Korean rice liquor

Makgeolli 막걸리

Today I’m going to show you how to make makgeolli, a traditional Korean alcoholic beverage made by combining rice, yeast, and water with a starter culture called nuruk. It’s milky-white, fizzy and refreshing. It’s also called “nongju” which means “farmer liquor” because it’s made with a lot of rice, it’s full of carbohydrates and was traditionally served to farmers as part of a midmorning snack or with lunch, giving them the strength and energy to work the rest of the day.

Korea has a long history of homebrewing, and every family used to make their own booze at home, it was much more common than buying it. These days you can buy makgeolli easily at a Korean grocery store or liquor store but when it comes to taste, it can’t be compared to homemade makgeolli. Homemade makgeolli is thicker, less sweet, and more filling than store sold makgeolli.

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This recipe is also in my cookbook, Real Korean Cooking, and while developing the recipe I sent a sample of the finished product to the EMSL Analytical food lab for a full nutritional and toxic analysis to see what is really inside it. They let me know that it is totally safe to drink, 7.4% alcohol by volume, cholesterol-free, fat-free, and contains vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6. It’s high in calories and has a lactobacillus count of 375,500 CFU/mL. Lactobacillus is a kind of lactic acid bacteria that’s good for your stomach and digestion and can boost your immune system. It’s also found in yogurt, but in much higher quantities.

So it’s great for giving you energy and is good for your stomach, but the real reason to drink it is it’s so refreshing and delicious! It’s also a great thing to have at a party, and especially when you make it yourself, your family and friends will love to drink it and have a great time doing it. Making good makgeolli is not very difficult, it just takes a little time and there are a few pitfalls to avoid.

I’ve been making makgeolli for special family occasions and my reader meetups for years. Some of you who came to my meetups and tasted my makgeolli have been waiting years for this recipe. Thanks for your patience!neil

Make some makgeolli and enjoy life! Let me know how it turns out!

Ingredients (Make 4 quarts)

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    Korean rice (short grain rice)5 cups Korean short grain rice

    Special items that I use to make makgeolli

    Directions

    1. Drain the rice and put it into a heavy pot. Add 4 cups of water. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 15 minutes. Stir and turn the rice over with a wooden spoon. Cover and simmer it for another 15 minutes over low heat.
    2. Remove from the heat. Transfer the rice to a basket of your electric dehydrator. Spread the rice evenly, and fill as many baskets as you need. Cover, set the temperature to 160° F, and dry for 3 hours, until the outside of each grain is hard, but the inside is still moist. If you don’t have an electric dehydrator, you can dry your rice for several hours in a shallow basket set in breezy, sunny place.
      makgeolli makingmakgeolli making (막걸리)
    3. Put the rice into the earthenware crock. Add nuruk, yeast, and 8 cups of water and mix well with a wooden spoon.
    4. Place a cotton cloth under the lid when you close it, to let some air circulate in and out.
    5. Let sit for several hours, then uncover and mix well with a wooden spoon. At this point, the rice will have absorbed a lot of the water to create a thick paste. Cover and let sit overnight.
      makgeolli making (막걸리)Makgeolli making
    6. Open the crock and you’ll see a lot of bubbles popping to the surface, and the mixture will be a lot thinner than yesterday. Stir it well with a wooden spoon and cover again. Stir it a few times a day for the next few days.
      Makgeolli making (Korean rice liquor)Makgeolli making (Korean rice liquor)
    7. On day 4 or 5, it will be bubbling a lot less and will have separated to a clear liquid on top and a milky mixture on the bottom. Mix well, and keep mixing a few times a day for a few more days.
      Makgeolli making (Korean rice liquor)Makgeolli making (Korean rice liquor)
    8. On day 8 or 9, there will hardly be any bubbles at all. The liquid on the top will be clearer and more amber. It’s now perfectly fermented and ready to drink.
      Makgeolli making (Korean rice liquor)
    9. Strain the makgeolli into a large bowl, pressing on the solids with the back of a wooden spoon to squeeze as much liquid as possible out of it. Discard the solids. Add 8 cups of water to dilute. Add the optional sugar and mix well.
      Makgeolli making (Korean rice liquor)Makgeolli (Korean rice liquor:막걸리)
    10. Strain the makgeolli one more time and put it into glass jars or BPA free plastic beer bottles.
      Makgeolli making (Korean rice liquor)
    11. Serve cold, and stir or mix well before drinking. Serve with kimchi or some side dishes. It can keep in the fridge up to 2 to 3 weeks.

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83 Comments:

  1. mistamyron Toronto joined 11/16
    Posted November 18th, 2016 at 8:57 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    I just bought an Onggi at PAT in Toronto to make this, and I’m so excited. :)

    I was wondering if you could help me out though, with a few questions:

    1) I don’t have a dehydrator, nor is it sunny and breezy here right now. Could I dehydrate the rice in the oven somehow? Or could I skip this step altogether?

    2) How long do you think the Makgeolli will keep in bottles in the fridge after the fermentation process?

    3) Can I wash an Onggi with soap, or should I only use water?

    Thanks in advance for your help. Going to give bottles of this as Xmas gifts this year!

    Big fan since 2007! :) :) Love all your recipes and videos.

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted November 22nd, 2016 at 3:10 am | # |

      I used to shop at the same store where you go! I miss the store! I bought my large onggi there and brought it all the way to New York! : )
      Now I will give you short answers.

      1) Yes, you can use oven to dry the rice a little bit.

      2) It will be ok up to 1 month. Maybe longer than 1 month but I always use it up before that.

      3) Don’t use any soap or detergent because onggi has microscopic holes. These micropores allow some gases to pass in and out and breathe. Soap will get into the holes and get into your food. So use only cold, warm or hot water, and scrub it. Some smells will remain even after washing, so if this bothers you, you can give it a good clean by filling it with hot water and letting it sit for 24 hours. Then pour it out and fill it up again with water and let it sit another 24 hours. You can do this until you’re satisfied that it’s clean and doesn’t smell at all.

      A quick way is to just rinse a couple of times and dry it well with a kitchen towel and then set it out to air dry after.

      But even after cleaning, I keep an onggi exclusively reserved for making makgeolli, and when I’m not making makgeolli it sits empty. I can use the same onggi to make soy sauce or doenjang or fish sauce because all of them are fermented and pungent. But once it’s used to make those things the smell never totally goes away, so I keep one onggi reserved for makgeolli and never use it for anything else.

      Good luck with making good makgeolli!

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      • mistamyron Toronto joined 11/16
        Posted November 22nd, 2016 at 9:07 am | # |

        Thank you for getting back to me with the tips, Maangchi. Much appreciated! :) Everything is already looking and smelling great. Cannot wait to try it. Thanks again for all your work and recipes. With warmth, Myron.

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  2. oldturtle Boston joined 10/16
    Posted October 25th, 2016 at 6:08 pm | # |

    This did not turn out quite as I expected. After straining it was a lot thinner than the picture in step 9 (basically the same consistency as plain water). It also separates very quickly in the bottles. It’s been a little bit since I’ve had any (store bought) makgeolli, but it I remember it being homogeneous, sweeter, and less boozy. What I made tastes okay, but I think I may prefer something closer to the store bought stuff. I’m more interested in something light and slightly sweet than in getting tipsy. Next time I will try to bottle some of the mixture at various stages to see what I like best.

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  3. Inches Chicago joined 6/16
    Posted September 7th, 2016 at 11:50 am | # |

    Do you have to have dry yeast starter? Can you rely on wild yeasts to start this fermentation?

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  4. Kevin Miguel Hawaii joined 7/16
    Posted July 29th, 2016 at 2:02 pm | # |

    Yay! My makgeolli was ready this morning! I strained it and added the 8 cups of water and sugar. It made a whole gallon! I had an empty makgeolli bottle that I bought from the store, so I filled it up so I can share it with one of my friends. It’s the first time I tasted homemade makgeolli, and it’s so much better than the one sold in the market! Thank you for teaching me how to make this, it’s my first time making booze! :)


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    • Kevin Miguel Hawaii joined 7/16
      Posted July 30th, 2016 at 5:10 pm | # |

      I guess Hawaii is warm so it takes exactly one week to make makgeolli. So every Saturday I will be cooking rice and making this liquor! One gallon a week is perfect! I’m cooking the rice for my second batch right now :)

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 1st, 2016 at 3:43 pm | # |

      Yes, homemade makgeolli is much more intense taste than store-bought makgeolli. Yours looks great! Congratulations!

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  5. jamez548 Seoul joined 5/16
    Posted May 6th, 2016 at 11:23 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    Quick question for you and all of the makkeoli makers out there. I started my makkeoli 5 days ago and I am at the same point as per your directions. However I took a quick taste today and I noticed that my makkeoli smells a little bit musty/mildewy. Is this a natural part of the process? I did notice on day 1 that my nuruk smelled the same way but I just assumed that it was normal and contributed to the fermentation process. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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    • Kevin Miguel Hawaii joined 7/16
      Posted July 29th, 2016 at 2:07 pm | # |

      My mixture smelled really nice on day 1 and 2, almost like bananas. The rest of the days it had a musty mildew smell like you describe. But it turned out fantastic when I bottled it this morning. I think your batch is going to be okay :)

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  6. Yeechan Canada joined 4/16
    Posted April 10th, 2016 at 3:11 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! Thanks for the recipe. My first try of making Makgeolli turns out really good! Me and my husband are enjoying it soo much!


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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 1st, 2016 at 4:04 pm | # |

      omg! It looks thick, strong, and tasty! : )

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  7. Mkyun23 Jersey shore joined 4/16
    Posted April 10th, 2016 at 12:26 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! First let me say that I love watching your videos! You are my “go to” person when I want to cook Korean food. That being said, I’m on my 7th day of fermentation and my makgeolli has not separated yet. It smells wonderful tho! The only change I made was using my rice cooker so instead of 5 cups of rice, I used seven 3/4 cups which would be the equivalent of 5-1/4 cups of rice. Would the extra 1/4 cup make a difference?


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    • Kevin Miguel Hawaii joined 7/16
      Posted July 29th, 2016 at 2:20 pm | # |

      I also used my rice cooker. Inside of my rice pot there are lines telling me how much water to add. But I followed Maangchi’s instructions and added 5 cups rice and I measured 4 cups of water. It filled the rice pot to the exact line where I would normally fill the water. So now I know I can just cook 5 cups of rice without measuring the water. My mixture was in a very wide container and I couldn’t see any seperation until day 7. It was just a very very thin layer of clear liquid on top. Today is day 8 and my mixture was finished. The liquid on top had an amber color, but still it was a very thin layer on top. But it turned out fine when I bottled it and tasted a sample. I think your mixture will be okay! :)

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  8. kslaterszirom Bellingham, WA joined 4/16
    Posted April 3rd, 2016 at 5:24 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I haven’t made this before. How do you infuse/add fruit or other items to the makgeolli? I would like to try adding apple or strawberry to it. I also remember in Jeju-do they hade a famous pumpkin makgeolli. Do you just add the raw fruit into the dried rice in step 3 so it ferments with everything else? Or would you have to cook it a bit first?

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  9. TDCGuy Wichita, Kansas USA joined 3/16
    Posted March 25th, 2016 at 11:08 am | # |

    I first learned to enjoy Makgeoli years ago, during my military service in Korea. I used to go to a “Makgeoli House” in the town where I was stationed. Some ROK soldiers took me as their guest and I LOVED the Makgeoli! We ate hot peppers and drank Makgeoli! Now, I am making it at home. The recipe at your website is a good one. My Makgeoli comes out good, everytime. Thank you. My latest effort is brewing now. I made a mistake when I mixed in the Nuruk and Yeast by adding too much water! But, it seems not to make any difference. The mixture is bubbling and “talking” to me. I can hear it “cooking” when I put my ear close to the mixture. It smells great and although it’s still working, already tastes like Makgeoli! I’ll wait until it stops working, then strain and bottle. I use old root beer plastic bottles that are 1/2 liter in portion. This is great for friends and family. Makgeoli goes great with Kimchi, Bulgokki and other tasty Korean dishes. But, I still like to eat peppers when I drink Makgeoli, like I did as a young man in Korea, so long ago.

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 26th, 2016 at 10:32 am | # |

      Thank you for sharing your story, it was fun to read! Especially the part about peppers and makgeolli, it reminds me of when I was young and went to my grandmother’s house and saw farmers eating peppers and makgeolli, too. They always had ssamjang or doenjang to dip the peppers into. And sometimes just kimchi. It can be a light meal or snack because makgeolli has many carbs.

      ‘The mixture is bubbling and “talking” to me. I can hear it “cooking” when I put my ear close to the mixture.’
      I’m happy to meet you through website, and I feel your passion for making perfection!

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      • TDCGuy Wichita, Kansas USA joined 3/16
        Posted March 26th, 2016 at 1:50 pm | # |

        I learned to love Korean food, when I was stationed in Korea years ago. I still eat Kimchi and have both Betchu and Mu-kimchi in my fridge, as I write. I also enjoy Kaktu-gi kimchi, when I can get it. I frequent a local Korean Food Store and get many “Eye-goo’s” when I go to buy freshly made Betchu Kimchi! I get to talk with the Koreans present about my days in Dong-du-Chon and Taegu! One day, a Korean man in the store, asked me if I ever had drank Makgeoli in Korea. Of course I had and that was how I found out that the store had Nuruk! But, it was YOUR website with Makgeoli recipe that got me making my own! Thank you so much. Not only for the Makgeoli recipe, but other yummie foods that I ate in Korea and still enjoy to this day! Yaki-Mandu, is of course an all time favorite! I still remember my Hangul and can read Korean after many years! That’s the key, for Americans to learn Korean. Learn the alphabet first! Then, pronunciation of the words is much easier, whey you know how the letters sound! I love your website! Ko Map Sumnida!

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    • FeedMeKimchi California joined 4/16
      Posted April 4th, 2016 at 5:50 am | # |

      I really liked your story as well, thank you for sharing! I was unsure whether to try out making some makgeolli, which I’ve only tried from the grocery store, but you’ve helped to inspire me. I’ll make sure to eat some hot peppers with it as well.

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  10. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10
    Posted February 21st, 2016 at 1:46 pm | # |

    Hi Emily !!

    I am not sure if you’re familiar with what they call wildyeast , or another word , sourdough starter . I have successfully growing my own culture this past month . Then i saw in the video makgeoli making , the package you bought it was dry starter( culuture ) .. I was wondering do you know what is that made from ? If it is the same with this sourdough starter that i made . If it is .. i wonder if we can use it for making makgeoli .
    Although my problem would be drying the rice ..
    Just curious what’s them makgeoli starter made from ? THank you !!

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    • RobColossal United States joined 8/14
      Posted March 21st, 2016 at 1:17 am | # |

      Hello. Another name for the starter culture (she calls it “nuruk”) is powdered amylase enzyme – same thing. I got mine at my Korean grocery store. If you don’t have a Korean/Asian grocery store, you can get it on Amazon. Good luck!

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  11. KimchiSmell lJhkwbkjk9 joined 2/15
    Posted February 17th, 2016 at 1:15 am | # |

    Maangchi can you list dishes that will go well with this drink
    I would like to prepare this and dishes for my friends.
    Please and thank you.

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    • ddnorman Southern NH, USA joined 9/13
      Posted August 2nd, 2016 at 1:55 am | # |

      Hi KimchiSmell!

      Check out TDCGuy’s post above and Maangchi’s reply for suggestions on foods that go well with Makgeolli.

      I hope this helps!

      Cheers!
      Dave

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  12. BeerHappy Pittsburgh, PA joined 2/16
    Posted February 1st, 2016 at 3:59 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi!
    I love every recipe I’ve made from your website, and I received your new cookbook for Christmas! I’m so happy I don’t have to look on phone while cooking now! My question is for Makgeolli. Why do I need to dehydrate my rice? I’ve made it several times now (how I love Makgeolli) and love it so much! I live in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and can not get it here, make my own!!!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 3:17 pm | # |

      I found when the cooked rice is a little dry, the liquor will turn out stronger. I’ve been experimenting for years. A few years ago, I made makgeolli with a little dried cooked rice and I felt a huge difference in the level of alcohol. I felt drunk once I tasted it just a little! : ) I’m still experimenting!

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      • Kevin Miguel Hawaii joined 7/16
        Posted July 29th, 2016 at 2:37 pm | # |

        Maangchi, I tasted a small sample of my makgeolli when I bottled it this morning and yes it seems a lot stronger than the bottles I used to buy from the market! When I opened my fermenting container this morning to strain it, the smell of the alcohol made me dizzy! Thank you for doing the experiments and teaching us how to make stronger makgeolli! :)

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  13. kcgirl Canada joined 2/16
    Posted February 1st, 2016 at 10:02 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    I followed your recipe and this is what I have after 5 days of fermentation… (I started it last Wednesday) no bubbles coming up anymore… do you think this is done? Or should I wait a bit longer? I need your help!!


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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 1st, 2016 at 12:57 pm | # |

      No more bubbles! Yes, it’s time for you to harvest! : ) It looks well done!

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  14. Dutch joined 1/16
    Posted January 7th, 2016 at 1:06 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi, Received your book for Christmas and we love it! I haven’t had Makgeolli since I lived in Sokcho and I am very excited to try it. However I am on day 10 and it is still very bubbly and is just starting to seperate. Should I wait until the bubbles stop and it separates completely, or should I try to bottle it now?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 10th, 2016 at 12:18 pm | # |

      How is your makgeolli now? I hope you enjoyed your homemade makgeolli!

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      • Dutch joined 1/16
        Posted January 10th, 2016 at 5:56 pm | # |

        Thanks, just finished it today! Mine has a little extra kick to it, like the child of makgeolli and soju, but I like it! Next project, gamjatang!


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        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
          Posted January 11th, 2016 at 10:05 am | # |

          Thank you for sharing the photo!

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  15. Mochi111 joined 1/16
    Posted January 5th, 2016 at 1:39 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Thanks to your Recipe and some help from my girlfriend, my first batch of Makgeolli is done today! I can’t wait to share it with everyone!


    See full size image

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 7th, 2016 at 9:14 am | # |

      It looks great! How was the taste? Did it make you drunk? You think it was about 7-8 % alcohol?

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      • Mochi111 joined 1/16
        Posted January 7th, 2016 at 10:32 am | # |

        It has a taste that is very different than what I am used to, I’m not sure how to describe it. However it is good! It definitely got me tipsy so I would say that is about the correct level of alcohol.

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        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
          Posted January 10th, 2016 at 12:27 pm | # |

          Homemade makgeolli tastes much better than store-sold makgeolli. “It definitely got me tipsy” haha! When I visited Korea a few months ago, I had a meetup with my readers living in Korea. We did a potluck party. One of them brought her homemade makgeolli. She said she didn’t add water to dilute the level of alcohol. I definitely felt it contained strong alcohol. When I made my homemade makgeolli recently, I followed her method. I didn’t dilute my makgeolli and kept it in the fridge for a while. It tastes much stronger and is really delicious. You can try out this method when you make it next time.

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  16. EvilGrin joined 6/15
    Posted August 24th, 2015 at 10:23 am | # |

    Have you ever used rice syrup to sweeten instead of sugar?

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  17. laramis TX joined 3/09
    Posted August 18th, 2015 at 3:24 pm | # |

    Maangchi- I have the makgeolli drinking cups but I really want that large tin bowl. I’ve looked at all the Korean stores and no one has them that large. Is there a place online I can try to buy one? Cant wait to make this! Thank you!

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  18. na_eun_ki joined 8/15
    Posted August 8th, 2015 at 12:58 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I made this and the result looks really good, but I am a little nervous about drinking a full “glass” as I’m unsure about the methanol level. In the video you said the fermentation process makes the alcohol about 15%. For home brewed/ fermented alcohol as long as it stays under 10% during the fermentation process, the methanol level should be safe for consumption.
    But as it is higher than 10%, is there a way I can test for methanol or do you know the methanol level (before and after dilution)?
    Also what is the effect of nuruk on the production of methanol?
    And do you know how much methanol is produced in commercially produced makgeolli vs. home brewed?

    Sorry for so many questions, but I am having a party this weekend and (as Methanol poisoning is a very serious matter, especially when it comes to home-brew/fermentation f alcohol) I want to make sure this is safe for my guests and myself to drink.

    Thanks,
    Na Eun

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 8th, 2015 at 5:35 pm | # |

      Hello Na Eun,
      As part of my research in developing this recipe, I had a sample of my makgeolli tested at EMSL Analytical to make sure it was safe. They gave me a full report and said it was completely safe to drink (in moderation) so if you follow my instructions you should be fine.

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    • mattcmaddox joined 12/15
      Posted December 1st, 2015 at 11:01 am | # |

      @na_eun_ki I know you’ve already had your party, but I hope your concern will not dissuade anyone in the future for trying out this recipe.
      Makgeolli produces very little methanol and is safe to drink. Methanol content is more of a concern for distilled beverages.

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  19. waleria002 Russia joined 1/15
    Posted July 29th, 2015 at 7:11 am | # |

    Hello. I live in Russia. and we didn’t perhaps get Nuruk . And I have a question. can I use green wheat malt . if not, do you know cooking Nuruk at home?

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    • Oxide California joined 2/15
      Posted July 30th, 2015 at 5:16 pm | # |

      No, wheat malt will not produce the same results. I guess you could use it with some brewer’s yeast and get something drinkable containing alcohol, but it will bot be makgeolli.

      Nuruk is a very complex community of bacterias and yeasts that work together to convert the rice into sugars that are simultaneously converted into alcohol and CO2.

      You can make you own nuruk.

      1. Use whole wheat flour.
      2. Add water to 30-40% moisture content
      3.Wrap in cloth, press in mold to make a cake 5 cm thick; 10-30 cm dia.
      4.Incubate 10-days at 30-45 C.
      5.Incubate 7-days at 30-45 C.
      6. Dry 14-days at 30 C.
      7. Age 1 to 2 months at room temp.

      The source for the above is this document:

      http://www.fao.org/docrep/x2184e/x2184e09.htm

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      • waleria002 Russia joined 1/15
        Posted July 30th, 2015 at 6:03 pm | # |

        Thanks for the explanation. but I do a lot of searching on the Internet. And found this recipe for Nuruk . it looks like yours but is described in more detail. Maybe someone will find it useful.
        Recipe
        Sourdough-nuruk is prepared as follows:
        1. For cooking 500 gr. the leaven of nuruk we need 1 kg of wheat (ratio of proportions: two times larger in volume). The ferment can be done in store, ensuring proper storage conditions.
        2. The cleaned wheat to grind a little bigger than flour.
        3. The milled wheat add water in the ratio of 30% by weight of flour and mix well to make a thick dough.
        4. Spread the dough into a flat wooden tray with low sides. First thoroughly rumple hands, and better heels of the feet, after covering the dough any matter. The dough should be very thick.
        5. Formed leaven of nuruk wrap in plastic bag and leave for 2 weeks at a temperature of 30-35 degrees Celsius.
        6. Ready ferment of nuruk stored in a well ventilated area.

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        • Oxide California joined 2/15
          Posted August 3rd, 2015 at 10:01 am | # |

          Looks like the same except for the part about wrapping it in plastic. I would not do that. Plastic will keep all of the moister in and cause the wheat to rot. Something like a nylon mesh (cheese cloth) might be ok.

          Nuruk has been around for hundreds or thousands of years … well before plastic was invented. The pictures I have seen of nuruk being made in Korea shows the trays of freshly made nuruk being stacked with straw between them. I think that allows the nuruk to “breathe” while maturing.

          Remember, the idea is to grow a culture of bacteria and fungus on the wheat.

          Good luck. Please post back and let us know how it worked out for you.

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          • waleria002 Russia joined 1/15
            Posted August 3rd, 2015 at 12:08 pm | # |

            Hello. I stubborn man . and while made from green wheat malt. The appointment of Nuruk and malt is the same, is to break down the rice starch and turn it into alcohol. tomorrow I’m going to have to drain this wine. but while in appearance is the same as in the picture. and today when I tried to drink it was very warm in his chest. And of course I will nuruk as you describe and compare the tastes. about the plastic bag I also doubt.

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  20. soju102 joined 7/15
    Posted July 27th, 2015 at 4:50 am | # |

    Hey maaangchi. I started my Makgeolli a couple days ago and I noticed little bugs in my Makgeolli. I found out that the bugs are from my nuruk. I’m considering dumping it. Is nuruk supposed to have little bugs in it?

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  21. Vinthundar Horseyville joined 4/14
    Posted July 23rd, 2015 at 3:23 pm | # |

    This is my second time making makgeoli. A couple of things I wanted to discuss, that are inconsistent with the results here.

    1) The rice doesn’t seem to break down into a thick goo. Mine keeps its shape.
    2) It never turns an amber color – it is pure milky white.
    3) It tastes lovely! Tart, a little sweet. It is not highly effervescent though.

    Any suggestions?

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  22. centeredki69 joined 6/15
    Posted July 13th, 2015 at 9:41 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi,

    I made Makgeolli 3 times using a glass jar and they were delicious. I Then tried making some in a new Onggi crock. However the Onggi Makegeolli has a bad taste.
    Could the Onggi I bought not be for food safe but be made for decoration only? I bought it at a local Korean grocery.

    Thank you for your help,

    Donald


    See full size image

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 13th, 2015 at 6:54 pm | # |

      Hi Donald, wow! You are very serious about Korean cooking! You bought these onggi! They look good to me!

      What do you mean by a bad taste? What’s it like?

      Onggi is totally safe to use, but maybe yours needs to be well cleaned before you use it. I’d soak it in hot water for a day, empty the water, and then soak it in hot water for one more day. Give it a good rinse and dry it out well.

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  23. hawkeye85 joined 7/15
    Posted July 8th, 2015 at 8:29 am | # |

    맛잇어요! Thank you Maangchi! I successfully made some DELICIOUS Makkeolli, and had it with pajeon last night!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 13th, 2015 at 6:43 pm | # |

      Pajeon and makgeolli are good friends! : ) I’m happy to hear that you made good makgeolli!

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  24. that1girlie WA joined 4/14
    Posted June 30th, 2015 at 8:25 pm | # |

    Help I don’t know what I did wrong? When I made it the result was extremely sour even after adding sugar to it. It does have alcohol, but the bitter taste is more than what I am used to from the store bought drink. I followed your instructions except I just let the rice cool off for several hours instead of dehydrating it.

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 13th, 2015 at 6:30 pm | # |

      Your makgeolli must have fermented too much. If you make it again next time, ferment it for a shorter time.

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      • that1girlie WA joined 4/14
        Posted July 22nd, 2015 at 8:43 pm | # |

        I tried it again. My mom who’s korean tasted it and liked it. It’s sour and sweet. Used spring water and was very careful to sterlize everything. Thank you

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  25. Tim123 joined 6/15
    Posted June 28th, 2015 at 10:48 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    I have made some of your other recipes but I must be doing something wrong here. I used 5 cups of rice and 8 cups of water in the crock. I dried the rice in my dehydrator and it fit into the amount of water fine. But, then in a few hours the rice had expanded so much that I needed to literally remove about 70% of the rice in order to get it into 8 cups of water. I probably could have used about 1.25-1.5 cups of raw rice to make enough cooked rice for 8 cups of water. What am I doing wrong? Any ideas?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 30th, 2015 at 9:59 am | # |

      Hi Tim123,
      “in a few hours the rice had expanded so much that I needed to literally remove about 70% of the rice in order to get it into 8 cups of water.”
      You should let it ferment instead of removing the rice. Check out the step 5, please.

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  26. xiqqin1 joined 6/15
    Posted June 24th, 2015 at 10:38 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, thank you so much for the good recipes! I made a batch. It turned out kind of sweet by itself, tastes very much like sake, with strong alcohol taste. After it’s cooled, it tastes very refreshing, not too strong alcohol taste. I like it more cooled. I never had makkoli before. I was expecting sweet and sour like yogurt drink, but mine is not sour. :D how does yours taste like? Have you tried infusing fruits? I tried a little with plum extract. It wasn’t good.

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 24th, 2015 at 9:55 pm | # |

      It sounds like your makgeolli turned out perfect. Mine tastes a little sweet and sour.

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      • xiqqin1 joined 6/15
        Posted June 24th, 2015 at 10:34 pm | # |

        Thank you so much for responding! We are going to enjoy it when camping.

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  27. ksh00825 joined 6/15
    Posted June 23rd, 2015 at 1:41 pm | # |

    Hi! I’ve tried to make this 2 times but it isn’t frizzy (bubbly like champagne). Also sour. What could have gone wrong you think?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 13th, 2015 at 6:42 pm | # |

      “bubbly like champagne” sounds good but “sour” sounds like it was fermented too long.

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  28. Kire joined 6/15
    Posted June 6th, 2015 at 2:21 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I live in Seoul, Korea and am looking for the Nuruk starter enzyme. I have not found it in any of the grocery stores yet (3 so far, including eMart). Can anyone familiar with Seoul let me know where I can purchase the Nuruk starter?

    Thanks for your help!

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    • sanne Munich joined 8/14
      Posted June 6th, 2015 at 8:29 am | # |

      Hi Kire,

      I know that problem …
      At Dongdaemun perhaps?
      I’d ask at a pharmacy, too.

      Bye, Sanne

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  29. centeredki69 joined 6/15
    Posted June 5th, 2015 at 12:54 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi ,
    Why is the dehydration part necessary? I have read other recipes on the internet similar to yours and they do not require the dehydration. They do however steam the rice slightly undercooked as apposed to boiling it as you did. If I choose not to dehydrate the rice should I reduce the 8 quarts of water added at then end of your recipe? Thank you for your help.

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  30. Maaru joined 6/15
    Posted June 5th, 2015 at 12:48 pm | # |

    Hello!

    I wantet to ask is there any online shop what will sell Nuruk starter culture and ship it world wide? I live in estonia and im really interested korean food and do it every now and then but the fact is that its really hard to get those Ingredients in here. So i would be really gratefull if you guys know where i can order it ?

    Merle

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    • Oxide California joined 2/15
      Posted June 6th, 2015 at 6:10 pm | # |

      Hi Merle,

      I found it online by searching various online Korean markets clipping and pasting the Korean characters – 누룩 for nuruk. But when I search the same site using the word ‘nuruk’ I got nothing.

      http://www.hmart.com/shopnow/shopnow_newsub.asp?p=0761898666456

      Note: Hmart has a lot of stores in several states. There may be be near you.

      Good luck and happy brewing.

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      • lynica joined 8/15
        Posted August 7th, 2015 at 7:54 am | # |

        Thank you for the link. I searched for nuruk in hmart and nothing came up. happy to be in the middle of shopping and here you are to the rescue. :)

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        • RobColossal United States joined 8/14
          Posted March 21st, 2016 at 1:26 am | # |

          Hello. I have a local HMart and I had to go into the store to ask. Even then, they didn’t know what I was talking about. I had to google a picture of the product and then they knew what I wanted. (As a matter of fact, the exact same product that google found!)

          If that doesn’t work, go to Amazon and search for amylase enzyme. (That’s what nuruk is.) You can order it from them. Hope this helps.

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  31. colewm New York, NY joined 12/13
    Posted May 30th, 2015 at 1:26 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I have a question. I was reading online that when you are making makgeolli and the brew separates into the different layers that you can take the clear top layer off and drink it as cheongju. Is this true? Also, would you still be able to use the rest of the takju to make makgeolli?

    Thanks,

    Cole

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  32. EdLee joined 5/15
    Posted May 29th, 2015 at 12:35 pm | # |

    Maangchi,
    I love this!!! Will make this as soon as I find the ingredients.

    Just out of curiosity…. back in your grandma’s day, before dry yeast and the convenient packet nuruk, what and how would it be made?

    btw, I also love love love the Gochujan recipe….thank you

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 30th, 2015 at 10:45 am | # |

      Hi Ed,
      They made their own nuruk in those days.

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  33. mizsak joined 5/15
    Posted May 28th, 2015 at 11:21 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! Just watched the video and want to make this next. My husband and I used to make beer years ago, but his is so much easier! One question: I noticed that you appeared to be saving the rice solids after you strained the finished makgeolli. Do you use that in another recipe? I know that Japanese sake is made in a similar manner, and they do sell the rice solids for use in other Japanese dishes, such as pickles and hot pots. How do you use it in Korea?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 30th, 2015 at 10:56 am | # |

      The rice solids are edible, but I threw them away this time. I tried adding them to my pickled radish once, but it didn’t turn out too well. You can try something and let me know if it works.

      When I was young, one time my cousins and I stole the solids from my grandmother while she was making magkeolli. We snuck it into the alley and ate it with a bit of sugar. Of course we became a little drunk, and all the adults laughed at us. Good memories!

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  34. Hergla Olathe, Ks joined 10/13
    Posted May 25th, 2015 at 5:01 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi, If I use the same onggi where I put kimchee to ferment, do you think the Makgeolli is going to taste like kimchee? or is it better to have one onggi exclusively for Makgeolli making? :-)
    Thanks!!!

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  35. animemaga Canada joined 3/15
    Posted May 22nd, 2015 at 8:59 pm | # |

    Hi just wondering, Ive been looking for a dehydrater and i was wondering what company is yours and is it good?

    Thanks!

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  36. noah0308 joined 5/15
    Posted May 21st, 2015 at 2:09 pm | # |

    Maangchi,
    Would you please share the recipe of samgyetang?
    Thanks

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  37. Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13
    Posted May 21st, 2015 at 1:59 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    How long does makgeolli keep? I live in hot country. Should I keep them in the fridge?

    Thanks,

    Ima

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  38. Mattuuggi Little Rock, AR joined 1/13
    Posted May 21st, 2015 at 12:15 pm | # |

    정말 감사합니다!

    I have been waiting for this…thank you! Thank you ! Thank you!

    Only question I have is, does it matter what type of rice you use?

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    • ddnorman Southern NH, USA joined 9/13
      Posted May 21st, 2015 at 5:53 pm | # |

      Mattuuggi 안녕하세요!

      I made this once before and I just used the standard white short grain rice.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers!
      Dave


      See full size image

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