also as it produces the carbolic acid, it sometimes brims over the container. Prepare a bigger container!
Once the preferred taste is made, filter it (if you want), transfer it to a bottle for fizzy drinks, cover loosely with a lid and store it in the fridge to delay fermenting. Yet it still continues fermenting and oxidizing slowly so it is recommended to finish it as soon as possible. Add ice and carbolic acid, or heat it in boiling water if the alcohol level is too high. There are many ways to enjoy doburoku.
Now, in 2016, it is prohibited to make alcohol drinks (except fruits wine). All I told you above is just my imagination. I promise that I have never made alcoholic beverage. I’m serious! Trust me!
In some places around Japan, making doburoku is specially allowed so you can try their doburoku there. The taste depends on the type but some are really delicious. I want you to enjoy doburoku feeling the fizziness produced by the yeast. The yeast is still fermenting inside your stomach!!