Making this delicious sweet, rich and nourishing drink is simple, yet requires some love and attention. When I was younger I remember my parents making Amazake. It was never blended and had the rice texture that made it unique to the ones you could buy. When purchasing Amazake it is almost all the same. When making it yourself you can decide on how thick you want it, like a drink or like a porridge? You can decide how sweet to make it, just adjust the fermentation time or koji content! You can decide to blend it and make it creamy or enjoy the texture that each rice kernel offers.
Give it a try!
How to Make Amazake!
Medium pot with lid
Double boiler or large pot with lid
5 cups organic brown or polished rice
7 cups water
Pinch of sea salt
Soak brown rice overnight to reduce phytic acid content. Discard soaking water. (Skip these steps when using white rice.)
Bring water and rice to a boil, add salt and cover. Let brown rice simmer for 50 minutes. White rice cooking time is 30 minutes.
Let rice cool down to 135⁰F. Add koji and stir well. Cover.
Insert the pot with koji and rice mixture in the large pot with water (double boiler style) that’s between 135⁰F and 140⁰F. Use a thermometer to be able to control the fermentation process closely. Above 140⁰F the koji will get killed, so that’s a critical temperature to stay below. Slip one or more flame diffusers and/or a skillet under the double boiler, to maintain the water bath at the right temperature on a low flame.
Check temperature of water bath regularly in the beginning to get the temperature right. You can adjust the temperature by the number of flame diffusers.
Let the mixture sit overnight for about 8 to12 hours. Stir occasionally. You can speed up the fermentation by blending the mixture; it’ll be done in a few hours instead.
When fermentation is done and the rice mixture smells nice and tastes sweet your amazake is ready. Either cool it down quickly and consume within a few days or bring to a boil to stop the fermentation process to prevent souring. Stir continuously to prevent burning or take the flame diffusers away and bring the temperature in your double boiler up to boiling.
Blend until smooth if desired and pour in a mason jar while boiling hot. (Rinse jar with hot water to prevent the glass from cracking.)
Unopened amazake will last for 6 months or more when refrigerated.
Note: to make the amazake even sweeter use 50-100% more koji.
Use rolled oats, roasted millet, or any other grain to get different types of amazake.