How to Make Amazake

Oct 02 2014 by Sjon Welters  |  18 comments
Rhapsody rice ready for harvest

Cabot VT grown short grain brown rice.

The title of this post really tells you all there is to know before delving into the recipe. I will just note, read the whole recipe before starting as it requires some time and temperature controls. Good Luck and Enjoy!

Tools Needed

  • Pot with lid
  • Double boiler or large pot with lid
  • Probe Thermometer
  • Flame diffusers (2 or more)
  • Blender (optional)
  • Mason Jars (or other glass containers with lids that will seal)


  • 5 cups Organic Rice (brown or white)
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup Rhapsody Amazake or Short Term koji
  • pinch of unrefined sea salt

    Organic Koji



Soak brown rice overnight to reduce phytic acid content. Discard soaking water. You can skip the previous step when using white rice. Bring water and rice to a boil add salt and cover (or bring up to pressure in a pressure cooker). Let brown rice simmer for 50 minutes without opening the lid. White rice cooking time is 30 minutes without opening the lid.

Let rice cool down to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Add Koji and stir well. Cover.

Insert the pot with the rice and koji mixture in the larger pot with water (double boiler style). The water in the larger pot should be between 135 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to be able to control the fermentation process closely. Slip one or more flame diffusers and/or a skillet under the double boiler to maintain the water bath at the right temperature. Keep the flame as low as possible.

Check the temperature of the water bath regularly in the first hour to get the temperature right. Adjust the temperature by the number of flame diffusers and strength of heat.

Let sit overnight or for about 8-12 hours. Stir occasionally and check that the temperature is between 130 and 140, ideally at 135. Below 135 degrees Fahrenheit the mixture will start to sour and go bad. If it goes above 140 degrees Fahrenheit then it will kill the koji, stop fermenting and go sour and go bad.

When the fermentation is complete the rice mixture smells nice and tastes sweet. Your amazake is done! Cool it down quickly, keep refrigerated and consume in a few days OR bring to a boil to stop the fermentation process and prevent souring. Jar it hot (rinse jars with hot water to prevent breaking the glass) and keep refrigerated. Unopened the amazake will last for 6 months or more in the refrigerator.


  • to make it sweeter use 50-100% more koji
  • used rolled oats, roasted milet, or any other grain or combination of grains for different types of amazake
  • before jarring mix in almond butter, tahini, vanilla extract, ginger or any other flavoring that you like
  • blend well and add water to make it a more mild rice milk drink
More from our blog:

18 comments on ... How to Make Amazake

  1. dana brumfield says:

    when 5 cups brown rice is 135 can I mix1 cup koji together with rice and let set 8 or 9 hours at 135

  2. Skip Kelley says:

    Is it healthy to eat when it goes sour? Can I let it go sour and add flour to simulate sour dough bread?

    • You can eat it once it is boiled and the micro-organisms responsible for it turning sour are killed. It’ll have a sweet and sour flavor. But if you add flour before you boil it you can use it to make sourdough. Make the sourdough on the stiff side, though, to keep it sweeter rather than sour.

  3. Charles Alvarez says:

    How long can you keep the finished amazake if you don’t boil it at the end to stop the fermentation? Does that also last for six months in the refrigerator?

    • It won’t last long, maybe a few days, if not boiled. It’ll still be edible but be starting to go sour. Better then to cool the fresh unpasteurized amazake quickly and divide it over smaller containers that you freeze. Frozen it will last months.

  4. Cindy mitchell says:

    Can u make a smaller batch starting with 1 1/2 cups of sweet brown rice and 1/4 cup of koji?

  5. Cindy mitchell says:

    I have used smaller amounts of koji for 1 cup of sweet brown rice. Would that work.? Maybe 1/4 c koji for 1 cup of sweet brown rice.

  6. Wendy vorwerk says:

    I am intrigued and would like to make this. Can you keep some of your batch alive and use it to inoculate a second batch, like yogurt? I assume so but I haven’t read it anywhere. How long can it sit in the fridge and still be good for inoculation?

    • Amazake is a fermentation that utilizes a mold that breaks down the grain to make it more digestible, similar to tempeh and miso. For this fungi to propagate it needs to have the correct conditions for it to sporelate, which are not the same conditions that make Amazake. Therefore you “use up” all the fungi in every batch that you make. Yogurt, sauerkraut and sourdough are a “yeast” fermentation where the lactobacillus cells are dividing continuously in the right conditions (usually room temperature or a little warmer). You can slow the lactobacillus cell division by refrigerating and then bring it back to action by bringing it to room temperature to work on your next batch. So, although it is all categorized under the label of “fermentation”, the processes are very different. A great resource for different types of fermentation and how to do it is ‘The Art of Fermentation’ by Sandor Katz. I hope this helps and feel free to email me () if you have more specific questions.

  7. Sara says:

    By koji, do you mean koji spores or rice already inoculated/encapsulated with koji spores–that you can use fresh or dried? Like for making miso or sake?

    • Sara,the koji used to make Amazake is the same koji for making sake and miso. Amazake is similar to making sake, but stopping it before the carbohydrates are broken down into alcohol. The carbohydrates become sugars first, which is why the Amazake is sweet. We sell organic koji for making miso, sake or Amazake on our website .

  8. Nancy says:

    I assume you can freeze it also? How long does it last frozen?

    • Yes, you can freeze it. Amazake will keep indefinitely when frozen. Sometimes Amazake gets chunky when you thaw it. If this happens either blend or bring to a boil and it will be as good as fresh!

  9. Nancy says:

    Let sit for how many hours? 8012?? Do you mean 8.5?

Leave a comment...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *